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These killers are sometimes referred to in the media as "Craigslist killers"; the first use of the term Craigslist killings may date to October 31, 2007, when the phrase appeared in a headline in the Saint Paul Pioneer Press in Minnesota, in reference to the murder of Katherine Olson by Michael John Anderson, who was then dubbed "the Craigslist killer".

Since 2007, several suspected and convicted perpetrators have met their victims or solicited murder through Craigslist.

Angela said she was lonely and enjoyed the personal connection that the scam provided her.

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Mark pleaded guilty to attempted murder and was sentenced to two years supervision. As an article in the New York Daily News explained in 2009, "Long before there was a craigslist or dot-com dating, there were places where men and women who were too shy or busy to meet face to face could find romance.

Calling themselves "matrimonial bureaus," these organizations were known mostly as the "lonely hearts clubs," and they flourished through the middle of the 20th century." It was in venues like these—print media such as newspaper classified ads and personal or lonely hearts club ads—that 20th century murderers such as Harry Powers, the so-called "Matrimonial Bureau Murderer," met their victims.

We do not, for example, refer to killings orchestrated over the telephone as 'tele-murder' or by snail mail as 'mail murder.' It seems that this is not a cybercrime, that it is simply a real-world crime the commission of which happens to involve the use of computer technology," but she conceded that "there may be reasons to treat conduct such as this differently and to construe it as something other than a conventional crime." The following individuals have been arrested and/or convicted of crimes in which police claimed that Internet services such as chat rooms and Craigslist advertisements were used to contact victims or hire a murderer.

Despite sharing a similar method of contacting victims, they apparently have varied motivations.

Electronic advertising has gradually replaced printed ads and the internet is now a venue where murderers who employ a similar modus operandi can meet their victims; in Schecter's Encyclopedia, the entry for "Ads" mentions internet dating and the use of internet ads by the so-called "Internet Cannibal" Armin Meiwes.

Since 2007, several accused and convicted killers have contacted victims through advertising services such as Craigslist, a popular classified advertising website.

The fabricated life stories and photographs that they cobble together online often contain the experiences, friends, resumes and job titles that they wish were their own, providing a complete window into how these scammers want the world to see them - and how far they fall from those ideals.

The emergence of such elaborate social schemes online was brought to light in a shocking way in the 2010 documentary 'Catfish,' in which 28-year-old Nev Schulman fell in love with a gorgeous young woman's Facebook profile and her voice over the phone - both of which turned out to belong to a middle-aged wife and mother.

Of those cases, two were convicted for crimes in the three-month period encompassing February to April 2009 and a further four were accused of crimes during the 13-month span of March 2008 through April 2009.

Although, by definition, Craigslist will have been the initial contact point and a killing will have taken place in order for the suspected, accused, or convicted perpetrator to be dubbed a Craigslist killer, the actual motivations of these criminals are varied.

Depending on the venue used, other terms used in the media are Internet chat room killer, Craigslist killer, Facebook serial killer.

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