Murder schemes involving ads on Craigslist are making headlines again in two separate cases, one in Iowa and another in Pennsylvania. Like Philip Markoff, who made headlines in 2009 and 2010, and was even the subject of a TV movie in 2011 as the infamous “Craigslist Killer;” two new cases are quickly making headlines with chilling tales of murder and commission of murder for hire through unassuming ads placed on the popular website.
23-year-old Megan Schmidt of Dubuque, Iowa, has been sentenced to more than 7 years in prison for using a Craigslist help-wanted ad to solicit someone to kill her father. U.S. District Court Judge Linda Reade handed out the 87-month prison term on Wednesday after Dubuque County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call from the man she attempted to hire by conducting an undercover operation which ultimately led to Schmidt’s arrest.
Schmidt, who plead guilty last November to charges of using interstate commerce facilities in the commission of murder for hire through Craigslist, reportedly told the man who responded to her ad that she wanted her father dead. She advised that it would be best to “either shoot or stab him because he is a bigger man.” Schmidt admits in her plea agreement that she posted ads seeking someone to do a “one-time job” in exchange for $10,000.
In a more shocking and gory Craigslist murder story making headlines, a Pennsylvania couple were who jointly charged with murder found their victim, again, through a classified ad. Police claim 22-year-old Elytte Barbour told investigators he and his wife committed the crime because they “wanted to kill someone together,” and the story continues to get more twisted from there.
The newlyweds reportedly picked up 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara from a mall on their three-week wedding anniversary and stabbed him to death in their Honda CRV. Laferrara had supposedly agreed to meet with 19-year-old Miranda Barbour on the pretense of companionship upon her offer of a “delightful conversation.” LeFerrara’s body was found the following day in an alley.
The story picks up even more speed as Ms Barbour also claims responsibility for a six-year killing spree involving the murder of least 22 other people. In an interview with Sunbury Pa. newspaper The Daily Item while in prison, Ms Barbour claimed the murders were part of her involvement in a satanic cult from the state of Alaska, and began when she was only 13.
Disturbingly, the young woman claims to have no remorse for what she has done because she only killed “bad people.” Though she did not provide further details on the 22 other murders she claimed to have committed in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina, and California, she did state “I can pinpoint on a map where you can find them. I remember everything.”
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for both Mr. and Ms. Barbour while Lawyers for the couple are seeking psychiatric evaluations for their clients. So far, police have not been able to back up the claims of Miranda Barbour, who said in the newspaper interview that “I feel it is time to get all of this out. I don’t care if people believe me. I just want to get it out.” A potent and questionable statement that will not be fully understood until more information about the 22 other supposed murders surfaces and the results of her psychiatric evaluation are presented. As murder related to Craigslist is making headlines yet again, the site remains one of the busiest of its kind, connecting millions of strangers through classified ads.
By Mimi Mudd