Police in Happeville, Georgia have charged Tahreem Zeus Rana with allegedly shooting and killing 26-year-old Vernicia Woodard then burning her body in an attempt to destroy evidence. Before his arrest Rana was an Atlanta police officer. He reportedly met his victim on either craigslist or Backpage depending on the source. I haven’t seen any confirmation if Ms. Woodard was a prostitute but that shouldn’t matter. No one should have to bury someone who has been set on fire and possibly burned beyond recognition just so someone could try to throw investigators off their tail.
Thankfully the Happeville police thought more of Ms. Woodard’s life than her killer as they were able to track him from the internet correspondence between the two however Rana fled. He was apprehended at the Atlanta airport before he could board a flight to Mexico.
So far no motive has been given the killing. I’ll post more as details become available. To my recollection this is the first time that a supposed craigslist killer has been a cop.
For the second time since he’s been released from prison Kenny Bartley has been arrested. Police were called by Bartley’s father who said his son had ‘gone crazy’. When police approached Bartley they say that he was drinking which is a violation of his parole. That’s not what he went to jail for though.
When a deputy put his hand on Bartley’s back and asked him if was okay, the report said Bartley jumped out of his seat, took off his shirt and tried to hit two deputies. As deputies forced him to the ground, Bartley grabbed a shoe and threw it at them. Bartley then jumped to his feet.
One of the deputies pulled out a taser and told Bartley to get on the ground. Bartley complied and the deputies arrested him.
That’s also the second time that Bartley has been TASERed since getting out of prison. He’s also being held without bond until further notice.
Bartley shot and killed Principal Ken Bruce in Campbell County High In Kentucky back in 2005. He entered into a plea deal which saw him sentenced as an adult to 45 years. That plea was eventually thrown out and a new trial was ordered where Bartley was found not guilty earlier this year of murder but was convicted for reckless homicide.
The now 22-year-old Bartley was recently arrested for allegedly making violent threats against his father over a set of car keys. When police arrived Bartley allegedly head butted one of the cops and had to be subdued/TASERed. Bartley was said to be under the influence. Gee, who thought a violent drugged out kid would be a violent drugged out adult, allegedly.
Bartley’s dad paid Bartley’s bond. So that means a killer walks the streets again. Bartley’s lawyer blames his client’s behavior on the ‘public scrutiny’ his client is under. I mean it’s not like he’s ever showed prior violent tendencies before. Oh wait.
Bartley is a ticking time bomb who should have never been let out of prison in the first place. It’s only a matter of time before he’s back in there for good again. I hope the members of the jury who saw to his release can live with that.
I originally posted about the murder of Felix DeJesus here. The 39-year-old father of two was gunned down in 2013 while still in his car in Hartford, Connecticut. He was selling a tablet computer and went to meet the seller since the seller said they didn’t own a car. A year passed without an arrest being made although police had a person of interest.
While a lot of transactions take place through craigslist with no incident in my opinion there’s enough that end in tragedy that cause me not to use Craigslist. To me it seems like a game of Russian Roulette anytime someone uses craigslist for no matter what purpose. Eventually someone is going to get the bullet.
UPDATE 6/30/2014: Hartford police have arrested a 2nd suspect in 20-year-old Marvin Mathis. It’s unclear at present what Mathis’ alleged role was in the murder of Felix DeJesus.
How sad is it that a craigslist murder took place and it escaped my attention. I probably got it mixed up with one of the other several dozen. What’s even more sad that in that time no one has been brought to justice for the death of Felix DeJesus.
Felix DeJesus, of Hartford, Connecticut, was engaged to be married and a father of two young children. Her was selling two tablet computers on craigslist. Normally he would meet the buyers in public but this buyer said that he didn’t have a car so Felix felt sorry for him according to his fiance and the mother of his children. Sounds like a genuinely nice guy. Unfortunately someone took advantage of Felix’s big heart.
Felix was shot and killed while still sitting in his car. Hartford police have a person of interest but no arrest has been made in the year since Felix’s murder. Hopefully it’s just a case of the police dotting their I’s and crossing their T’s. I hope that Felix’s killer is brought to justice soon.
