· Your friendly Crazy Canuk
I have always had a deep unfounded suspicion of Craigslist...guess it isn't unfounded any longer
Minn. Woman Shot After Answering Web Ad
By AMY FORLITI, AP
2 hours ago
A 24-year-old woman applying for a baby-sitting gig told her roommate that a person who placed the online ad "seemed kind of strange." But she went to the home anyway, thinking she might meet a couple needing her help.
Instead, authorities said, Katherine Ann Olson met Michael John Anderson. They say the 19-year-old lured her to the suburban home using the ad on Craigslist.org, shot her in the back and stuffed her into her car's trunk. He was charged Tuesday with second-degree murder.
"The life of a bright, promising young woman has been taken for absolutely no reason," prosecutor Pat Ciliberto said.
Anderson's attorneys had no comment.
"In a case like this, we'll just let the judicial process take its course," said Robert M. Speeter, a defense attorney.
Olson's body was found Friday, a day after she went to the home. Her body was in the trunk of the car, abandoned in a park about five blocks from Anderson's house in Savage, about 15 miles south of Minneapolis.
Her ankles were bound with red twine; her purse, her smashed cell phone and bloody towels _ one of which bore Anderson's name _ were found in a garbage can nearby, according to the complaint filed in Scott County.
The job was advertised on Craigslist, the popular Internet bulletin board, the complaint said. Olson had taken nanny jobs at least twice before, including a job in Turkey, after answering online ads. The latest ad was posted by someone claiming to be "Amy."
Olson's roommate, Matt Thiede, told police that Olson had talked with "Amy" and commented that "the woman seemed kind of strange." Olson and "Amy" exchanged e-mails, and in one message, "Amy" asked Olson to baby-sit for a child between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Thursday.
Ciliberto said it appears Olson thought she was responding to a woman or a couple in need of baby-sitting. He said an e-mail account with the name Amy was "one and the same with Michael John Anderson." Olson and Anderson did not know each other, he said.
Police found blood spatters in several locations, including on the stairs, at the home he shares with his parents. In Anderson's bedroom, authorities found a gun and shell casing, as well as blood on the walls and mattress, the criminal complaint said. There was no evidence of sexual assault, Ciliberto said.
Anderson first told police he had nothing to do with Olson's death. When confronted with evidence, Anderson changed his story, according to the complaint; he said that he was present during Olson's slaying but that the killing was committed by a friend who "thought it would be funny."
Anderson has been in the Scott County jail since his arrest late Friday. His bail was set at $1 million.
Olson was a high school co-valedictorian and graduated from St. Olaf College in 2006. Her family said in a letter on the social networking site Facebook.com that Olson had used Craigslist in the past to find "kindred spirits and opportunities," and that she loved children and was involved in the church choir.
Susan MacTavish Best, a spokeswoman for Craigslist, said Olson's slaying is the first the company has seen in its 12-year history. People need to be cautious "whether you're responding to an ad in your local weekly newspaper, your gym notice board or on an online bulletin board," she said.
Craigslist doesn't monitor individual listings or users but is self-monitored by its community, MacTavish Best said. The site staff can block users.
In California, a 19-year-old college student went missing in June after she met a convicted sex offender on Craigslist. In Philadelphia, a man was accused of raping seven women, six of whom he met on the dating site Match.com. He was convicted this summer of two counts of sexual assault but acquitted of others.