Richard Beasley, or ‘Jack’, as he was sometimes known, was born in 1959 and raised in Akron, Ohio. He married and had one daughter, divorcing after only a few years. He also earned a rap sheet over the years that included burglary, firearms offences and petty thefts.
But he was a faithful member of his church and the kids liked him. (He kind of looked like Santa Clause and he was always available to spend time with them.) He even created a half way house for wayward kids and drug addicts and spoke to them of the sins of the world and reminded them to stay close to the Lord. The girls however, he pimped out and kept under close scrutiny, keeping them loyal by providing them with the very drugs that he preached they should never touch.
In 2011, however, Richard was brought up on drug charges and a prostitution case was being built against him so he decided it was high time to hit the road and get under the radar. Texas was also looking for him for a parole violation in that state as well. Richard knew he had to hide, or go back to prison, so he devised a plan. Get a knew identity and disappear.
And it wouldn’t take long. He immediately started looking at the homeless that resembled himself. Ralph Geiger, he decided, fit the bill. He offered the man ‘the job of a lifetime’, a ranch hand and property caretaker’s position, that didn’t really exist, on property that he really didn’t own. But Ralph took the bait. Richard, along with his young friend, 16 year old Brogan Rafferty, drove Ralph into the country side and, after luring him away from the vehicle under some made up pretense, shot him in the back of the head. Richard colored his hair to match the dead man’s locks and off he went, building a new existence as Ralph Geiger. And the ‘new’ Ralph knew exactly how to sustain this new found life. He’d done it once and it had gone flawlessly. No reason not to try it again. He’d simply place a Craigslist ad for help and gain himself some loot.
That was the logic. For future serial killer Richard Beasley anyway. He would just have to place an ad for a very specific kind of man, lure him in and ‘wha-la’, riches! Seemed easy enough. Find men who were basically alone in the world. Never married, divorced, estranged from families and kids, etc. But not too destitute. That would prove fruitless and, after all, the goal was to make a living. (Kill the man, steal his money and goods and pawn off the material items for cash.) Thinking the program through thoroughly, Richard took great care to write the perfect ad to draw in the kind of men who would fit his need. And one that could remain in place for a long period of time and not draw suspicion. When he had written the perfect scenario for the ‘desperate’ men to find, he placed the ad and waited. It read:
Wanted: Caretaker For Farm. Simply watch over a 688 acre patch of hilly farmland and feed a few cows, you get 300 a week and a nice 2 bedroom trailer, someone older and single preferred but will consider all, relocation a must, you must have a clean record and be trustworthy—this is a permanent position, the farm is used mainly as a hunting preserve, is overrun with game, has a stocked 3 acre pond, but some beef cattle will be kept, nearest neighbor is a mile away, the place is secluded and beautiful, it will be a real get away for the right person, job of a lifetime—if you are ready to relocate please contact asap, position will not stay open.
In 2011, with the recession still churning away at the economy and jobs becoming as scarce as they’d ever been, Scott Davis, 48, divorced and estranged from his wife and son, was doing what most people were doing. He was looking for work anywhere he could find it. One place he searched religiously was the Craig’s list ads. Even if the work listed there was temporary, it would produce a little bit of revenue.
Then in October of 2011, Scott came across an ad that seemed heaven sent. If he could just secure the position, his prays would be answered and his problems would be solved.
Scott immediately answered Richard’s ad and prayed.
But others around the country, nearly 100 of them, were doing the same thing with the same ‘heaven sent’ ad.
Fifty one year old David Pauley, divorced and now living with his brother, was answering the exact same ad and praying the exact same prayer as the others. To be able to secure the position in rural Ohio would mean that he could leave his brother’s spare room in Virginia and head back home, close enough to help with his ailing mother, get back on his feet with a job that would support him and be close to his best friend again, that likewise lived in Ohio. It was the perfect opportunity if the man seeking help would just pick him.
And he did.
A few days after answering the ad, the phone call came that informed him that he had the job. He called his twin sister and gave her the good news. Next he called his best friend in Ohio and informed him of the victory and made plans to get together with him as soon as he could. Without hesitation, David loaded his earthly possessions in a u-haul trailer and headed for Ohio. He was never heard from again.
One month after answering the Craigslist ad for the ‘Farm’ position, Scott finally heard from the man who had placed it. He was given the position and he immediately made ready to relocate into a brand new, promising life. Scott packed his tools, clothes, stereo and his Harley into a u-hail behind his truck and left South Carolina for Ohio.
Scott met up with Richard and Brogan, who was introduced as a nephew, and they ate breakfast at Shoney’s in Marietta, Ohio. Richard made inquiry as to what all Scott had brought with him in the u-haul and then told him, due to a damaged road leading to the secluded farm land he would be caring for, that they would be leaving the truck and trailer in the parking lot, where it could be, once they had repaired the roadway, collected and moved safely then to the property.
Without reservation, and anxious to get where he was going, Scott readily agreed and climbed into the back seat of the large man’s car. He watched out the window as they drove along for nearly a half hour, the trees becoming thicker, the road slipping into a near pig path of a trail and the loudness of the world appearing to disappear altogether. Cell service, Scott realized as they drover deeper into the heavily wooded area, was even absent in these parts but the scenery was beautiful and Scott was beginning to realize just how isolated the area really was.
