But for those who want to commit violent crime themselves, Craigslist is a depressingly common place to hunt for victims. Last year, a Minnesota man named Aung Thu Bo was shot and killed when he answered an ad from a man who was ostensibly trying to sell an iPhone.
Inanother Minnesotan, year-old Katherine Olson, was killed after responding to an ad looking to hire a babysitter. Many of the Craigslist-related murders seem to be robberies gone wrong. But not always. The most famous Craigslist killing, perhaps, involves Richard Beasley, an Ohio man who was sentenced to death earlier this year after being convicted of murdering three men on his farm.
Beasley and an accomplice, Brogan Rafferty, lured their victims to the farm via Craigslist promising work; When the hopeful job applicants arrived, Beasley and Rafferty shot them and buried their bodies in the woods. There was no apparent robbery motive; Beasley and Rafferty seem to have just wanted a bunch of easy victims. What makes Craigslist so popular with aspiring murderers?
Also, and perhaps most importantly, Craigslist features a lot of meet-me-for-sex. One could reasonably argue that the main reason the site exists is so people can troll for sex. A lot of the people who patronize the Craigslist personals want to maintain their anonymity.
This is catnip for the aspiring psychopath — and it can spell trouble for the aspiring libertine. Ina Boston medical student named Philip Markoff used Craigslist to solicit several women for sexual encounters.
When the women arrived in the hotel rooms Markoff specified, he attempted to rob them; when one robbery got out of hand, Markoff allegedly shot the woman and fled. What does Craigslist itself think of all this?
And so someone that has ill will, someone psychotic … they are going to take it for what it is worth. And evil people will take advantage of whatever they can.
That might sound like a copout, but I tend to agree. Requiring Craigslist to vet every user would ruin the site.
The same things that make Craigslist potentially dangerous — the fact that you can post an ad in a minute without having to pay a fee or give your real name — are what make it so effective if you want to sell an old toaster. Tico Times. in.
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