Prosecutor: Beasley ‘Pulled the Trigger’ in Craigslist Killings

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AKRON, Ohio—

An Akron man has been indicted as the person who pulled the trigger and killed three men in the Craigslist murders case.

“This case we view to be one of the worst of the worst when it comes to horrible murder cases,” said Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh.

Friday, Bevan Walsh and Attorney General Mike DeWine, announced 52-year-old Richard Beasley, of Akron, was indicted on 28 counts, including aggravated murder, attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery in the deaths of three men who responded separately to an ad for work on Craigslist. A fourth man was shot, but got away.

“What is unique about this case is the use of Craigslist to lure already vulnerable people to Ohio, and to entice them with job prospects,” DeWine said.

Prosecutors say Beasley carried out his killing with 16-year-old Brogan Rafferty, who has been charged with aggravated murder and attempted murder. Rafferty’s mother previously said that Beasley was a mentor to her son. “This indictment alleges that Beasley is the principle offender, meaning he is the person who actually pulled the trigger,” Bevan Walsh said.

Both were arrested in November after a man from South Carolina told police he responded to the bogus Craigslist ad, and met with Beasley and Rafferty on a remote property in Noble County. Prosecutors said that man was ambushed and shot by the two, but escaped, and hid for hours before going to the police. That’s when police started finding bodies.

Police said they found shallow graves containing the bodies of 51-year-old David Pauley, of Virginia, and 56-year-old Ralph Geiger, of Akron.

The body of Timothy Kern, 47, of Massillon, was found in a shallow grave, in Summit County.

“Candidly, we just don’t know if there are more victims or not. We are dealing with serial killings here. Are there more bodies? We frankly do not know,” DeWine said, adding that Beasley, who was on parole, was in Texas before Ohio.

DeWine wants anyone who knows of a missing person who may be a victim, to call the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office or the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.

Beasley is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday morning.

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