Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Accused Teen Craigslist Killer Says He Was Ordered to Dig Grave

Beasley and Rafferty together. Family photo.

A teenager on trial for the murders of three men says he cooperated with his alleged partner, Richard Beasley, 53, out of fear. In a taped police interview played for jurors last week, Brogan Rafferty, 17, says he was “ordered” to dig a grave for one of the victims, and that Beasley “watched him like a hawk.” Rafferty also said Beasley reminded him that he knew where his mother and sister lived. According to Rafferty, Beasley wanted to kill the men for profit and planned to stop killing after he’d made enough money.

Rafferty and Beasley were arrested on November 16, 2011, in connection with three murders and one attempted murder. Authorities in Ohio believe the duo lured their victims using job postings on Craigslist seeking farm workers. Respondents were told to bring their belongings as they would be living on a fictitious 688-acre cattle farm. The bodies of Timothy Kern, 47, Ralph Geiger, 56 and David Pauley, 51, were found in shallow graves in the woods near Akron, dead from gunshot wounds. A fourth victim, Scott Davis, 48, escaped after being shot in the elbow. According to Raffery, Beasley planned to make $30,000 to $40,000 by selling Davis’s property. Rafferty also told police he “felt horrible” about the murder of Kern, whose only possession was a 1989 Buick that Beasley planned to sell to a scrap yard.

Beasley has an extensive criminal record and has served a total of 15 years in jail, on charges including drug trafficking. He worked as an unpaid chaplain, and, according to his 70-year-old mother, “has a very caring heart.” He acted as a sort of mentor to Rafferty who’d been having difficulties since his parents’ divorce. The two went fishing and volunteered together. Beasley, previously held in a juvenile facility is currently incarcerated at Summit County Jail along with Beasley. They are not allowed to have any contact while in jail. Rafferty’s bond is set at $1 million; Beasley, who is also being held on unrelated charges of prostitution and trafficking, is held without bond.

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