Samuel Goldberg has been a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney for 20 years. Prior to that, he was a New York state prosecutor. He has published various articles regarding the practice of criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on outlets such as the Fox News Channel, Court TV, MSNBC and The BBC Network. To speak to Sam about a criminal matter call (617) 492 3000.

A Boston Defense Attorney Discusses MA Tales Of Murder, Robbery And Craigslist

The Boston Criminal Lawyer Blog acknowledges that this was a bad weekend for Craigslist. Of course, some others would be quick to suggest it was a bad weekend for escorts. Let’s just say it was an eerily coincidental weekend for alleged criminals who prey upon Craigslist advertisers.

Remember the so-called “Craigslist Killer” from around a year ago? Well, before we hit the update on that particular gentleman, let’s discuss what may be his protégé…Luther H. (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) a man from Brockton. He is accused of robbing a female (alleged) escort at gunpoint after arranging a meeting with her through Craigslist, a classified advertisement website.

Although arraigned on August 5th for the July 9th incident, the Defendant’s tale hit the list of the infamous this past weekend. Plymouth District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz announced that the Defendant and his temporary ladyfriend had agreed to meet to exchange sexual services for pay at a “predetermined location”. Said location was apparently a vacant house.

At said house, the Defendant is said to have surprised the escort by what he pulled out. It was a gun. He then allegedly ordered her to strip and restrained her using zip-cuffs. Next, the Defendant asked his complainant-to-be what possessions she had for him to steal, to which she replied that her valuables were in her car.

According to Cruz, the Defendant stole the victim’s money, purse, laptop, and cellphone from her car.

Apparently, authorities are also investigating the Defendant in another robbery that took place in early August, in which another escort advertising her services on Craigslist was ordered to strip at gunpoint and was robbed, Cruz said.

The Defendant has been arraigned on charges of armed robbery, armed kidnapping, and witness intimidation, Cruz said. He was released on $200,000 bail and is due in court on September 8th.

Upon reading this story, I wondered why the press has not labeled the Defendant the “Craigslist Robber” as they did with the “Craigslist Killer”. I also expected that our law enforcement leaders would do what they did last time…blame the whole thing on sex ads and prostitution.

Instead, the news came from another direction. From the “Craigslist Killer” himself.

He has allegedly killed again. This time, the target seems to have been himself.

Stabbed and suffocated.

Attorney Sam’s Take:

The question of media coverage of criminal cases has been long debated. After all, it was the media who dubbed the “Craigslist Killer” and who has not yet named the Defendant. It tends to be the media that determines which suspects will become infamous and who will fly below the radar.

Part of those determinations, I suppose, are the creators of copy-cat criminals. Is the Defendant a copycat of the Craigslist Killer? Did he simply get the idea of victimizing sex workers who advertise through Craigslist?

On the other hand, without the media, we do not know what is going on. Don’t we have the right to know what is happening in our courtrooms? Sure we do. And yet…do we really get a realistic view of the criminal justice system when the media is involved?

I have handled, and am handling, various high-profile matters. I can tell you that media interest changes criminal cases in terms of how they are handled. Suddenly, all the participants are aware that all their efforts (regardless of which side they are on) will be watched and second-guessed by various arm-chair would-be trial experts. Further, the fear over covering one’s backside becomes even more pronounced.

The problem with this is that real Justice seems to slide further away from consideration.

What does this have to do with you?

Simple.

If you have been arrested, or are being investigated, you do not get to choose whether there will be media interest in your case. If there is, though, you had better be ready to confront the realities that it will bring.

In other words, it is another area in which you want to be sure that your lawyer has experience. So, the advice is the same as usual. Whatever kind of case you have, you want to be represented by experienced and talented counsel.

After all, you are likely to get only one chance at coming out of the system’s clutches semi-unscathed.

Anyway, if you are facing serious charges and would like to consult with me regarding representing you , please feel free to give me a call at 617-492-3000 .

To view the original stories upon which today’s blog was based, please go to http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2010/08/14/craigslist_escorts_are_robbed/ and http://www.ny1.com/content/top_stories/123816/accused–craigslist-killer–found-dead-in-boston-jail

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