Thursday, July 25, 2013

Is There ANOTHER Craigslist Killer?

Remember the movie, The Craigslist Killer? Well, that film was based on true events, and if you weren’t convinced then, you’ll definitely be convinced now. Shocking news surfaced recently, when reports of yet another Craigslist murder began to circulate on the Internet. The victim, 27-year-old Daniel Cook, was killed last Friday when a Craigslist deal took a turn for the worst.

A resident of Williamstown, New Jersey, Cook had been browsing classified ads on Craigslist, when he saw an ad for an all-terrain vehicle. He wanted to take a look at the ATV, but the seller was located in Pennsylvania. He was well-aware of the potential dangers involved in meeting up with strangers from Craigslist, so he rounded up his girlfriend and another friend, and the three of them hit the road for the Philly area to check out the ATV. Little did Cook know, he was driving straight into a trap from which he would not return.

Cook Murdered By Craigslist Seller

Cook and his friends arrived at the address, where they met up with Thomas Coffee, the 23-year-old who posted the ad on Craigslist. According to Cook’s friends, Coffee pulled him away, stating that the ATV was around the back of the house: that’s when their meeting took a violent turn. Cook’s friends reported that two gunshots were heard after the two men headed toward the backyard. Police believe that Coffee pulled out a gun and shot Cook twice after robbing him of the cash he brought to pay for the ATV.

Emergency responders arrived, and they saw a man on the ground with two gunshot wounds: one in the chest, and another in the ankle. Officials positively identified the man as Daniel Cook, and he was pronounced dead on the scene. Thomas Coffee locked himself inside his home, and would not allow police inside, but officers surrounded the home and waited until they were able to secure him.

Police were finally able to arrest Coffee, take him into custody, and charge him with the murder of Daniel Cook. This was not his first offense, and upon investigation, it was revealed that Coffee’s lengthy criminal record contained numerous violent offenses, as well as jail time in 2009 after pleading guilty to being an accomplice in a burglary.


Other Craigslist Murders

We all know about the infamous serial murderer whose crimes influenced the plot for the The Craigslist Killer film, but these incidents have actually taken place more often than anyone would like to admit. In 2011, a San Diego teenager met up with a Craigslist seller to purchase a used laptop for $600. The teen was robbed and killed within minutes of meeting the online salesmen and his two accomplices.

Another crime spree took place in Ohio, where a group of criminals posted fake job ads, and applicants who showed up for “interviews” were robbed and killed. The bodies of three men who responded to the advertised job were found buried near the address posted on the Craigslist.

Avoid Craigslist Forever?

Not exactly. These tragic events should raise awareness about the potential dangers Craigslist, not scare people away forever. The aforementioned crimes are real and could happen to anyone, but Craigslist is one of the most popular sites on the web, and that’s not going to change.

With over 50 billion (yes, billion) page views per month, the site provides a virtual public space where people from all walks of life can come together to buy, sell, trade, or give away almost anything. Consumers who browse Craigslist ads are bombarded with opportunities, which is exactly what the founders intended.
When Craig Newmark founded Craigslist, his mission was to bring people together, free of charge, in a non-corporate setting. Browsing through Craigslist ads, consumers will inevitably find a vast array of different opportunities such as jobs, housing, furniture, electronics, home goods, vehicles, and much, much more.

How Do People Avoid The Dangers Of Craigslist?

Everyone should take precautions when using Craigslist, simply due to the amount of creeps who use the site to take advantage of innocent people. The best and most effective way for users to ensure their safety is to get the seller’s full name and run an online background check.

Background reports are easy to obtain, and the content is pulled from public records. Consumers have access to pertinent information about the person in question, including past arrests, and criminal convictions. By utilizing these tool, criminals like Thomas Coffee, who murdered an innocent buyer in cold blood, can be avoided completely.

About the author:

Ashley Welter is a blogger from San Diego, CA. She specializes in writing about crime, current events, and online safety tips. Check Ashley out on Google+ for updates on her latest articles.

1 comment:

  1. I do believe you. I applied for a job last week on craigslist. I only left my phone number and email because the job seemed legit. I received a text message yesterday afternoon... it was the guy about the job. I kindly responded, no I am not interested anymore. He then started to cuss me out and repeatedly threatened to murder me. he said and I quote "I know your address be expecting me. I will slaughter you when I come back to town." I then told him he didn't know my address. that's when he told me that he found my address using my phone number. and he did. I know he did because he stated my address to me. he will not leave me alone and there is really nothing else I can do , but sit here and wait. because he has been threatening to murder me. there is nothing anyone else can do. but I do believe in craigslist killers....


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