While it seems like every transaction occurs online nowadays, there’s probably one website you should avoid when carrying out business: Craigslist, because the website has been linked to more than 100 murders.
“I was wanting to thank Tulsa for letting me have my first kill. It will not be my last thou (sic),” is a message that recently appeared on a Tulsa, Oklahoma Craigslist page. While the post has been removed, the Tulsa police department is investigating the possible incident.
And while this particular case may be a hoax, the Advanced Interactive Media Group claims that Craigslist has been implicated in more than 100 murders — 101, to be exact. The 100th case occurred three weeks ago, when a 22-year-old Gary, Indiana man attempted to rob a couple who wanted to buy his car, the Washington Post reported.
Craigslist has been scrutinized for safety issues for a while now. But at a 2010 Congressional Meeting, the website claimed most of the transactions are legitimate.
Though plenty of sites connect complete strangers, Jack Levin, a Northeastern University criminologist, told the Post what sets Craigslist apart is that it is sold as having a “legitimate commercial purpose” which makes people become more trusting of the people they link up with.
While the murders may not be Craigslist’s fault, it is unclear how many of their 40-person staff work to moderate the website. Some recommend they up efforts like Ebay’s Gumtree did — a task the founding principal of the AIM Group, Peter Zollman, said would be a huge step in the right direction.
“I believe very strongly that they could save lives by putting a meaningful effort into safety and security measures,” Zollman told the Post. “One hundred and one people have been killed as a result of Craigslist. If efforts were made to improve the site, a lot of those wouldn’t have happened.”