Online classified site Craigslist, like most of the internet, has to ability to be a force for good in the world. Say you need a new dresser for your bedroom and there's someone in your vicinity that needs to get rid of a dresser to make room for their new baby. Bingo - you guys get together and help each other out. Awesome.
But Craigslist, like most of the internet, is also a place for scams, manipulation and other seedy activities. We've heard stories of jilted lovers trying to hire hitmen on the site as well as oblivious drug dealers trying to liquidate product. And of course let's not forget about the infamous Craigslist Killer.
This unbelievable story begins on Craigslist and ends with two shallow graves in the woods. Hold on, everybody. This is a weird one.
In Caldwell, Ohio, a 16-year-old high school student and a 52-year-old Akron man have been arrested in conjunction with a shooting that occurred back on November 6th.
According to the shooting victim, a South Carolinian, he had come to Noble county Ohio in response to a Craigslist ad for a general labor job on a 688 acre cattle farm. He said that he was told he'd be living on the farm, and thus was instructed to bring all of his belongings with him. He reportedly met two men for breakfast in a nearby city and they set off together, supposedly for the farm.
The men eventually pulled over, explaining to the victim that they would have to take the rest of the journey on foot due to the impassable roads ahead. As they were walking through the woods, one of the men pulled a gun on the victim, who was able to deflect the barrel aimed at his head and begin running away. As he was fleeing, he was shot in the elbow.
The victim waited hours in the woods until he felt the coast was clear, and he eventually made it two miles to a residence where he was taken in. The authorities were then notified of the situation.
Authorities think that this was all part of bigger scheme that involved phony Craigslists ads. The suspects are thought to have placed the ads with the intention of getting unsuspecting workers out to their farm where they would rob them of all their possessions and kill them.
This is the working theory because shortly after the shooting incident, authorities found a shallow grave in woods nearby, which they think was meant for the South Carolina man. A day later, they found another shallow grave near the first - but this one was occupied.
It's thought that the dead man could be a Florida man, who was reported missing by his twin sister after he also responded to a similar Craigslist ad. Autopsies have yet to determine this, but authorities suspect that there could be more victims. They don't really know if this phony ad killing scheme is limited to these two, or extends to others. We don't know much more right now because today a judge issued a gag order.
What have we learned here? Well, for one, that people are f*cking crazy.
I'm sure that once everything about this comes to light, the Lifetime movie is not far behind. I don't know, can it be as compelling as a film about a med student that kills hookers he find on Craigslist escort ads? I don't know - it's a pretty sinister story.
Is Billy Baldwin available?