Founded by Craig Newmark in 1995, Craigslist is an American classified advertisements website. Although it is recommended for selling unwanted stuff, it is essential to take precautions before using it. When it comes to the creep-o-meter, Craigslist tops the chart. We have heard several stories where people were either ripped off, beaten or in some cases, murdered after responding to Craigslist ads. All platforms are filled with such people but for some reason, Craigslist is where they all find a common ground. Here, we have collected 6 real-life stories from Craigslist that are truly disturbing… to say the least.
1. Craigslist ad promised the job of a lifetime.
In December 2011, Scott Davis was down on his luck and looking for a job when he came across a promising ad. The ad promised to provide anyone who passes the interview with a place to live, $300 a week and unlimited fishing, to “watch over a 688 acre patch of hilly farmland and feed a few cows”. After reading the ad from Akron, Ohio, Davis thought his luck had finally taken a turn for good and that he could have a fresh start. Davis responded to the ad, hoping for the best.
A few days later, Davis received a call from his new employer stating that more than 100 people had responded to the ad. Davis, however, was one of the lucky ones to be chosen. Now all he had to do was meet his employer in person for a final interview and then check the farm. The final interview was finished and Davis landed the job. The employer, who went by the name Jack, then asked Davis to get into his white Buick, while a teenager who Jack introduced as his nephew was driving. The three were on the way to check the farm when the pickup came to a halt in a secluded area. Davis was now in the middle of woodlands with civilization miles away. The men told Davis that they stopped to get some tools that they left behind. Jack led the way through the woods but as they kept walking, Davis found himself in front with the two men following him.
He then heard a clicking noise and realized that it was the noise of a gun hammer. Without any warning, they shot Davis, hitting his elbow. Davis immediately jolted into the unfamiliar woods and managed to lose the men. He then hid in the dense woods for an agonizing seven hours, all while bleeding. Once sure that the men were nowhere in sight, Davis started running until he reached a rural house where the owners called police. Davis survived the ordeal and informed police of the men’s wareabouts. Authorities later discovered that Jack was actually a man named Richard Beasely and his nephew was 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty. The duo were luring men into the woods, murdering them and burying them in shallow graves. In 2013, Beasley was sentenced to death, while the 16-year-old was sentenced to life in prison.
2. The creepiest roommate ever.
Sharing a room with a friend is something we have all done at least once in our lives. In 2013, Brian Boucher was living in Washington Heights when he started having trouble paying rent. Boucher decided to post an ad on Craigslist, hoping that someone with a positive attitude and manners would respond. At the same time, John Williams was looking for a place to stay. The two messaged each other and the deal was set. Williams moved in within a few days and things were looking good for Boucher, however, a few weeks after moving in, Williams started acting strangely.
Boucher didn’t understand what the issue was but decided that he would give up the only bedroom in the apartment, hoping that it would convince Williams to stay. As months passed by, Williams started to distance himself from Boucher. He would not come out of his room and Boucher would barely see him but once a month. Boucher began to feel like there was something wrong. 10 months after sharing an apartment, when Williams left the room, Boucher decided that it was time to pack his things and send him on his way. He went inside the room, only to discover that there were torn up credit card offers that Boucher had received in the mail. Apart from that, there was a book filled with Boucher and his family’s details. For some unknown reason, Williams had personal details such as passwords to Bouchers email accounts as well as social media accounts. This creeped out Boucher to the core.
A quick Google search revealed that Williams was actually Dino Loren Smith, who had pulled off a brazen jewel heist in San Francisco, making off with $10 million in diamonds. Boucher called the police to inform them of the grim details, only to discover that he was already in custody. Boucher still doesn’t know why Williams was collecting his personal information. Maybe to conduct identity theft? Whatever the case is, Boucher was lucky that the thief was caught before things turned ugly.