If you’re selling something on craigslist I would advise you not to. If you decide to anyway I would recommend meeting the buyer at the local police station. That should weed out a lot of potential threats.
Two suspects have been arrested in the shooting death of 29-year-old Tycus Toland of Lexington County, South Carolina. Tolland and his brother were both shot when they met with a pair who said they wanted to buy Vonkeith Toland’s car that he advertised on craigslist. Vonkeith survived his injuries.
The suspects arrested were 22-year-old Justin Antonio Butler and 26-year-old Terry Renee McClure. Butler was arrested in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, while McClure was arrested in Fairfield, California on unrelated charges.
Both are facing first-degree murder charges.
Just two more names to add to the ever-expanding list of craigslist killers.
29-year-old Tycus Toland of Lexington County, South Carolina, was shot and killed over the weekend during a criagslist transaction where his brother was trying to sell his car. Tycus’ brother, Vonkeith Toland, was also shot but has survived his injuries. The suspects are still at large.
Vonkeith Toland was selling his car in craigsist and was showing it to two prospective buyers when the shooting happened killing Tycus.
Witnesses describe one of the suspects as a heavy-set black male about 5’8″ tall with short, braided dreadlocks. The second suspect is described as thin black male about 6’3″ tall with closely cropped hair.
If you have any information about this case, please call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC.
41-year-old Eric S. Ervin owned a car detailing service in Allentown, Pennsylvania. He was trying to sell his 2003 BMW 745i on craigslist for a while. He was said to have met a potential buyer on Tuesday that saw his car on craigslist. Instead Ervin was found dead of a gunshot wound in a trailer at his business.
A man from New York was arrested in Reading, Pennsylvania, while driving a silver BMW with a handgun in the car. Police have not yet released this person’s name stating that the investigation is still ongoing.
Again while deaths of craigslist users is a very small minority of the people who use their site the number of people being killed is still pretty alarming. Has there been this many killings through Auto-Trader? I highly doubt it. For whatever reason craigslist is a magnet for criminals who want to prey on honest people. Don’t be a victim. Stop using craigslist.
UPDATE 4/10/2014: The man who was arrested is 27-year-old Tyrell R. Young of Reading and is in the process of being charged with Ervin’s murder. Prosecutors say that they will more than likely seek the death penalty.
Police in Coral Springs, Florida, say that 26-year-old Jason Mageau and 18-year-old Duwayne Lewis allegedly tried robbing a man after they posted a craigslist ad promising a good deal on a cell phone. After the victim showed up to make the deal Mageau allegedly produced a gun and pistol whipped the victim. The victim went back to his car where he got his gun and shot Mageau in the chest. Mageau later died at the hospital.
Have you ever heard the expression ‘never bring a knife to a gun fight’? I guess you can also say never bring a starter’s pistol to a gun fight because that’s what Mageau’s gun was. The victim on the other hand had a real gun with real bullets.
Lewis is said to have tried to tell police that he and Mageau were victims of the robbery but police say that the evidence provided by the victim shows otherwise. Lewis has been charged with murder in Mageau’s death as Florida law states a person who assists in a crime that leads to a death may be charged in that death.
So no matter what side of the craigslist robbery you’re on just by using craigslist you’re taking your life in your hands. Even the criminals are safer not using it.
I guess it just wasn’t enough for Kenny Bartley to be found not guilty in his retrial for Ken Bruce’s murder. Now he wants his record cleared entirely. Bartley shot and killed Principal Ken Bruce in Campbell County High In Kentucky back in 2005. He entered into a plea deal which saw him sentenced as an adult to 45 years. That plea was eventually thrown out and a new trial was ordered where Bartley was found not guilty this year.
You know what? Let’s just go ahead and clear Bartley’s record. I mean why should he be held responsible for anything? Let’s just go ahead and make Ken Bruce’s death even more pointless.
You can’t unring the bell though Kenny. As long as there is media and this website everyone will know what you have done and it will follow you for the rest of your life.