Scott was pulled from his muse when he heard Richard instruct his nephew, Brogan, to ‘drop us off where we got that deer at last time.’ Richard then turned to face Scott and explained that he’d left a piece of equipment, that they would be needing to repair the damaged lane, down near the creek and he could use help reclaiming it for use.
Again, without reservation, Scott quickly complied and followed Richard into the woods. But it wasn’t long before Richard decided that he was confused as to where he had left the equipment and told Scott to turn around and lead them back up the hill to the car. Scott, still unconcerned, did as he Richard instructed and turned around, allowing the stranger to follow behind him.
And it wasn’t that he (Scott) was thinking about all of the deer that must live contently inside the massive woods that he now found himself in, until he heard the ‘click.’ Even then he was still not freakishly alarmed. But, as he heard the word, ‘fuck’ slip from Richard’s lips, he turned quickly around and instantly realized the deadly situation that he (the next deer) was suddenly in.
Richard quickly un-jammed the pistol, that had only seconds ago failed to fire and kill Scott as planned, and immediately pulled the hand gun back up and aimed it at Scott. Without a moment of hesitation, he pulled the trigger.
Scott threw his arms up about his head in an attempt to protect himself but the bullet hit him in the elbow. He turned and raced from before Richard and ran as fast as he could, trying desperately to get our of range of the bullets that Richard was still firing after him. Once he could no longer hear Richard and the bullets had stopped chasing him, Scott felt panicked about coming out of the woods too quickly and risking being caught again by the men who obviously intended to kill him. So Scott, bleeding and terrified, laid quietly for many long hours in the heavy woods. When dusk was upon him, Scott, knowing that he had to get help for his bleeding body, made his way to the roadway and then to a house nearly a mile down the way. The kind land owners called 911 and rescue soon arrived.
In the meantime, David Pauley’s twin sister and best friend were not taking his disappearance lightly. In fact Debbie was scanning the internet in search of the ‘ad’ that had drawn he brother in. It took her a few weeks before she could recall the city, Cambridge, Ohio, were her brother said the ‘farm’ was located. Using google, Debbie found the local newspaper of Cambridge and started scanning for the ‘ad.’ What she found was an article about a man who had answered a craigslist ad for ‘farm work’ that claimed he was lured there with the promise of employment as a Property Care Taker on a 688 acre farm, then shot! Deb freaked. That was the exact ad David had answered. She called the law at once.
The officer, who quite frankly didn’t really know what to do with Scott’s strange story, listened to Deb’s tale and determined that indeed something was not right and decided that he may very well have a problem that needed addressed seriously. Deb’s story nearly matched Scott’s, a man the woman (Deb) had never met or spoken to. She told the same story about a craigslist ad promising work on a ranch that the officer knew did not exist. He put the investigation in high drive.
The sheriff’s office called the FBI to get help determining the origin of the Craigslist ad and, in the meantime, sent officers and cadaver dogs back to the scene of Scott’s shooting. There, they unearthed a body, buried face-down in a shallow grave. Several personal items, including a bracelet, were also found. After speaking with Deb, and identifying the bracelet as her brother’s, Noble County Sheriff, Stephen Hannum knew he had a murder and a killer in his midst. Before leaving the woods, the officers also discovered a second grave. This grave was empty and the authorities would later understand that it had been prepared to hide the dead body of Scott.
Using the information that Scott had given them, outlining how he had met and ate breakfast with his attempted murderer, a man Scott knew only as Jack, the law identified, via video footage from the restaurant, a local man named Richard Beasley. As well, the FBI had traced the IP address of where the Craigslist ad had originated. It was located in Akron, Ohio.
Investigators headed to Akron but, upon locating the man who resided at the address given them by the FBI, Joe Bais, he assured them that he knew no one by the name Jack nor did he know any one named Richard Beasley. Likewise, he had never placed an ad on Craigslist. However, when he was shown a picture of Richard, the man did recognize him. In fact he had rented a room from Joe. But his name was Ralph Geiger! And he (Joe) had the man’s cell phone number.
Joe was instructed to call Geiger (Richard) and keep him on the phone so the authorities could trace the call. Within minutes, an FBI swat team arrested Richard Beasley at another house in Akron. Brogan Rafferty was arrested shortly after.
Authorities questioned 16 year old Brogan Rafferty and offered him a lesser punishment if he agreed to testify against Richard Beasley. He agreed and started putting all of the missing pieces into place for the law to see, some of which they didn’t even realize existed.
During the Rafferty interview the investigators learned that Ralph Geiger was actually the first victim and that once he had been lured to his death, Richard Beasley assumed the dead man’s identity and the game was on. David Pauley was the first to answer the Craigslist ad and the second man that Richard would lure into the woods, shoot, bury and sell his possessions. After burying David, a second grave was dug for the next victim when the time came. Scott Davis was next to be given the ‘job’ and all was going as planned until the gun jammed and gave Scott opportunity to escape. After that was Timothy Kern but his death was different. When Tim answered the ad and was given the position, he met up with Richard and Brogan just as the others had.
However, once Richard realized the man had less than $5 dollars to his name and even less that could be sold for money, Richard was miffed. Brogan then described how the man was lured into a wooded area near a deserted mall in Akron and simply shot for no more reason than his five dollar bill. His body was dumped in a shallow grave that Beasley had had him (Brogan) dig the night before.
The Craigslist Killer, Richard Beasley was given death for his crimes and Brogan, the 16 year old accomplice, was given life without opportunity for parole.
pic credit – Murderpedia