A 52-year-old man and a teenaged boy from Ohio stand accused of some truly nightmarish crimes: They allegedly placed a Craigslist ad searching for someone to earn $300 a week to "watch over a 688 acre patch of hilly farmland and feed a few cows."
They'd vet candidates, choosing the most uneducated and ones with few family ties. Then they would lure them, one by one, to a stretch of land in Noble County owned by a coal company, where they shot them dead, and buried the bodies in a shallow grave.
Richard J. Beasley, the elder, has not yet been charged with murder. He was already incarcerated on prescription drug trafficking and prostitution charges (involving another 17-year-old boy) when he was implicated by 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty, his would-be accomplice. Rafferty has been charged with aggravated murder of David Pauley, 51, and the attempted murder of Scott Davis, 48, and will be tried as an adult. Neither has yet been charged yet with the murder of two other men.
Davis escaped, miraculously, with a gunshot to his arm. From The New York Times:
Mr. Davis told the sheriff that he had met two people for breakfast in Marietta, Ohio, and after leaving his car in Caldwell, was driven to the nearby "farm."
While walking through the wooded area, Mr. Davis reported, he "heard what he thought was a gun being cocked. He turned to see a gun pointed at his head. He deflected the gun and ran," hiding in the woods and finally seeking help at a house two miles away.
News reports cite "robbery" as a motive, which is ridiculous, seeing as the men they killed were desperate for work. Other motives thrown around are identity theft, and — what seems most likely — the pure thrill of hunting down people for sport.
And there could be more bodies to come: Over 100 people responded to the ad. [Photos via AP]