AKRON, Ohio — They were men thrown hard against the rocks of bad fortune — out of work, their marriages broken, their youth, with its possibilities, behind them. Instead, in a scheme so macabre that residents here are already speculating on when it will be turned into a movie script, three of the four men, one from Virginia, one from the Akron area and one still unidentified, were lured to their deaths, their bodies buried in shallow graves.
The fourth man, from South Carolina, who was hired and driven to the property in rural southern Ohio, was shot in the arm but escaped and alerted the authorities. More bodies may still be found, as the bogus advertisement, which was picked up by online job aggregators, drew more than responses from Ohio and other states.
In Ohio, hit hard by the recession, the abundance of eager applicants pulled in by the advertisement has surprised no one, stirring talk about the lengths that people will go these days to find employment. The police have suggested robbery as a motive, but other theories have also circulated, including identity theft and, perhaps more chilling, simply a desire to kill.
The perpetrators appeared to be looking for loners who would not be missed. Law enforcement officials have arrested two suspects, Richard J. Beasley, 52, of Akron and Brogan Rafferty, 16, a high school student from nearby Stow. Beasley, who has a long criminal record, has not been charged in connection with the killings yet but is being held on other charges, including 15 counts of promoting prostitution and also selling the painkiller OxyContin. On Thursday, sources said that the federal government had filed kidnapping and wire fraud charges in connection with the Craigslist case.
The F. Beasley incarcerated. Beasley appeared in court on the drug charge on Thursday, and on Friday he is to be arraigned on the prostitution charges. Prosecutors want the teenager, a tall youth who towered over the police officers escorting him from the courthouse in Caldwell this week, to be tried as an adult, something that is virtually routine in Ohio for crimes this serious.
Judge John W. Neither suspect has been charged in the murders of the other victims, Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, Ohio, whose body was found last week buried near a mall in Akron, and the unidentified man, whose body was found on the rural property in Noble County, where officials also found Mr. In a phone interview, Carol Beasley, Mr. Beasley, a retired secretary at Buchtel High School in Akron. Yvette Rafferty, Mr. Beasley, a family friend. Rafferty, a striking woman, tall and rail thin, paced in front of the courthouse in Caldwell on Tuesday, waiting for a chance to talk to her son.
One applicant who was rejected, Ron Sanson, 58, a former construction worker, said he was interviewed by Mr. Beasley, who was dining on Chinese food, in the food court of a mall. Sanson, who is divorced, said he had been in and out of work since fracturing his leg in He said potential employers balked at his age, even for jobs shoveling snow.
He said he had good antennae for trouble, but picked up nothing strange about Mr. He did not get the job; the fact that he had gone to college and been in the Navy may have put Mr. Beasley off, he speculated. Less fortunate were Mr. Pauley, who had driven from Virginia with all his belongings, and Mr. Kern, who was struggling to support his three children.
Erin Sendejas, who worked with Mr. He just felt that they were priorities in his life. Kern had been missing since Nov. Davis, the man from South Carolina who escaped. Before the gag order was issued, Sheriff Stephen S. Hannum of Noble County had said that his office had responded to a call on Nov. While walking through the wooded area, Mr. He turned to see a gun pointed at his head.
A search of the property revealed a hand-dug grave, the sheriff said. On Nov. Beasley said she had met with her son at the Summit County Jail, where he is being held on the prostitution and drug charges.
Beasley had attended only very sporadically in recent years. He said that Mr. Beasley used to come with his family, even asand church members remembered him wearing cowboy boots and a big belt buckle, unusual attire in Akron in the s and s.
The crimes have deeply affected the congregation, Pastor Platek said. Sanson said. ZIP: