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back to article Woman murdered after answering Craigslist ad

A Minnesota woman was killed after answering a nanny job advertised on Craigslist. It is the first murder on the site, which offers free classified ads hawking just about anything you can imagine. Katherine Ann Olson, 24, was found dead in the trunk of her car late Friday night at a park about 15 miles south of Minneapolis. She …

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So what?

People get murdered answering ads from local newspapers too, but it doesn't get trumpeted in so many newspapers. Why is this newsworthy?

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@ yeah right

you sound utterly horrible.

but in a feeble attempt to answer your disgusting toned question, its newsworthy as a sign of the times maybe you would have been happier if it acknowledged that this has happened before via traditonal advertising mediums. Its also newsworthy because its a grisly murder and incorporates that (to most folk) unknown quantity THE INTERNET!!!!

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Anonymous Coward

Why this is newsworthy

"So what?" Are you serious?! First of all, someone was brutally murdered! I can think of a thousand more compassionate ways to reply than "so what?"! Secondly, this is newsworthy because of the far-reaching implications. This may be an isolated incident, but it casts a shadow over internet sites like craigslist. Yes, this murderer couild have used a newspaper ad, but such ads often create some sort of paper trail. As with pedophiles, the internet allows murderers and rapist to better conceal their intentions.

Regardless, if all you have to say is "so what?" in response to an act of cold-blooded murder, then maybe YOU need to spend less time on the internet, and more time interacting with real human beings!

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Anonymous Coward

Turkey??

Isn't that a wee bit far to go for a nanny job? Or is nannying paying a hell of a lot better than I realized?

I smell something rotten in the state of Denmark.

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Paris Hilton

Looking for the Hilton Angle

Not to sound cold blooded, but PH angle? Anyone?

Now to sound cold blooded: Out of the hundreds of deaths every day, what's so special about this one? Tomorrow the sun will rise, birds will chirp, and the world will go on without this babysitter. When we die, we will be lucky to be remembered by our own damn families in a hundred years. Let alone being remembered for two thousand years is reserved for guys like Hawking.

Preying on suffering via sensationalism is disgusting.

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Go

Why not?

It is the first murder on the site and if it makes other young people think twice about replying to ads and turning up alone to meet strangers, it's definitely worth some publicity. IMHO

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Alien

free travel

> Turkey?? Isn't that a wee bit far to go for a nanny job?

What a great way for someone who likes children to travel the world! She got to stay in a foreign country for much longer than she could have afforded by herself. She got to learn intimate details of culture and language that would have been hidden if she'd been stuck on a tour bus. And she probably left the country with a fatter wallet than she entered with.

Too bad her luck didn't hold out.

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Related yet semi-unrelated.

I have to make a post here that is somewhat related, yet seemingly completely unrelated.

I live in Dallas, TX. There is a university just North of here that goes by the name of University of North Texas. I don't expect any of you folks across the pond to know it, but it's one of the more prestigious music universities in the United States.

Well, a few months ago (and by a few months ago I mean... September) a nice young lady was murdered. She picked up some piece of trash to give him a ride somewhere and he ended up murdering her.

Then burned her corpse.

The police arrested someone in connection with the murder. Apparently, the murderer went to a friend to help dispose of the body. Their clever solution was to burn the corpse - and her car - in an industrial complex half an hour South of Denton.

Now, why is this seemingly related? I assume that the police probably used the murdering idiot's Craigslist posting to catch him via his e-mail address and ip address. That is an assumption of mine. There's not enough info to gather.

Now, why is this related?

Before the murderer here in Dallas fled to Mexico (he's a LEGAL immigrant) he spent DAYS logging into his myspace page. The news outlets knew about his page. Everyone knew about it. Bulletins were sent all over myspace about it. For days he logged in. Days. Days. Days.

I cannot stress that enough. Days.

Literally the same day of the murder his myspace had leaked via news organizations. Everyone knew. He even logged in to take off a ton of lewd material that could easily be used against him (featuring dozens of pornographic images posted by one of his 'friends' and the likes).

Did the police bother attempting to use myspace to track his whereabouts? Nope.

He was caught on October 9th in Mexico. Now he's waiting extradition. Good luck with that one.

A web savvy prosecutor with a subpoena could have easily caught this bastard long before he even fled the country. Did they bother? Nope.

I'm glad the police in the craigslist case were smart enough to catch this guy quicker than police in our case did. If it was trusty old style detective work then good on them. If using his craigslist post to track him was how they did it then even better.

I wish the police were a bit smarter at this 'net' thing.

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Black Helicopters

Web tracking

Sure you've given two cases where it's a good thing for the government to track you from your internet activity.

Given the way the American government illegally spies on its citizens do you really think you should be encouraging them to have *more* power of observation?

Of all those people you mention who were looking at his Myspace account, how many took the 2 minutes to call the investigating officer and give the information?

Giving the state more power so individuals can abdicate their social responsibility doesn't sound like a happy thing to me.

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Make them think? yea right

"It is the first murder on the site and if it makes other young people think twice about replying to ads and turning up alone to meet strangers,"

Wow gee if they don't already know that from all the other publicity there is about X met Z on Y and got killed there has been then they deserve a Darwin award and one more out of the thousands of publicised murder cases is unlikely to make them have a single thought

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Joke

Ignorant redneck in Texas? You dont say!

Why would the detectives in Texas use the internet? According to the baptists the internet is the work of Satan anyway.

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Dead Vulture

"The Register" reader found murdered

In a bizarre twist on a craigslist news story, a reader of “The Register” (a satirical on-line news agency) was found bludgeoned to death at his computer this morning. The only clue to the murder was the words “So What?” written on his forehead and his browser open on ‘Woman murdered after answering Craigslist ad’ page.

Police believe this is the first instance of internet satirical murder!

A spokesperson for the register was quoted as saying “This is only news because it new; NEWS is a gooey from Sun Microsystems”

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@yeah, right.

Aparently while my back was turned the world was filled by heartless bastards.

Dude, piss off ok. It's pretty shocking stuff. Also, I don't know where you come from but over here in good ol' Blighty a murder is a big deal.

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Dead Vulture

OMG!

From reading this story, it seems that The Reg hacks have been replaced by Daily Mail journalists! Quick, look for the human sized pods!

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I think "Yeah, Right" has a point.

I think the point here is about the fickleness of the media and their unwillingness to report stuff that doesn't have some kind of ghoulish twist or that hasn't happened in their own back yard. Hundreds if not thousands of people are killed every day all around the world, completely unreported, and in far more horrific circumstances - and yet the media will blow up the significance of one poxy case. People are killed all the time, that's human nature, but there needs to be more balance in how it's reported. There should perhaps be laws and journalistic guidelines that make it illegal for people like Madeleine Mc flipping Cann to be on the front page for more than a few days, at which point they should be rightfully replaced with coverage of the huge numbers of other dead people who nobody seems to give a flying f**k about.

<< Puts on flak jacket >>

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@ @yeah, right.

If you must know, I'm from "good ol blighty"

Where the hacks will blow up any murder story that possibly has any internet related angle beyond all proportion whilst ignoring all the other murders that take place.

Where the governments entire answer to crime is to either stick a camera on it and it will go away or to just fine / tax you for it.

It is not about being heartless or needing to "piss off" to use your highly educated turn of phrase, it is about the fact that murders happening because of the fact that despite hundreds upon hundreds of incidences of people meeting up with someone they don't know and getting murdered, some people are just too thick to learn that it is not a good idea.

So why don't you "piss off" and take a second to think before posting.

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@ so what and other heartless bastards

What do you mean 'so what'? You guys have obviously never tried to get a reliable baby sitter on a Friday evening. This is a goddam calamity!!!

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RE: so what?

i'll ignore, as a few on here have, your completely f**king heartless tone and just skip straight to the chase:

you tool. it's an IT story. she was killed using the intrawebnet as a method of lure. THAT makes it worth covering. no Paris here, so move along.

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I agree

While "Yeah, right" does come across as a heartless bastard, his point, which was better made by fixit_f, is correct. Why aren't all you lot pounding on about the thousand of people killed every week by dictators thoughout the world, or those millions that die every year because most of the rest of the world turn their back on them, or even worse buy the cheap TVs, DVDs, Designer labels made by kids in sweatshops, who, if they are luck reach the age of 16, and in some of the more severe cases, if they are very lucky they don't reach the age of 16.

This woman should know that going to meet a stranger in a strange place on her own was a f**king stupid thing to do, wherther they "met" on the internet, local newspaper, local shop window, or whatever.

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@At the heartless ones

So, what you guys are saying is that no one should care if you pop up dead some day, because hundreds and thousands of other people get murdered all the time? You should go ignored, forgotten, and otherwise be just one more statistic? And I guess everyone who died in the WTC, London Underground Bombing, Madrid bombing, the countless Iraqis, American and Allied soldiers, Bali nightclub, Minneapolis bridge collapse, and the grandma in her house at the time of a robbery, we should all just chalk those up to humans being humans, and just ignore it all. Or maybe those first few should get some notice, because they increased the overall murder numbers in a year by a percentage point or two? I realize techies are quantitative and metric-driven people by nature, but you lose your humanity if you start saying so what, it's just one more, it's not like in greatly increased or decreased the overall number of people killed.

Yes, I have vested interest in this story. A) I'm from Mpls, and unlike other parts of the US, and maybe some places in Europe, we don't have lots of murders each year. Every one of them gets mention here, because there are only a few. B) I am a graduate of St. Olaf College, where Katherine Olson graduated from 2 years after I did, and she knew a number of my friends. C) The murder happened about 3 miles from where I grew up, and mere yards from my first elementary school, in a town that had seen 2 other murders in the last 31 years.

Do I expect people to care about these details? No, but I expect people to be appalled that yet another innocent, promising human was killed for no other reason than for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. If you fail to even be slightly appalled by that, you have lost your humanity. You have become a shell of a person, or perhaps you are just selfish, and unable to comprehend that things happen in this world that aren't directly connected to you, and other people care about them. Honestly, you should also be ashamed of yourself, and your complete disregard for your fellow humans. Murder, assault, suicide, the ending of any life before a full life can be lived is a horrible event, and any one person deserves more than a: So, who cares, there are thousands like this one. You should be appalled by every other one, too, not a cynical, bitter husk of humanity, counting your time until you can check out forever.

I thought Reg users had more class than this, and while I realize the first post was most likely a troll, the comments that followed in muted support afterwards are disgusting. Can we argue about balanced coverage of events in general, and that the media handpicks certain events? Yes. Now, this specific case, I have not seen really mentioned much in national media, so my guess is that the writer for the Reg might be based somewhere around the US Upper Midwest, given that there was another news story by the writer regarding MN-based companies that I've seen no one else publish, other than local media. However, there is a legitimate angle for the Reg, as the Craigslist is more anon and can be used to provide greater detail about something, which makes the legitimacy of the post seem higher. Not to mention that it is heartening to me, at least, that this hasn't occurred with greater frequency, given the popularity of this site and others.

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Bronze badge
Pirate

Calm Down Already

This is not the first murder 'on Craigslist' this is just another one of the thousands upon thousands of murderous scumbags using a web-based classified ad service to snare a victim. I'm not sure that a murder should rate at the 'so what?' level, but this is all too commonplace to justify an excited 'first craigslist murder!' story.

If El Reg wants to start an anti-murder crusade, let's see if we can't focus our attention on areas of the world where we might be able to do some good. Iraq would be a great start for us Anglo-Mericans.

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And in other news...

And in other news, nutters use the web too...

