On Thursday, April 4 2013 Richard Beasley was sentenced to death for the murders of three men who he lured to his residence by posting fake ads on Craigslist. Beasley, who has been referred to in the media as “The Craigslist Killer” along with Brogan Rafferty were accused of posting ads in late 2011 offering work on Beasley’s cattle farm in Ohio. CNN.com reported that, three men, Ralph Geiger, 56, David Pauley, 51, and Timothy Kern, 47, answered the ad and were killed upon arriving at the farm. A fourth man, Scott Davis, 48, was wounded by Beasley but managed to escape. After hiding in the woods for seven hours, Davis found help and went to the authorities with his story
The bodies of the three men were found in shallow graves reportedly dug by Rafferty. Rafferty who was only sixteen at the time of the murders, will not receive the death penalty, but prosecutors are being asked that he is tried as an adult. In his defense, his father said that Beasley corrupted his son and manipulated him into committing these crimes.
Beasley faced 26 charges including, aggravated murder, kidnapping, and aggravated assault, all in which he pleaded not guilty to. He was convicted of all 26 charges and the jury unanimously recommended to the judge that he be sentenced to death. A judge in Summit County took the jury’s recommendation concluding last Thursday, April 4 2013 that Beasley will receive the death penalty. Beasley is still claiming that he is innocent of these crimes and an appeal is likely, Huffington Post reported.
This isn’t the first murder due to responding to ads on Craigslist. The very public trial of Philip Markoff in 2009 was also the result of victims responding to certain ads. Markoff was accused of robbing two women and killing a third in various motels. Before Markoff could be sentenced he committed suicide in his prison cell.