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Entries in Craigslist (17)

Tuesday
Oct092012

Ohio Teen Headed to Trial in Craigslist Killings

ABC News(AKRON, Ohio) -- The trial for an Ohio teen accused of being the co-conspirator in an allegedly phony Craigslist job scheme that resulted in the deaths of three men is underway with jury selection beginning Tuesday.

Brogan Rafferty, 17, allegedly helped his mentor Richard Beasley, 53, lure victims to Ohio with the promise of a job on a cattle farm. The men were told to bring all their belongings because they would be living on the farm.

Four men responded to the ad and traveled to Ohio. Three of the men were killed and one was able to escape with wounds. Police have said they believe the motive for the killings was robbery.

David Pauley, 51, of Norfolk, Va., was found dead in Noble County, Ohio. Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, Ohio, was found shot in the head in a shallow grave. Ralph Geiger, 55, of Akron, Ohio, was also found with a gunshot wound to the head.

The fourth victim, Scott Davis of South Carolina, was able to escape after being shot in the arm and hiding in the woods, officials say.

Rafferty and Beasley will be tried separately. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges that include murder and attempted murder.

Rafferty is being tried as an adult, but cannot face the death penalty because he was a juvenile at the time of the alleged killings. He could face life in prison, if convicted. A judge has prohibited attorneys on both sides from commenting on the case outside of court.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys were recently at odds over recorded interviews in which Rafferty admitted to digging two of the victims' graves.

When Rafferty was asked about Davis, the man who managed to escape, he said, "I thought it was good for him because he kept talking about having a family on the way down there. I thought it was bad for Rich and probably bad for me, but good for him."

The interviews were recorded by a Noble County detective. Rafferty's attorney John Alexander argued to a judge that the statements should be withheld from trial because they were recorded in the principal's office of Stow High School without an attorney present.

Alexander said Rafferty said the word "attorney" multiple times during the interview, but was intimidated into talking, according to ABC News' Cleveland-Akron affiliate WEWS-TV.

Prosecutors argue that Rafferty was read his Miranda rights and was arrogant during the interviews, WEWS reported.

Summit County Judge Lynne Callahan ruled that the audio recordings could be used in the trial.

Rafferty's father, Michael Rafferty, told ABC News in November 2011 that his son unwittingly dug some of the shallow graves, thinking they were drainage ditches.

"I think he probably didn't realize what he was involved in until it was too late and that he was in fear for his life and the lives of the people he loved," Michael Rafferty told "Good Morning America."

Rafferty said his son told him that he did not shoot anyone and was under the spell of Beasley, who had been his mentor.

"To think that my son would be capable of masterminding some kind of crazy scheme like this, that's beyond belief," Michael Rafferty said.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for Beasley whose trial is scheduled to begin Jan. 7.

Beasley has an extensive criminal history and two Akron, Ohio, churches linked to Beasley have denied any direct connection to him.

Court documents from Texas show arrests and convictions for charges including burglary and the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Beasley spent about four years in prison in Texas.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

Fallen Soldier’s Picture Used in Craigslist Scam

KATU/ABC News(PENSACOLA, Fla.) -- An Oregon father was angered to find an image of his son, a fallen soldier, posted on Craigslist as part of a scam to collect money for a fictitious wounded soldier.

“It’s disheartening. This just seems to be really low to take someone’s reputation and memory and tarnish it to make money,” said Dr. Craig Fennerty.

His son, Sgt. Sean Fennerty, died in Iraq in 2007 after being hit by a roadside bomb. A photo from Fennerty’s obituary was lifted and used in the posting on the Pensacola, Fla., Craigslist website.

The ad, which Fennerty said was removed Monday, claimed the man pictured smiling in a helmet and fatigues was Chris Fennery, a soldier who had lost both legs and needed help paying his medical bills. A link was provided to a donation site and readers were encouraged to share the posting on Facebook and Twitter.

Fennerty said he was made aware of the photograph after a local newspaper investigated the scam and someone who knew his son recognized the picture.

He said he contacted Craigslist but received no response or apology.

“It sure took a curiously long time [to take it down],” Fennerty said. “I want [Sean] remembered for what he did, which was honorable and patriotic. Now his memory is somewhat attached to a financial scam and there’s an element of anger.”

Craigslist confirmed to ABC News the post had been removed.

No arrests have been made and it could not be immediately determined how much money was collected by the fraudulent site.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May102012

Vigilante Bicyclist Sees Stolen Bike on Craigslist, Steals It Back

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- A Washington, D.C., man took justice into his own hands this week, when he stole back his bicycle after seeing a photo of it posted on Craigslist.

Danny Lesh told ABC News affiliate WJLA that he recently lent his 14-year-old Cannondale bicycle to a friend, who locked it up with a cable bike lock that was easily cut through by an enterprising thief.

After the $600 bike was stolen, Lesh checked Craigslist and found a post advertising his bike on sale for $100. He immediately recognized the custom stickers and pedals.

“I was furious, I was furious, but I was also determined at that point. I knew that I was pretty close to getting it back,” Lesh told the station.

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Lesh arranged to go see the bike in person, intending to buy it back, but realized that he had a better idea.

“I said, ‘Well, can I take it for a test ride?’ This guy agreed to let me take it for a test ride,” he explained.

Lesh took his own bicycle for a test ride, and never came back. The thief, with whom Lesh had arranged the meeting by cellphone, began calling Lesh and threatening to call the police.

“I stole it. I stole my bike back from the thief,” he said.

Lesh joins a handful of clever victims who have realized that their stolen goods may show up on the popular website, including Colorado resident Kathryn Lucas, who found her stolen bike on Craigslist and practiced the same vigilante justice last year.

In Portland, Ore., an entire task force in the police department has been created to retrieve stolen goods from Craigslist.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Feb142012

Dog Goes from Craigslist to Westminster

Dan Stallings(NEW YORK) -- The Westminster Dog Show is a celebration of canine entitlement. It is where purebreds are spritzed, shampooed, trimmed and blown dry, where they’re hand-fed steak, dressed in diapers and bowties and followed around with saliva zambonis, but Maverick is an exception. He was found on Craigslist.

“[He] was a rescue that was abused and neglected and in terrible shape,” Maverick’s owner, Dan Stallings, told ABC News.

Maverick’s previous owners kept him in a crate for years. He was so thin you could see his ribs. His nose was infected and he’d chewed his own tail raw, but Stallings nursed him back to health and their bond is now palpable.

Five months after rescuing Maverick, Stallings started entering him in shows, and Maverick started winning, making it to the biggest stage of all.

“I can’t even imagine [if he wins],” said Stallings. “That would really tear me up. I’d be so happy for him.”

As Stallings watched nervously, Maverick and his trainer paraded before the judge Tuesday. But in the end, the judge picked another dog.

“There’s my boy. There’s my boy,” Stallings said, petting Maverick after the defeat. “This is what it’s all about, every day.”

Stallings said he wasn’t disappointed because Maverick in a sense had already won. He had gone from forgotten to unforgettable.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Dec292011

Marine Veteran Shot in Craigslist Robbery Plugged Wounds Himself

David De Lossy/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- A U.S. Marine veteran is recovering from a Craigslist transaction gone bad in which he was shot by customers who turned out to be theives. Doctors say his military background taught him a trick which saved his life: he plugged the wounds with this fingers.

"Thank God that I'm here," Lt. Col. Karl Trenker told ABC News' Miami affiliate WPLG-TV from his hospital bed in Florida. "I could very easily not have survived this."

Trenker, 48, had arranged to meet with a Craigslist buyer in Miramar under the name "Galven" who he believed was interested in buying a men's chain necklace his fiancee posted on the online marketplace.

Trenker thought he was meeting the man in a well-populated plaza, but it turned out to be an apartment complex. He met two men outside on Dec. 21 and showed them the necklace.

"He just picked it up, looked at it and then just started running. I said, 'Listen, we can just drop this now. You set that thing on the ground, walk away, we're done. Police are going to be on their way in a minute,'" Trenker said.