Crikey, get a grip. And learn how the media works. Yes this story lacks any real newsworthy properties. The media only report on *rare* horrible things happening, not common ones, which seems odd to me. I'd rather know about all the horrible things that are likely to happen to me, not the ones that aren't.

Basically the media report on old folk/kids/women getting killed 'cause it's not overly common. Men aged 16-24? Happens multiple times on a daily basis so it ain't news.

Some numbers for you :

Murders per 1000 capita in USA - 0.042802 (as per nationmaster.com)

Population of USA - 300mil (give or take, as per census.gov)

Thus we get murders in USA per year - 12840.6 (don't ask me to try to explain the 0.6)

Do you see 12840 stories a year (35 a day) in your paper about ppl getting murdered? No of course you don't. Most of those are either black folk or young males, and who gives a **** about them dying? Certainly not your average red top reader.

Yes it's very very sad that this lady died needlessly, yes the guy needs to spend 20+ in the can, but don't overlook the fact that the *only* reason you know about this woman is the killer used a classified on the internet rather than a noticeboard to attract her. Don't forget the other 12,000+ folk killed in merica every year you don't hear about because it's just not "news".

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@ Ross

You just completely proved my previous point, by breaking out the numbers and pointing out just how "common" this is, so lets all collectively ignore it.

A life is a life, and when snuffed before it's time be needless violence, we all lose something, a possible poet, a great actor, the writer of the next big bestseller, or the next great scientific mind. It could be just your Average Joe/Jane, or it could be someone who boils everything down to numbers and logical arguments about something as ill-suited to logical explaination as human life and existance is (relating to society at large). But any one of those have value, and add to the collective body known as humanity.

Yes, there are numerous people killed every day, and every year. And if you go outside of the US, there are even more. Yes, the US has a relatively high homicide rate for the industrialized world, but it's still a lot lower than a majority of countries. Yes, space constraints in your local paper or news program require pruning and delivery of what it considered "news." However, even if there is only a quick paragraph in the local secion of the Star Tribune (local paper for Mpls), it still gets reported. There are about 40-60 murders each year in the Twin Cities area, hardly enough to overwhelm the newspaper. Yes, this one grabbed more attention, but that was because it was out of the norm, and the circumstances were different, in that there seemed to be a lure, it involved people who didn't know each other at all (contrary to popular belief, just like kidnapping, it's usually people you know or are connected to who commit a crime against you), and it was in a town that has had a total of 2 other murders in the last 31 years, one of them being a murder-suicide between husband and wife.

As I explained above, I have more of a vested interest in this specific case, but if this had been in Bath, England, or Moscow, or Perth, I still would have been appalled by it. It's just an appalling thing, and I find reading the news to be a depressing proposition because of the sheer number of deaths, murders, suicides, accidents, etc. that are reported each and every day.

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Coat

It would be far more interesting...

...if the woman had answered a craigslist ad after being murdered.

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Flame

ITT

trolls and retards.

Anyway my only interest in this is that now retarded sensaltonists will go "o but isn't it terrible we must do something" wah wah wah wah and they end up stuffing up a good thing. Not that I think craiglist is a good thing. I don't really care.

People have been using ad's to lure people for the purpose of murder, rape, robbery, racial beatings, etc, for decades and I care just about as much about this event as I do about every other.

Basic rule of life muthafuckas don't meet people you don't know in a situation that you can't control. I have no sympathy for people who don't follow this rule.

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@Eric Olson

[You just completely proved my previous point...]

And you missed mine - my complaint is that the media overplay their remit to entertain us and overlook their education remit.

As I said, there are thousands of murders in the USA each and every year that gather not even a footnote in a paper, never mind front page news. The only difference between those and this type of tragedy is that this one has the power to "entertain" us.

