Everyone knows Craigslist is the premiere destination for lunatics hoping to lure a person to their residence or rape dungeon by way of a false advertisement with no intentions other than killing them in the most Investigation Discovery-worthy manner possible. "Craigslist killers" aren't the only danger lurking on America's favorite online garage sale, though. All sorts of things can go haywire when you're dealing with a site where the end result, more often than not, is going to be some variation of one stranger showing up at another stranger's house.
We talk about some of the lesser-known Craigslist crime epidemics on this week's Unpopular Opinion podcast ...
... where I'm joined by comic Sophia Benoit and Cracked editor Tom Reimann. As it turns out, that's also what I'm talking about in this column today. Here are a few stories that prove Craigslist is the scariest site on the Internet.
5Day Laborers Tricked Into Assisting With Armored Car Robbery
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Anthony Curcio is living proof that not every Craigslist crime has to be the kind of thing you'd shield your eyes from while watching a movie. He was a former high school football star who played a little in college, but not little enough to avoid an injury that saddled him with a lifelong painkiller addiction. Things spiraled out of control to the point that Curcio turned to crime for money, and that's when shit got interesting.
Rather than pull the usual junkie maneuver and rob a liquor store on a whim, he settled into eight months of Hollywood-action-movie-worthy planning and came up with a scheme to rob an armored truck.
So not even a starter gas station or anything?
One of the key components of his heist involved posting an ad on Craigslist for 10 day laborers, with the odd request that they all show up dressed the exact same way. Why? Because on that day, Curcio showed up dressed in a similar getup, except his was a tear-away Velcro version like those warm-up pants basketball players wear when they're on the bench.
As his color-coordinated workforce stood around confused and waiting to labor, the man who requested their presence blasted an armored truck driver in the face with pepper spray, grabbed two bags of cash, and ran off into the sunset, leaving nothing but confusion and a bunch of dudes who matched the description of the perpetrator in his wake.
Well, that's not completely true. Curcio also left behind the particle mask he used to shield himself from the pepper spray, and that, along with the fact that the most honest homeless dude ever spotted him stashing his robbery gear during a test run and gave the police his license plate, eventually led to his capture.
Not before he got away in the most insanely adorable way imaginable, though. After fleeing the scene and disposing of his disguise, Curcio jumped onto a waiting inner-tube and floated off to freedom.
Who's man's best friend now, good puppy?!?!?
He stashed a little over half of the four-hundred-goddamn-thousand dollars he made off with in a friend's safe, then immediately made his way to Vegas with the rest. In my dream version of events, all of that happened on an inner-tube also.
As mentioned earlier, he did get caught eventually, but he managed to live it up in Vegas for a bit and, to be completely honest, getting away on an inner-tube for a little while is still better than getting away in a more traditional way forever, if for no other reason than having that story to tell for the rest of your life.
Oh, hey, on that note, Curcio is now out of prison and working as a motivational speaker, presumably giving desperate junkies the courage they need to finally take the plunge and start stealing shit.
4MLB Legend Lenny Dykstra Expects Some Rubs
Since we're on the subject of former athletes who've fallen on hard times, let's talk about Lenny Dykstra. A lot of you might remember him as the spunky center fielder who helped the Philadelphia Phillies reach the World Series for the first time in ages back in 1993.
Those were the good times. You're probably also familiar with the bad times, which involve Dykstra serving a lengthy prison sentence for grand theft auto. But did you know he was also the creepiest professional athlete on Craigslist for a while as well?
It's true! In six separate incidents reported between 2009 and 2011, Dykstra hired women under the pretense of looking for help with various household chores, not letting on until well after they'd arrived that one of those chores would be giving him a goddamn massage. In one instance, he even held a woman at knifepoint and demanded a rub down.
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"Hey, in the suit, massage my back or I'll stab you."
I have so many questions about that last story, and I'm not going to ask a single one of them here. In case you're wondering, though, of course Dykstra was punished for his acts. He served 90 days in jail and was ordered to stop soliciting women for sex on Craigslist forever. Harsh! Oh, and the charge ran concurrent with his grand theft auto charge, so he really didn't do any extra jail time at all.
So, let that be a lesson, kids. If you're thinking of committing a crime on Craigslist, do so knowing there's a great chance you'll get away with it at least a little bit.