To see more about the crimes Richard Beasley and Brogan Rafferty committed, click here to buy the Beacon Journal eBook The Craigslist Killings.
Prosecutors have revealed new evidence against accused Craigslist killer Richard James Beasley, calling him an identity thief who used the name of one of his victims, Ralph Geiger of Akron, in a job application after Geiger was shot to death in August 2011.
An Akron woman who attended the second day of Beasley’s capital murder trial Tuesday took that assertion one step farther, saying she knew Beasley through a family member as “the ultimate con artist.”
Crystal Quarterman, 36, said her mother-in-law, who lives with her in Akron, wound up marrying Beasley after becoming a pen pal with him when he was imprisoned several years ago for crimes in Texas.
She and her mother-in-law never fully understood what put him behind bars there, she said.
“He never gave us a straight reason why,” Quarterman told the Beacon Journal outside the common pleas courtroom of Judge Lynne Callahan, who is hearing the case against Beasley.
He is accused of killing three men and wounding a fourth from August to November 2011. All of the men had answered a Craigslist want ad for a bogus job in Noble County.
When Beasley was paroled in Texas, he first told Quarterman’s family it was because of a firearms arrest, she said. “Then it was breaking and entering, then it was drugs. The whole thing is just bizarre.”
Quarterman and her cousin, John Life, 26, also of Akron, attended Tuesday’s trial session as moral support for a prosecution witness, Lois Hood, who is a sister of Quarterman’s mother-in-law.
Hood told the jury she lives with her husband, Jerry “Country” Hood, and their son, Jerry “County” Hood, in Caldwell — the seat of Noble County in southern Ohio where prosecutors say two of the Craigslist slayings occurred.
On the witness stand, Lois Hood had no trouble identifying Beasley, who was seated in a wheelchair several feet away, in what was apparently a prosecution attempt to shed light on Beasley’s past.
Lois Hood said her husband was friends with Beasley and that the two often attended club meetings of the Brothers Motorcycle Gang. Her husband headed the club as past president.
About a year after Beasley got out of prison in Texas, Hood said, her sister divorced him. She did not explain why.
Quarterman said she first got to know Beasley in October 2008. It wasn’t long after, she said, when Beasley tried to get her mother-in-law involved in a scam.
He tried rigging a raffle for a nice watch, never intending to deliver it, she said, “so he could just do it over again and keep the money.”
“He was talking to my mother-in-law about this, but she didn’t want anything to do with it,” Quarterman said.
She said Beasley then tried to run a scam from obituary columns, contacting relatives of the deceased to try to collect for an embossed Bible that he claimed had been bought earlier.
“He’s just an awful person,” Quarterman said of her observations of Beasley. “He’s the ultimate con artist.”
Letters called untrue
Her mother-in-law knew she had to get away from Beasley, becoming afraid of him after reading his letters from prison.
“When he got out,” Quarterman said, “she soon realized what he said in all the letters just wasn’t true.”
Quarterman said she was shocked when she began reading the dark news stories of the Craigslist shootings, but not surprised by Beasley’s alleged involvement.
“I knew he was capable of something like this,” she said.
Beasley’s trial, on three counts of aggravated murder and other crimes, is expected to last several weeks.
Prosecutors unveiled the identity theft allegations in opening statements Monday by saying Beasley preyed on men down on their luck and out of work.
Ed Meyer can be reached at 330-996-3784 or firstname.lastname@example.org.