Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 9-2014

Publication Source

Pace Law Review


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.

This Craigslist ad was posted in 2011 by two residents of North-Central Ohio, Brogan Rafferty (age 16 at the time) and Richard Beasley (age 52 at the time). Of the four individuals (2 from within Ohio and 2 from outside of Ohio) who came to the farm to interview for this job posting, 3 were killed and robbed by Rafferty and Beasley. The fourth victim was shot but managed to escape and contact authorities. Both Rafferty and Beasley were apprehended, tried, and convicted. Rafferty was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole and Beasley is currently on Ohio’s Death Row.

For those bent on committing crimes, like Rafferty and Beasley, social media has opened up a whole new world. It has become the place where criminal defendants not only commit crimes, but also organize, plan, discuss, and even boast about their illegal activity. Numerous criminal defendants ranging from Fortune 500 corporate officers to street level petty thieves have used social media to facilitate their criminal conduct. Social media has even garnered the attention of criminal gangs. This in turn has led commentators to coin new phrases and terms like “cyberbanging.”

The adoption and use of social media by a broad spectrum of criminal defendants has raised some significant challenges for those tasked with crime prevention. This article will look at those challenges through the lens of three cases involving social media: United States v. Drew, United States v. Sayer, and United States v. Cassidy. However, prior to beginning that examination, this article will briefly discuss and categorize the various ways criminal defendants employ social media.

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Pace University





Place of Publication

New York, NY

Peer Reviewed