Instead of dropping the necklace, the two men took off running and Trenker pursued them for several blocks before one of the suspects, Jeff Steele, "turned and fired several shots at him," according to a Broward County Sheriff's Office police report.

"I got shot. I didn't know I was shot as many times as I was shot," Trenker said. "I felt the one go into my chest and then one through my abdomen."

Trenker was hit three or four times and shot at four or five times, Broward County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Dani Moschella said.

"I put my finger in the bullet holes, the big ones, and then I ran back to the car and I made sure the kids were OK and I told them, 'Listen, Dad's been shot. There's an ambulance already on the way,'" Trenker said.

Police said four of Trenker's seven children were in the car and witnessed the alleged robbery and the chase, but not the alleged shooting.

"He called me and said, 'Honey, I've been shot,'" Trenker's fiancee, Tanya Saiz, told WPLG. "I nearly fainted. He saved my life. That would have been me."

Saiz had originally been the one who was planning to meet the purported customer.

Trenker is amazed that after recently returning from a tour of duty in Iraq unscathed, he would be injured in his own hometown. "I can't believe this. I go to Iraq, I go to Afghanistan and here I am at home, shot," Trenker said. "It's inconceivable. I don't know how that they can put so little value on life."

Fiancee Saiz told WPLG, "He's been shelled with artillery and survived that, so for this scrawny, skinny little kid to come in and take his necklace, he didn't know the guy was armed.

"If there ever was a time to believe in miracles, this was it, because this was our miracle."

Moschella emphasized that authorities discourage people involved in robberies to pursue thieves. She said that is best left up to law enforcement.

"He could have been killed and that gold chain, of course, isn't worth your life," Moschella said. "This isn't your average victim. His good physical condition and military training may have helped save his life."

Within hours, police arrested three suspects. Steele, 20, and James Flounory, 20, were each charged with one count of attempted murder and two counts of robbery with a firearm. The third suspect, Andre Gayle, 20, was charged with carrying a concealed weapon and possession of marijuana.

Flounory and Steele are in jail without bond and Gayle is out of custody.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Friday
Dec092011

Indiana Mother Abandons Baby with Craigslist Sitter

Hemera/Thinkstock(INDIANAPOLIS) -- The Department of Child Services is investigating an Indiana mother who abandoned her 13-month-old son with a babysitter she found on Craigslist.

Cecilia Long, 28, told Indianapolis police that she had responded to a Craigslist ad posted by a woman identified as “Jen,” requesting overnight care for her 13-month old son, Kameron.

Long had been caring for Kameron regularly since Thanksgiving before she decided her agreement with Jen didn’t make a lot of sense.

Long said Jen had promised her $75 a day to care for Kameron, but the money never materialized. Jen gave Long only $10, she told Fox59, which she said she used to buy milk for the baby.

The situation came to a head when Long had to go out of town due to a family emergency. She texted Jen and asked her to come pick up her child, but Kameron’s mother refused and responded that “it wasn’t her problem,” according to Indianapolis police records.

Robert Hatch, the police officer who responded to a call from Long on Dec. 6, tried to talk to Jen on the phone. But when Hatch identified himself, the police report said, Jen told him to “Quit f—ing calling my phone.” “Loud music and partying” were also audible in the background during Hatch’s brief conversation with Jen.

Police also looked for Kameron’s mother at local nightclubs without results -- she had told Long she worked as a dancer at a nearby venue, but employees there didn’t know of any dancers named Jen.

Kameron is now in the custody of Child Protective Services, which is investigating the case, Officer Anthony Weiner of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.

But Long told Fox59 that her contact with Jen hasn’t ended:  Jen has sent Long aggressive messages since Child Protective Services took over the case.

“I want to know why the (expletive) you called CPS on me (expletive). I didn’t (expletive) do (expletive) to you. I owe you money yes, but I didn’t do (expletive) to you,” Jen said in one voicemail message left on Long’s phone.

Jen may be driving a maroon Jeep or SUV vehicle, according to the Indianapolis police report.