I don't mean that in a sick way (maybe I do, I dunno) - I mean that when we pay to be entertained by a film, a book, a newspaper we pay to *feel* something. Funny, angry, happy, sad, shocke etc. You get it. This type of story tends to make us feel angry but serves little to no use educating us (telling us something we didn't already know - i.e. pychos lure ppl to their deaths every now and again)

I don't mean to play down this womans tragic demise, but I don't hear you playing up the other 12,000 murders and asking "why don't we hear about them too?" If you just want to be titillated by some poor womans death then fair enough. If you want a media that actually does it's full job then surely you want them to report the full facts of the world we live in, not just the "cool" bits they hear about?

No?

There was no reason to report this particular murder over any other than the fact she used an internet classified rather than a "normal" one.

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Stop

How will this affect the 'tubes?

@Eric Olson:

What? Murder is rare there? Wasn't Minneapolis nicknamed "Murderopolis" in the 80's? And weren't there several murders in 2006? I refer you here:

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/crime-statistics/

Research a little before making such bold claims.

As far as the story goes, this is news because of the probable implications. Lawmakers already see the Internet has a pit of darkness and despair, and whenever some idiot uses the Internet as part of their sick plans, it gives lawmakers that much more ammunition in the fight against it. It's not too far-fetched to think of a government body (or a civil group through lawsuits) trying to force Craigslist to review and monitor listings based on this incident.

But really, what could Craigslist do? Require a mental health evaluation for those wishing to post ads? Anything that comes about for Craigslist will have a reach on other sites with similar purpose as well. It could have implications to sites that we haven't even thought about yet.

Does it occur to anyone that if someone was sick enough to think this through and post a fake ad, that they would be able to find another way to attract a victim if Craigslist wasn't available?

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Pirate

I wonder..

there are yearly stories here in the birthplace of Craigslist, the kumbaya land of "can't we all just get along" Bay Area, California, USA. Thieves getting people to show up and robbing them, people showing up at an advertiser's home to buy some item and then pulling guns and robbing the advertiser blind. Assaults and brutal rapes don't even get news anymore. Organized crime running thousands of small scams, high-end fraud, money laundering, drugs (lotsa 420) and prostitution-these don't even get a mention. Not to mention the political engineering, the hiring of professional protestors to create false numbers, the hiring of folks to make hundreds of false internet "personalities" to fake a sway of public opinion, and outright racial/subversive assaults on various ethnic, political and gender groups. These all from local craigslist, dozens of times daily.

To tell me that the above story is the "first" seems most likely the police didn't know of or care to make the connection. If the victim wasn't slaughtered on the first meeting, or someone didn't make the connection because the victim had used a public terminal so there was nothing for the police to find at home. Maybe this is only the "first" with an undeniable connection and a murderer who bragged about it-remember kiddies, the first lesson the Clinton's taught America:if there's no confession in print, then it didn't happen-doesn't matter if you have witnesses, recorded media, television broadcasts, etc.

To the statistics guys showing per capita murders, you're forgetting a significant factor of an estimated 4 Million "undocumented" individuals, of which an estimated 13% of our entire state/county/city prison population hails from. Changes the per capita quite a bit, when you add in large numbers that are almost wholly "under the radar".

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@ Anon and Ross

Okay, the charges were put up, and it's 2nd degree, which means it was not pre-meditated. In otherwords, it may have been a fake ad, but there wasn't planning by the suspect to commit murder. There also was no evidence of sexual assault.

Besides that, it is not a bold claim to say that there are 40-60 murders a year around here. 2006 had 60 homicides in Mpls, and this year, there have been 33, which is down 10 from last year through August, and 2 more added in Sept that are not part of that. So... 35, with only 25% of the year left. I'm not saying it's the safest city in the world. Now, I will say that I did not include surrounding areas as well as I could have, but the Mpls crime report is easy to get a hold of, instead of trying to find all the various cities and towns that makes up the area. However, the actual town that she was killed in is Savage, a suburb, which has had as of now, 3 homicides in 31 years.

I didn't miss your point Ross, but it's not that I'm entertained by this, or titulated... it actually touches on me personally, since friends of mine are greiving, because they knew her, and it adds to the numerous other senseless deaths that have haunted St. Olaf College campus in the last 7 years, both to students and young alums, some of which I knew.

So, yes, I do take it personally a bit when this is thrown at me as "just another murder." But I stand by my point earlier that the media can only report so much, unless you want newspapers that are 300 pages long each day, and 24/7 news channels that are devoted to certain geographical locations. Yes, it is horrible that some crimes are raised up as stories, while others barely have a byline next to them, but that doesn't change the fact that yet again, a person was killed senselessly (especially after reading the charges filled today), and the fact that 12,000 are killed each year in US doesn't diminish the personal or the societal grief of each individual one. We don't, can't, hear about them all, but you can still be appalled by that. When you start to assign numbers and statistics to each one, you dehumanize it, and you might as well be talking about livestock.

Finally, Criagslist's PR has said that this is the first situation they know of where someone was murdered answering an ad, and there is only one other case, someone abducted in LA, that might be linked to a Craigslist ad. So, this is a very rare occurance. Also, I have never once advocated, suggested, or otherwise implicated Craigslist, or any other online classified ad or social networking site, nor has anyone else here. But I feel like that the people who have expressed outrage or disgust with this are being cast as censors and/or open to some kind of action by the government or other entities to limit such things. I think no such thing.

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Unhappy

It's sad ...

... but at the same time, it really isn't different than someone answering a newspaper ad and walking into a bad situation.

I think the press sometimes hooks into the idea that evil on the Internet is a new thing or something.

Its like anything else out there - newspapers, flyers hanging on a telephone pole, whatever - use common sense. Be cautious, don't go alone, or at least pick an area with lots of people to meet up.

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Dead Vulture

I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, ...

<selects icon showing a dead bird> ... but I am, so that's how it comes out.

"Out of the hundreds of deaths every day, what's so special about this one?"

Well, it has an IT angle. I think that's why el Reg covered this one rather than any of the others.

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Flame

I find it hard...

...to be all too sympathetic when stuff like this happens. This woman went to meet someone she had never met before, and at least presumably did not opt to do so in a public place. That's like parking your Mercedes overnight in Harlem with the doors unlocked. Yeah, I feel bad that your car got stolen, but at the same time, you're an idiot.

Likewise with the chick from North Texas that got killed while giving some guy a ride. Hello?! Chick. Alone. Gives a random, unknown guy a ride. Are you retarded???

Yes, it's a sad thing that we can't really trust each other any more, but it's not by any means a NEW thing. There's being a victim, and then there's being so incredibly stupid that you're practically ASKING to get killed.

And as for why it's newsworthy -- it's the first documented account of Craigslist being used to lure someone into this spot, Craigslist is an internet site, internet sites are part of the realm of IT, and this is an IT publication. What sad is that someone has to spell that out for the luddites.

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Alert

Nanny jobs

Having read through the many posts correctly damming mr yeah right for his lack of tact, and one that tried to play devil's advocate on his behalf, I noticed one person sort of asking if Nanny jobs pay well enough to consider moving country.

Au Pairs aside (which on top of education funds, receive a small living allowance in return for looking after kids) there are many circumstances in which being a professional nanny or running a daycare service is very profitable indeed.

Baby sitting may get you the odd fiver and a place to hang out with your girlfriend (as a teenager - as an adult, male baby sitters hanging out with their girlfriends is almost as creepy as this story), but professional nannies are all day looker-afterers, and charge more per hour than your average plumber. Often they do the Au Pair thing and actually live in the same home as the kids. Their job usually involves more than just making sure they don't play with plugs and matches, including pre-school education or help with homework, as well as preparing meals, etc.

It requires professional qualifications, and various kinds of background checks - which is a tad ironic considering what happened. I mean you go to all the bother of having your certification registered, your background checks on file and on hand for your interviews (including FBI finger print checks in the US), and it turns out you should have had the client do the same for you.

This time it wasn't the crazy nanny off the internet that murdered the kids, rather it was the crazy "parents" that murdered the nanny. That I feel makes this a pretty unusual, and therefore very newsworthy story.

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Transparent.

It's funny how so many people lacking in confidence decide to post messages.

They act as if they're making some kind of relevant point about society by pointing out the obvious fact that this is not out of the ordinary. However, it remains inhumane and as such deserves attention. Those who naysay know this to be true - they just want to seem clever by being pretentious little scabs with no original thoughts.

"Bah, this happens all the time, she's not special, who cares, ahaha I'm witty aren't I?" No, you're not. You're more shallow than the killer and are perhaps a bigger problem than even they are. Idleness feeds wickedness. So instead of hopping on to a story with clear morality and trying to express some ridiculous complaint about society, try learning about someone else's life and stop fueling your pathetic whims.

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@ you lot who've marginilised a human life

no one is asking you to be sympathetic or to compare an indiviudal murder incident against thousands....

wow news flash news papers print stories to sell copies, not to tell you the news, did you seriously only just figure that out?

and for those of you who have said you just don't care, guess what woman come in other formats then jpeg.

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There is a certain lack of ....

...Humanity if all someone reading this sorry tale can respond with "So what....". Are we really descending into that place?

I stake my claim as a compassionate human being. I, for one, feel that it is only right to be outraged at every reported murder, all the while knowing that it is but one instance of very many across our planet. That outrage helps keep our sense of Humanity in place.

So what about one single death? How about "So what?" about one million? After all, it didn't happen to me or a loved one, "So what?". Its only relative numbers, even a million, "So what?" about 22 million. Who cares?

Who indeed?

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Tact?

Blimey but there's a lot of bilge on here.

To those who really think that this murder is newsworthy, but the dozens of other ones from the same location aren't: get a grip. The woman lived in the USA. In Minneapolis alone there have been 38 murders so far this year. What makes THIS particular murder newsworthy compared to the hundreds of others happening every day in the USA and elsewhere? Other, of course, than the sensationalist voyeurism of finding even a vague IT reference in a murder?

But please, spare me the false outrage by raging hypocrites at my supposed "lack of tact".

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Anonymous Coward

@ William Hart

Shouldn't you be reading the Daily Mail and crying over Diana?

Or did you come here for tech news like the rest of us?

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Flame

As Joe Stalin said...

...one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic.

I completely understand the sentiment behind the "so what?" response, because singling out any death of this nature for special consideration is logically unjustifiable.

Once you recognise the fact that this is only a story because of its "evil internet" slant, the pleas for compassion and humanity are exposed as nothing more than self-serving platitudes. It does nobody any good to post crap about "caring" on The Register comments section. It makes you feel better. That's all.

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Compassion? I've heard of it.

Surely sometimes it is necessary to view events like this without resorting to the emotional responses? I agree that The story merits an appearance on El Reg, because there is an It angle -- but I worry that the mainstream media report stories like this, when the only reason they stand out is "THE EVIL INTERNET!!!".

I think a response of "so what" is justifiable on this occasion -- if I were being really objective I could even suggest that we don't yet know if the woman deserved it, perhaps she was killed because she abused or murdered a member of her assailant's family?

It is not necessary to post "OMG WHAT A TRADGEDY!" to every story of a death you know? You can still be compassionate, and still care for and help your fellow human beings without doing so.

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Unhappy

CNN reports -- uhg...

Recently moved from Europe to the US, still trying to get my head around the entertainment they call 'news' over here...

One of the best (or saddest) moments yesterday was when a CNN lady started a discussion about how they found the murderer. Apparently he'd used a towel to wipe off the blood from the scene. The towel had his name written on it with a marker.

So the 'news' anchor asks the public: 'first of all, how stupid can you be when you murder someone, to use a towel with your name written on it to wipe off the blood'... I thought that was a well thought-out question to ask... Show moral outrage over how stupid a murderer can be. "He should have been smarter than that!!!"

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Attitude towards death.

Everyone here actually takes a 'So what' attitude towards deaths of people they know nothing about. It's called surviving in this world.

Don't get me wrong, this is a horrible thing to happen and I do feel for the people involved, but in an hour or two I'll have probably forgotten about it. If I didn't start turning an uncaring statistical eye to murder stories I'd have gone joined the statistics long ago. It's too sad and sick to care about all (any?) of them.

And, well done for 'she deserves it'. - Some people still actually have faith in the human race. Some people still have trust.

It's naive.

It's not deserving of death.

Some people are blissfully unaware of the 'evils' in the world around them, and it's not always their fault. For instance, she may not read the news and learn about these things happening to others. Or she may just skip the sad stories.

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Anonymous Coward

@@Ross

"A life is a life, and when snuffed before it's time be needless violence, we all lose something, a possible poet, a great actor, the writer of the next big bestseller, or the next great scientific mind. "

Or she might have been planning to drown the kids in the bath tub.

Since everyone's throwing ridiculously emotive hypotheticals around. Now where's the self-righteous indignation icon?

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Anonymous Coward

Unaware

Edward Rose:

This woman intended to take care of children. She had a professional obligation to be aware of the dangers of meeting strangers alone. Did she deserve death? No; she'd (as far as we know) done nothing heinous enough to deserve death (some people would argue that there isn't anything heinous enough to deserve death). Should anyone be surprised she's dead? Not really; like test pilots and soldiers and motor racing drivers who put themselves in harm's way (as she did) death is a possibility.

Others:

The reason the story is in El Reg is because it has an IT angle: the Internet was used as the contact between killer and victim. That's the "what" in "So what?".

It's a shame she's dead but if we wrung our hands and hearts about every murder, we'd get blisters.

And since when did anonymity rob an argument of its intrinsic merit? It's the *abuse* of anonymity that does that.

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Anonymous Coward

Booking info + picture of suspect

http://www.co.scott.mn.us/wps/PA_1_0_FL/GetJISInfoServlet?list=JISD&id=200700005104

He looks none to bright too me.

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Unhappy

The Register

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2001/05/18/murderer_confesses_on_anandtech_forum/

Anandtech community member Dennilfloss has dramatically confessed to the murder of another member, single mother Nowheremom, on the tech site's forum.

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@Edward Rose

But where do we draw the line between ignorance and naivety?

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This post has been deleted by a moderator

Stop

So what indeed...

I'm going to preface this with an experience of mine. 9 years ago, a close friend of mine was murdered by a nut with an axe, so I'm familiar with murderers, victims, their families and friends, how they react, and what they think.

From me, this story gets a big 'so what'. When it comes to murders, society has the following to offer:

1. Tracking down and punishing (or rehabilitating... whatever...) offenders.

2. Being generally supportive of relatives and friends during their grieving without being invasive.

3. Providing domestic and mental health services, policing, social cohesion, etc... to head-off other potential murders.

The families and friends of murder victims don't really give a toss if some people read about the death and think it's tragic, or if others simply don't care, as long as the above are satisfied. It's not offensive that someone on the other side of the world who's never heard of doesn't care about the murder of one of your loved ones.

News reporting of murders has only one useful function, and that is when it highlights problems in any of 1, 2, or 3 listed above, and the public outrage causes authorities and others to correct things.

Other than that, it's simply entertainment. People treat it the same way that they treat murder mysteries; it's a macabre fascination.

The families and friends of the victim don't want strangers to remember them, or imagine details about the victim, or apportion blame to the victim (as some people in this thread have done, FOR SHAME), or amuse themselves with hypothetical 'what-ifs' about the scenario, or run about saying OMG its teh 1st MURDER on teh INTARWEB!!!11oneWOOT++. They want privacy and dignity.

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Coat

@ Michael

Look, I'm sick of people taking the piss out of Donzo and the little stick fellow. He was right about the Pope's underpants, and he'll be proved right about this too.

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