Classified Killers 

Besieged by politicians and media, Craigslist´s founder finds an unlikely ally: A victim’s family.

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In October 2007, Katherine Olson was looking for work. Since graduating summa cum laude from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minn., with a dual degree in theater and Hispanic studies, she’d mostly cobbled together part-time jobs—waitressing, teaching Spanish, coaching high school speech.

Olson was looking at nanny listings on Craigslist.org when she came across an ad from a mother who needed someone to look after her 5-year-old daughter. Olson sent an e-mail saying she was interested, and the mother, Amy, agreed to hire her from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25. Amy sent along her address in nearby Savage, about 18 miles southwest of Minneapolis.

A pretty 24-year-old with freckles and tight red curls, Olson wore a pink fleece jacket and spandex stretch pants on the day of the babysitting job. She parked her gold 2003 Hyundai Elantra outside the light teal home and walked up the paved driveway.

But when the front door opened, it wasn’t Amy who answered. It was a paunchy young man with acne, armed with a Ruger .357 Magnum Blackhawk revolver.

His name was Michael Anderson, and he would soon be dubbed “The Craigslist Killer.”

This story was originally published in the Minneapolis City Pages on May 6, 2009.

Read the entire article on the City Pages website.

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