3. Teenager wanted to know how it felt to take someone’s life.
19-year-old Michael John Anderson loved to play paintball until one day a grim thought came to his mind. He wondered what it would feel like to take another human being’s life. Without any remorse or value for the life of another, he decided to pose as a single mother who went by the name Amy. He then posted an ad on Craigslist, looking for a person to babysit a child the following day. At the same time, Katherine Anne Olson, 24, just graduated from Minnesota’s St. Olaf College. She was working part-time as a nanny until she could land a big role in theater. Olson saw the ad and happily responded, to where Anderson informed her to be at his place at 10:00 AM sharp.
Olson informed her friends that she felt that something was strange about this person but she was also happy to utilize the opportunity. After arriving at her destination in Savage, Minnesota, Anderson greeted Olson and took her to the second floor. Although it’s unclear what happened, Olson tried to run towards the front door when Anderson took his .357 magnum and shot her in the back. He then stuffed her body into the trunk of his car and discarded any evidence. Anderson, however, made a big mistake while attempting to discard the evidence. He smashed her cell phone, wrapped it in a bloody towel and dumped it into a public trash can. The towel had his name written on it with a black marker. In 2009, authorities linked the evidence back to Anderson and arrested him. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
4. A grave night to remember.
When life hits hard, people sometimes do things that they never would have imagined themselves doing. In 2010, down on her luck, Papain decided that the only way she could survive was by selling her own body. Papain posted a Craigslist ad describing her services for those who were interested. 23-year-old Chad Johnson was browsing through the classified advertisement website when he came across Papain’s ad. He decided to contact her and they agreed to meet in Johnson’s car for $80. Things were going according to plan until Johnson, in the middle of the arrangement, asked for his money to be returned.
When Papain declined to return the money, Johnson turned violent. He put his hands around her neck so she couldn’t call for help. He was in fact blocking her windpipe, which caused Papain to choke and die. Johnson, realizing his mistake, drove to a secluded area, dug a shallow grave and buried her body. He then went on to live a normal life. However, when authorities received a report on Papain’s disappearance, they started investigating.
The investigation led them to Johnson, who was the last person to see her. A background check on him revealed that he had previous convictions on assault; which included choking people. Police arrested Johnson, who then led them to Papain’s grave. He was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison for the crimes.
5. Ex-Gossip editor with a disgusting desire.
A longtime celebrity gossip columnist for the US Weekly and the New York Post, Timothy McDarrah, was a popular man who was well respected among the community. Everything changed, however, when McDarrah got caught up in an FBI sting operation that focused on child predators. The FBI is known for their tactics to lure sexual predators and put them behind bars, and that is exactly what happened in 2005. The FBI posted an ad in Craigslist offering New York’s “freshest, youngest girls”. The ambiguous man was interested in a “white 14-year-old girl with a ponytail” and so he requested them to provide him with one.
The people running the ad introduced him to a 13-year-old girl named Julie who was everything McDarrah dreamed of. Apparently, the 13-year-old was actually an undercover FBI agent, who was recording their chat conversations. After lengthy chats that went on for about 2 months, McDarrah agreed to meet the girl and even offered to pay her for sex. The anxious man then left his house to meet Julie but never reached the destination. He was arrested on route by FBI agents. McDarrah was charged with one count of using a computer and the Internet “to attempt to entice, induce, coerce and persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity,” according to an indictment handed up in November 2005. He was sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison.
6. The crazy nanny.
Diane Cheryl Warrick was famous among the police force because of her previous convictions. The 56 year old robbed a pharmacy in Colorado (1988) and robbed a drug recovery center where she took the counselor hostage and had a standoff with the police. She was wounded but taken into custody. The judge found her not guilty by reason of insanity. Warrick then spent the next six years in a mental hospital. Soon after being released, she started looking for new opportunities to exploit. That’s when she turned to Craigslist.
Warrick saw an ad to serve as a caregiver for 70-year-old Mary Jane Scanlon in Pleasant Hill, California. Scanlon was disabled and had to use a wheelchair to move around the house. Warrick saw this as an opportunity and responded to the ad. She landed the job without a background check and the expected happened. Scanlon, who could not even lift a finger to eat by herself, was stabbed to death. Warrick was arrested a few miles away from the home in a trailer park and sentenced to 31 years to life in prison.