Craigslist killer refers to a person or persons perpetrating the crime of murder against a victim who either posted advertisements to, or answered advertisements via Craigslist, a popular classified advertising website.[1][2][3] The first use of the term Craigslist killings may date to October 31, 2007, when the phrase appeared in a headline in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, in reference to the murder of Katherine Olson by Michael John Anderson, who was then dubbed the "Craigslist killer". [4]

Before the development of the Internet, when similar cases were described in the media, they were commonly known as "want ad murders" or "lonely hearts club murders" due to their method of finding victims through newspaper classified ads and personal or lonely hearts club ads.[5][6][7][8] Since 2007, several suspected and convicted perpetrators have met their victims or solicted murder through Craigslist. Of these, two were convicted for crimes in the three-month period encompassing Febrary to April 2009 and a further four were accused of crimes during the 11-month span of March 2008 through April 2009[1] [2][3][9].

Notable Craigslist killers and killings[edit | edit source]

The following individuals have used Craigslist advertisements to contact victims or hire a murderer:

  • Michael John Anderson, convicted of murdering Katherine Olson in Minnesota in October 2007.[1][4]
  • "Craigslist killer": New York City, the murderer of ABC radio news reporter George Weber in New York in March, 2009; John Katehis was arrested and indicted for this crime.[2][10]
  • Craigslist killing: Troutman, North Carolina; Bernard George Lamp, a 51 year old resident of Troutman, North Carolina was charged with murder and first-degree kidnapping on March 22, 2008 in the death of Bonnie Lou Irvine, 52, of Cornelius, North Carolina; according to news reports, she had "had agreed to meet the man accused of killing her after encountering him on Craigslist."[11]
  • Ann Marie Linscott, a 49 year old Michigan woman, was arrested in January 2008 for soliciting murder on Craigslist, where she offered $5,000 "for someone willing to kill the unsuspecting wife of a man she'd begun an affair with online"[12]; in February, 2009, she was found guilty of attempted murder-for-hire and sentenced to 12 years and seven months in prison.[9]
  • Craigslist killing: Arlington, Virginia; on December 7, 2008, Matthew Hicks, 32, was fatally shot in Arlington, Virginia by another man whom he had met through an erotic services ad on Craigslist. In January, 2009, Willie Donaldson, 35, was indicted for the murder.[9]
  • Craigslist killer: Boston, the murderer of Julissa Brisman, also suspected in other attacks that occurred in Massachusetts and Rhode Island in April, 2009; Philip Markoff was arrested and indicted for the Massachusetts crimes.[3]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Craigslist Killer Michael John Anderson". New York Daily News. April 2, 2009. Retrieved Tuesday, April 21, 2009. "April 2, 2009: New York Daily News refers to Michael John Anderson as "Craigslist Killer."" 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Alleged Craigslist Killer: 'Cash for Story'". The Advocate. March 30, 2009. Retrieved Tuesday, April 21, 2009. "March 30, 2009: The Advocate refers to John Katehis as "Craigslist Killer."" 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 "Massachussetts Police Arrest Suspect In Craigslist Killer Case". New York Daily News. April 20, 2009. Retrieved Tuesday, April 21, 2009. "New York Daily News refers to Philip Markoff as "Craigslist Killer.""  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "nydn042009" defined multiple times with different content
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Craigslist killings: Police say suspect Michael John Anderson left a trail of evidence.". Saint Paul Pioneer Press. October 31, 2007. Retrieved Thursday, April 23, 2009. "ctober 31, 2007: This headline may be the first time the term "Craigslist Killings" appeared in print" 
  5. "Lonely Hearts Murderer'". New York Daily News. April 5, 2009. Retrieved Wednesday, April 22, 2009. "Long before there was a craigslist or dot-com dating, there were places where men and women who were too shy or busy to meet face to face could find romance. Calling themselves "matrimonial bureaus," these organizations were known mostly as the "lonely hearts clubs," and they flourished through the middle of the 20th century. [...] (The article is a side-bar to a story about Philip Markoff, a "Craigslist killer" and it describes the murders committed in 1931 by Harry F. Powers, the so-called "Matromonial Bureau Murderer," also known as "The West Virginia Bluebeard" and "The Butcher of Clarksburg.")" 
  6. "The Want Ad Killer" by Ann Rule, 1983 ISBN 0-451-16688-4. (This book is about the serial killer Harvey Carignan.)
  7. Boulder Jane Doe (This article covers a possible Colorado victim of Harvey Glatman, California’s “Lonely Hearts Killer.”)
  8. Backstory extras: The Lonely Hearts Murder Case (This article deals with Raymond Fernandez and Martha Beck of Delaware)
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 "Caught up in a violent Web". Boston Herald. April 19, 2009. Retrieved Thursday, April 23, 2009. "Law enforcement officials warn that the slaying of Julissa Brisman is far from the only violent crime linked to Craigslist." 
  10. . "Police: Slain Reporter Met Teen Killer on Craigslist". KTLA. March 25, 2009. Retrieved Monday, April 20, 2009. 
  11. "Warrants detail how murder victim, suspect met online, after e-mailing, they set up a meeting in person, documents say". Charlotte Observer. March 22, 2008. Retrieved Thursday, April 23, 2009. 
  12. "California Woman Targeted For Murder On Craigslist". WJZ. January 26, 2008. Retrieved Thursday, April 23, 2009. "Craigslist has gained some level of notoriety for ads posted by prostitutes and the killing of a Minnesota woman last year who responded to an ad for a baby sitter. However, authorities and company officials say the murder-for-hire scheme appears to be the first of its kind." 
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