Ann Houseworth, director of communications at the Department of Child Services, said Kameron is in good health and in protective custody.  The investigation is still open; Houseworth noted that “the department makes every effort to locate the parents of a child once we’ve become involved.”

“We’re grateful for the actions of the babysitter,” Houseworth said. “It does take everyone in the community to keep children safe.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Dec032011

Third Body Linked to Craigslist Ad Identified

Giorgio Fochesato/Vetta/Getty Images(AKRON, Ohio) -- Investigators identified a third body on Saturday potentially linked to the phony job ad on Craigslist that police believe lured two other victims into a lethal robbery scheme in Ohio, according to the Noble County Sheriff's Office.

The body was identified through an autopsy as Ralph Geiger, 56, of Akron, Ohio, who was found in a shallow grave on Nov. 25.

His family has been notified of the identification. The sheriff's office was unsure how long he has been missing.

One of the other bodies, found in a shallow grave behind Rolling Acres Mall in Akron, was identified last week as Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, Ohio, who answered the Craigslist ad. Kern had not been seen in over a week, according to FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson.

Police also found the body of David Pauley, 51, of Florida in a shallow grave outside Caldwell, Ohio, about 80 miles east of Columbus.

Authorities believe robbery was the motive, and on Nov. 16 took two suspects into custody: a 16-year-old high school student identified by ABC News' Columbus affiliate WSYX-TV as Brogan Rafferty, and Richard Beasley, 52, a purported Ohio chaplain.

Beasley defended himself Friday in a jailhouse letter saying that he is not a "con man."

Beasley appeared in court Friday for the second time in two days. He was arraigned on 14 counts of promoting prostitution and one count of compelling prostitution. On Thursday, he was arraigned on charges of selling oxycontin.

FBI spokesman Michael Brooks told ABCNews.com that Beasley is a suspect in the Craigslist murder investigation, but would not comment on a report that Beasely is also facing federal charges of kidnapping and wire fraud. Brooks said federal documents in the case have been sealed.

Beasley appeared in court Thursday slumped in a wheelchair, wearing a striped prison uniform and with his head hanging without saying a word. His attorney Rhonda Kotnik did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

Brogan Rafferty, 16, also appeared in court this week. Rafferty, whose family claims Beasley was his mentor, has been charged with attempted murder, complicity to attempted murder, aggravated assault and complicity to aggravated assault.

Rafferty is scheduled to appear in court again on Dec. 15 when a judge will decide if the teenager will be tried as a juvenile or as an adult for his alleged participation in the deadly scheme. If convicted as an adult, Rafferty could face a life sentence.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov302011

Craigslist 'Chaplain' Allegedly Managed Prostitutes

Giorgio Fochesato/Vetta/Getty Images(AKRON, Ohio) -- The self proclaimed "chaplain" allegedly at the center of the Ohio Craigslist murder spree has an extensive criminal record that includes managing more than a dozen prostitutes and selling drugs.

Rich Beasley, 52, and his alleged co-conspirator 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty were arrested on Nov. 16.

The teenager has been charged with aggravated murder and attempted murder in connection with three men who were killed and one who was wounded after answering a bogus Craigslist ad offering a job. So far, Beasley is not charged in connection with those deaths, but he was arrested on previous charges related to prostitution and drugs.

Beasley, a purported chaplain, has spent a total of 15 of the past 30 years in prison for a laundry list of crimes.

A court document from Summit County, Ohio, shows that Beasley was accused by the Akron Police Department of 15 prostitution-related charges in December 2010. He also allegedly managed 14 prostitutes, including a 17-year-old. The document states that Beasley was aware of the teenager's age.

He is scheduled to be arraigned on Friday for these charges.

In November 2010, Beasley was charged with trafficking Oxycontin when he allegedly sold Oxycontin pills to a detective. He was indicted on this charge and has a hearing scheduled for Thursday.

Beasley was also charged in December 2010 with aggravated menacing, possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia, tampering with evidence, cultivation of marijuana and possession of criminal tools.

These charges were dismissed following a court-related technicality, but the felony prostitution charges were upheld. Beasley is currently being held on a $1 million bond.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Ohio Craigslist Murders: Teen Suspect Not Eligible for Death Penalty

Scott Newell/WEWS(AKRON, Ohio) -- The 16-year-old suspect in an Ohio Craigslist murder spree is now facing four murder-related charges. If he is tried as a juvenile and convicted of the highest charge, aggravated murder, he would likely be out of prison by the time he's 21. But if suspect Brogan Rafferty is tried and convicted of the highest charges as an adult, he could face life in prison.

Either way, he is not eligible for the death penalty since he is under the age of 18.

Rafferty has been charged with attempted murder, complicity to attempted murder, aggravated murder and complicity to aggravated murder. The latter two charges were added Tuesday by a Noble County, Ohio, judge.

The court was expected to decide whether Rafferty will be tried as an adult or juvenile on Tuesday, but a technicality related to giving sufficient notification to Rafferty's parents for the hearing prevented the decision from being made.

When asked questions regarding the killings of three men who responded to a job ad on Craigslist, Rafferty repeatedly said, "No comment."

Addressing the question of whether Rafferty will be charged as an adult or a juvenile, David Diroll, director of the Ohio Criminal Sentencing Commission, told ABC News, "Sixteen- and seventeen-year-olds charged with some kind of murder are usually bound for adult court. Whether they're convicted of the highest charge would depend on a lot of things, but they could face other adult punishments, including life in prison."

Rafferty's alleged co-conspirator and mentor, 52-year-old Rich Beasely, will be in court Thursday for drug charges and Friday for prostitution charges.

Earlier Tuesday, Rafferty's father, Michael Rafferty, told ABC News that his son unwittingly dug some of the shallow graves the victims were buried in, thinking they were drainage ditches.

Rafferty said that his son Brogan told him that he did not shoot anyone and was under the spell of Beasley, who had been his mentor.

The father said he feels tremendous guilt for introducing his son to Beasley, a purported chaplain with an extensive criminal record. Beasley spent 15 of the past 30 years in prison, public records show.

Beasley and Brogan Rafferty were arrested on Nov. 16. Beasley was arrested for previous charges related to prostitution and drugs, while Rafferty was charged with attempted murder.

Beasley and Rafferty are suspected in the Craigslist killings of three men and wounding a fourth man. Police have said they believe the motive of the killings to be robbery.

The victims allegedly responded to an ad on Craigslist for a job working on an Ohio cattle farm. The men were told to bring all of their belongings since they would be living on the farm.

In a jailhouse letter to his father, Brogan Rafferty apologized for putting his father in a difficult position and expressed his hope that he could forgive him.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov292011

Teen Craigslist Suspect Dug Graves: Dad

Giorgio Fochesato/Vetta/Getty Images(AKRON, Ohio) -- The father of a 16-year-old suspect charged in a Craigslist murder spree told ABC News that his son unwittingly dug some of the shallow graves, thinking they were drainage ditches.

"I think he probably didn't realize what he was involved in until it was too late and that he was in fear for his life and the lives of the people he loved," Michael Rafferty told ABC's Good Morning America.

Rafferty said that his son Brogan Rafferty told him that he did not shoot anyone and was under the spell of 52-year-old Rich Beasley who had been his mentor. He also said he feels tremendous guilt for introducing his son to Beasley, a purported chaplain with an extensive criminal record. Beasley spent 15 of the past 30 years in prison, public records show.

"I trusted him with my son, the most precious thing in the world to me, and it sure bit me now," Rafferty said.

Brogan Rafferty is expected to appear in court Tuesday when a Noble County, Ohio judge will decide whether Rafferty will be tried as an adult.

Beasley and Brogan Rafferty were arrested on Nov. 16. Beasley was arrested for previous charges related to prostitution and drugs, while Rafferty was charged with attempted murder.

Beasley and Rafferty are suspected in the Craigslist killings of three men and the wounding a fourth man. Police have said they believe the motive of the killings to be robbery.

The victims allegedly responded to an ad on Craigslist for a job working on an Ohio cattle farm. The men were told to bring all of their belongings since they would be living on the farm.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio