A handful of grisly murders in at least two states have been found to have one striking fact in common: the victims, all young women, have posted on the website Back.
In January last year, a young mother and her 3-year-old daughter were found dead in their apartment in Columbia, South Carolinain what a coroner described as one of the most horrific murder cases involving he had ever seen. As police released new details they hoped might help to find the killer of Candra Alston, 25, and her little girl Malaysia Boykin this week, they confirmed for the first time that they were exploring the possibility of a link to Back.
Detectives in Columbia, who said this week that a computer and other items were missing from Alston's apartment, have never revealed how she or her daughter were killed. However, the fact that Alston had posted to Back. A month ago, hundreds of miles north in Detroit, Michiganthe bodies of four young women were found in pairs in the trunk of burnt out cars, a week apart.
Three of them, police said, had placed online dealing with "prearranged adult dating services" on Back. They have not said which three had dealt with the website, and relatives of Landers and Hunt, who described them as "good girls", have said neither were escorts.
Police have issued warnings to women in the area against setting up meetings with strangers online. No suspects have yet been identified in any of the cases, a police spokewoman said, and there is no suggestion that the killings in South Carolina and Michigan are in any way connected.
However, news that Alston had placed an ad on Back. Critics say the site makes it easier for violent individuals to target women who work in the sex industry.
protests against the listings include a letter by 51 attorney generals, a full ad in the New York Times and the recent picketing of the Village Voice offices in New York by a coalition of women's rights, anti-trafficking groups and prominent campaigners including Gloria Steinem. Campaigners, who have so far concentrated their efforts against the site on the impact it has on children, say it also gives a platform for traffickers to offer underage children for sex.
Ken Franzblau, a consultant on anti-trafficking at the woman's rights group Equality Now said the website makes it easier for violent criminals to target sex workers. Craigslist was formerly one of the most active online sites for adult servicebut dropped such from its site after pressure from Congress and attorney generals after it, too, was linked to a series of murders.
CATW accuses Back of "mainstreaming online pimping" by providing a vehicle for sex traffickers to reach those who will buy and sell women and children for sex. I'd like to ask the COE how many more people have to die before they put public safety over profit.
In December, following news about the three women found murdered in Detroit linked to the website, a lawyer for Back. US news.
This article is more than 9 years old. The victims of several murders — hundreds of miles apart — all posted on Back.
Police have issued warnings to women against setting up meetings with strangers online. Karen McVeigh. Reuse this content.