A 52-year-old man and a teenager were arrested on November 16, 2011, in connection with three murders and one attempted murder. Authorities in Ohio believe Richard Beasley and Brogan Rafferty, 16, lured their victims using job postings on Craigslist seeking farm workers. Respondents were told to bring their belongings as they would be living on the fictitious 688-acre cattle farm. Three bodies were found in shallow graves in the woods near Akron, dead from gunshot wounds. A fourth victim escaped after being shot in the elbow. Police believe robbery was the motive for the killings and say Beasley and Rafferty targeted single men without family.
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 is in jail on unrelated charges as prosecutors build a case. Rafferty is in a juvenile detention center, charged with attempted murder and complicity to attempt murder.