An idle brain is the Devil’s shop.
It’s probably just as applicable today, especially with those recently unemployed in the legal profession.
Henry Russell (supposedly a fake name) is a 37-year-old Los Angeles attorney who has just released a new book, Craigslist Casual Encounters: The Hilarious and Disturbing World of Seeking Sex Online. A year after losing his job he decided it was a good idea to start posting fake advertisements on CraigsList, starting with dryer lint and quickly escalating to ads seeking sex.
Often impersonating a woman, he would attempt to bait men using outrageously absurd and outlandish advertisements. And people still responded. Russell recently shared some of the stories found in his book with The Globe, and is seeking a movie deal.
Of course it’s all fun and games, until it isn’t. Russell notes that at least once he has had to contact the police – about one man’s incestuous relationship with his sister, and his intentions to have a daughter for his son to experiment with.
This past week Connecticut police arrested 42-year-old Philip James Conran, an unemployed married cook, in conjunction with his fake CraigsList hookup ad on April 5. The main difference is that Conran allegedly targeted a real person – his neighbour. The ad was titled “Looking for lust,” and expressed an open invitation for men to drop by, and the address was freely provided.
Conran was reportedly motivated by a neighbourly dispute with the woman, who had more than half a dozen people park near the house or come to the door before the ad was removed, with others slowly circling the neighbourhood in their car.
Fraudulent CraigsList ads have led to criminal charges in the past, including a case with one woman in Wyoming raped by a stranger who thought he was responding to a violent rape fantasy advertisement.
Conran has been charged with reckless endangerment, harassment, criminal trespass and risk of injury to a minor.