I must admit that this story hit me pretty hard this morning. It’s not often that I get upset – I mean it seems like every day we’re bombarded with stories of violence, crime and debauchery, so it takes a lot these days to upset me.
I’m not really sure why this story affected me so much when I read it, but something about it hit me deep down inside. Maybe it’s because this man was a father, maybe it’s because he was just trying to do something nice for his parents, or maybe it’s because I’m so sick of seeing good people hurt by a culture that’s out of control.
Last week, National Guard Sergeant First Class Jim Vester was killed while trying to buy his parents an iPad that he found listed on Craigslist.
Police say the whole thing was a setup from the beginning, and two Indianapolis brothers have now been charged in the killing of the Iraq war veteran. Phone records showed the moments that lead up to the killing:
Phone records show at 3:05 p.m., Vester texted “Can I get your address”
At 3:14, the suspects responded, “920 Wyckford Dr”
Then four minutes later, the suspects texted, “tell me wen your getting close so I can direct you.”
Then at 3:49pm Vester says, “are you here?”
The return text was immediate, “yes.”
Five minutes later Jim Vester was shot and killed.
I almost didn’t write anything about it, but I felt the need to talk about it for a couple of reasons. First, I think we’ve reached a pretty sad place in this country when people are willing to kill over such a trivial amount of money. This was a man’s life. A father; a son; a husband, and now he’s gone. And for what, a couple hundred dollars?
On her Facebook page, Jim’s wife wrote:
I am so happy his story has went viral worldwide so maybe people will think twice about trying to run a scam/robbery/murder through Craigslist or any other site. I want to focus on all of the good Jim brought to this world and not focus on the people who did this to him please. God has given me more strength in this situation than I ever thought was possible. This past Friday a rainbow was in the sky and my sister sent it to me; she said it wasn’t raining or anything just there in the sky. I know it was Jim saying he was at peace now. God works in mysterious ways.
Which brings me to the second reason I’m writing about this story, I want this to serve as a warning for everyone who uses these internet sites to buy and sell goods. I know a lot of our readers use sites like Craigslist to save money on their preparedness items, and with the holidays coming up I know a lot of people are probably using those sites to buy gifts for family and friends.
I wrote an article on protecting yourself while buying and selling on craigslist a while back, and I want to make sure that anyone who uses these sites are aware of the risks, and are able to take adequate precautions when using them. The internet has become a haven for criminals, and sites like craigslist have become infiltrated by the scum of the earth.
Last, I can’t even imagine the pain this family is going through. Jim Vester was a husband, and he was a father to a one year old son, Gavin. His family has set up a memorial fund to help the family with expenses. The fundraising page can be viewed here.