"Craigslist Killer" Arraigned

Nickname shows how crimes have tarnished San Francisco-based bulletin board's name

By Jackson West
|  Monday, Jun 22, 2009  |  Updated 2:45 PM PDT
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"Craigslist Killer" Arraigned

InfoMofo / Flickr

Craigslist's humble storefront doesn't inspire a lot of confidence they can manage public perception.

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Craigslist is beloved as a great place to find housing, jobs, romance -- and true-crime stories.

Philip Markoff, who's been nicknamed the "Craigslist Killer," has plead not guilty to charges of murder, robbery and kidnapping in Massachusetts. And that's just the biggest story in a long list of crimes arranged or abetted through the popular site.

Craigslist, founded by nebbishy programmer Craig Newmark, publicly prides itself on helping investigations into incidents. But as the site grows, so do the stories about scams and shadowy subcultures surface in the media.

Granted, newspapers for one have little reason to like Craigslist and other online classifieds site, since those tiny ads were once a profit center.

Craigslist, in its home city of San Francisco and elsewhere, is already eponymous for classifieds, like Kleenex for tissue or Xerox for copiers. But if a trickle of bad news turns into a flood, a lot of baggage might get picked up for the ride.

Photo by Flickr user InfoMofo

Jackson West thinks Craig is a nice enough guy, but wonders if he knows what he's gotten himself into.

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