Police say that a newlywed couple in Pennsylvania lured a man with the intention of killing him because they desired the experience of murdering together. Elytte and Miranda Barbour of Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania had been married just three weeks when they fulfilled their twisted desire in November by stabbing 42-year-old Troy LaFerrarra 50 times. The Barbours are facing multiple homicide and assault charges and are being held without bail.
Details are emerging following police interviews with the couple, though the two seem to have slightly differing accounts of what occurred. According to police, the Barbours appear to have lured their victim via a Craigslist advertisement posted by the Barbours promising money in exchange for companionship. Police accounts say that according to Elytte Barbour, when Miranda Barbour picked LaFerrarra up in the couple’s vehicle to provide this companionship, he was hiding in the backseat until given a signal to attack by his new wife at which time he partially strangled and restrained the victim with a cord around his neck and then stabbed him.
However, Miranda Barbour claims in an affidavit that she picked the victim up alone and stabbed him after he was groping her and put a hand around her neck. According to her story, she then went to purchase cleaning items and later went to get her husband to take him to a local strip club as part of a celebration for his birthday. LaFerrarra’s body was found in an alley in the town of Sunbury, Pennsylvania on Nov. 12.
Regardless of the specific details, police say the couple killed LaFerrarra based on a desire to share the experience. Police say that Elytte Barbour told them that the couple had planned to kill together before but that it hadn’t worked out until now. He has also reported that his new wife regularly worked as a companion via Craigslist. He did not have a problem with that, he said, because there was not sex involved. He clarified that his wife was not a prostitute.
According to an interview with the local Sunbury newspaper, The Daily Item, police chief Steve Mazzeo says that police will now also be looking into the details of the death of a man with whom Miranda Barbour had a child. No further details on that investigation are available at this time.
This murder is not the first to be rooted in a Craigslist ad. The infamous “Craigslist Killer,” Boson University medical student Phillip Markoff, is known to have been accused of multiple murders using similar tactics to lure victims by answering erotic advertisements placed by victims on Craigslist. Markoff committed suicide in jail before being brought to trial.
Another highly publicized case involving Craigslist murders stemmed from two men posting advertisements offering farm work to those down on their luck. Robbery was reportedly the motive for those crimes and the two shot and killed three victims. A teenager, Brogan Rafferty was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole in that case. Richard Beasley, described as a spiritual mentor to Rafferty and thought to be the mastermind and triggerman behind the plot, was sentenced to death for his role in the murders.
The outcome for the newlywed Barbours, whom police say lured their victims with Craigslist just for the experience of murdering together, remains to be seen.
By Michele Wessel