The ad appeared in the "casual encounters" section of the Seattle Craigslist personal with the title, "A strange desire.
According to police, Shawn Tyler Skelton, 24, posted the ad, saying he wanted to have sex with a woman and then kill her. Police say they set up a sting, exchanging e-mails with Skelton and arranging for him to meet a supposed victim at a local motel, after a Craigslist employee reported the ad.
Police claim that in their e-mails with Skelton, he negotiated the amount of money he would be paid and alluded to the way he would kill the victim. Police say they arranged to meet him at a motel, where he was arrested Monday on suspicion of attempted murder after he arrived at the motel with a knife, a length of heavy chain and two long shoelaces. Skelton allegedly confessed to planning to go through with the murder after he was arrested, police say.
The King County Prosecutor's Office charged Skelton with conspiracy to commit murder in the second degree. The arrest comes amid a series of high profile incidents involving the popular Web site, known for its sometimes anything goes atmosphere.
Boston police have accused Philip Markoff23, of using Craigslist to lure two women to upscale hotels, where he allegedly robbed them and killed one of them. Investigators believe Markoff contacted the alleged victims through Craigslist in which they offered erotic massages.
Markoff, who has been dubbed the "Craigslist Killer" by the media, has pleaded not guilty. The incidents have caught the attention of law enforcement, who say many of the site's "erotic services" posts are nothing more than prostitution .
In an effort to curtail prostitution, Craigslist reached a settlement with 40 state attorneys general in November to require strippers and escort services to pay a fee with a credit card to post. This week, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan accused the company of violating the agreement by failing to develop an effective screening process to prevent the posting of illegal .
In a letter, Madigan urged the company to immediately shut down the "Erotic Services" section of the site, saying, "it is clear that the erotic services section continues to facilitate the exploitation of women in Illinois and in states across the nation. In a statement, Craigslist CEO Jim Buckmaster said, "We look forward to meeting with Attorney General Madigan to discuss any and all ideas she and others may have for further eliminating illegal activity from Craigslist, while preserving all of the functionality and positive attributes that are valued by the overwhelmingly law-abiding Craigslist community of users.
In an interview last week with ABC News Craigslist founder Craig Newmark denied that the site facilitates prostitution and said he has no plans to change the "erotic services" section. Buckmaster told Nightline that the Craigslist community -- about 50 million people use the site a month -- has a low incidence of crime.
I am very proud that there is very little crime on our site, proportionately," Newmark said. Newmark's online service allows users to post advertisements for everything from yard sales to massage services.
Every major city in America has its own Craigslist, and there are hubs overseas. Most of the postings are free, and there are separate sections for jobs, apartments and social events, in addition to the "casual encounters" and "erotic services" sections. That's one of the reasons they don't want to give them up.
Craigslist allows users to flag inappropriate items on the site. And if enough people flag the ad, it will be removed automatically," Newmark said in an interview last week with "Nightline".
People in law enforcement and related areas told us that they want us to isolate some of the, some kinds of in their own particular ," he explained. This has been reinforced very strongly recently by the law enforcement.
In Seattle, undercover police officers say they responded to the ad, asking if the suspect would be willing to kill someone. According to a police affidavit, Skelton said he was looking for someone who wanted to be killed but was open to killing an unwilling participant for money. Court papers say Skelton lives with his girlfriend and her great grandmother.
A woman who answered at a phone listed for Skelton said she did not know him. His lawyer did not return a call for comment.
A woman who answered the phone at the suspect's home Tuesday and identified herself as the man's girlfriend and the mother of his child told the Seattle Times that he is innocent. He had no intent to go through with it. But he's not really the person they're making him out to be," she said.
According to court records, Skelton was convicted of indecent exposure in He was also arrested in November for allegedly exposing himself to a college student. A hearing in that case is scheduled for Thursday. We'll notify you here with news about.
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