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Months after Craigslist purchase turned deadly, widow speaks out

Months After Craigslist Purchase Turned Deadly, Young Widow Speaks Out

Four months after her husband died in a Craigslist purchase gone bad, a young widow is speaking out for change in the community, FOX59 reports.

Before Jim Vester's death in December, violence was the last thing on his wife Jamie's mind.

"(I) paid attention to it but it didn't really ... hit me until ... it actually happened. Now I'm very aware of everything that's been going on," Jamie Vester said.

Sgt. First Class Jim Vester, who served in the Indiana National Guard, was answering a Craigslist ad to buy an iPad as a Christmas present. Two teenage brothers were later charged with ambushing Vester, shooting and killing him.

"Jim was always helping people and he still is, because this story is still going," Jamie said.

Not only has his story showed the dangers of buying online, but it's changing now, pushing Jamie to reach out.

That became even more clear after recent violence left other women in the same position. In particular, Jamie reached out to Jennifer Trapuzzano, whose husband Nathan was murdered on his daily walk April 1.

"She is the only person who knows what I went through and I know what she's going through," Vester said.

In mementos and photos, even more than the typical family since Jamie is a wedding photographer, she still has Jim with her. She especially remembers his great cooking and loud, lovable personality.

"Jim was a big storyteller. He could tell any story and it would be really funny," Vester said.

Now, it's become her story. One she's using to bring this message to you: reach out, be a mentor and help change your community.

"I'm really calling out to the males to get out there and mentor those boys and maybe we could prevent some of this violence," Vester said. "Every single person could use somebody to love them and be there for them."

To see more of Jamie's message, read her recent blog post here.

Join the discussion

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Jo April 14 2014 at 10:44 AM

I buy from stores I know, too many counterfeit or stolen items out there and I'd rather lose money and sell items to people I know instead of posting on Craigslist.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
KatsKorner50 April 14 2014 at 10:54 AM

You have to meet somewhere public to make any exchanges or refuse the purchace. How sad that a child had to loose his father for this point to be driven home. So sad. Those guys are such scum.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
walkerdalvin April 14 2014 at 10:54 AM

I knew i didnt buy from craigslist for a reason. Im sorry for your loss ma'am.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
sabrina April 14 2014 at 8:15 PM

If you have to purchase or sell on craigslist, always insist ion meeting in a crowded place in the daytime. Never meet at your home, or in a secluded place. This goes for men and women. I'm so sorry for your loss....

Flag Reply +9 rate up
Rick Breton April 14 2014 at 7:35 PM

Craigslist is being used and abused by lots of people. I will never comprehend how anyone who has to register on Craigslist to sell (confirmed ID) could possibly expect to get away with robbing and/or murdering the customers they baited. How do they think they will get away with it? Regardless, when you are looking for a bargain, it is not worth the risk to deal with strangers on their turf. If they don't want to meet you in a safe public place or a police station parking lot, they have something to hide. Not only are you at personal risk of bodily harm, but you may even be buying stolen items. Check out Amazon and ebay if you want to shop on line. The UPS or FedEx man is not a threat to you!

Flag Reply +5 rate up
cansadopadres April 14 2014 at 7:30 PM

I'm so sorry for your lost, This is sad and the fact to get robbed and killed trying to buy something.
evil 's out there. Rip

Flag Reply +6 rate up
John April 14 2014 at 7:13 PM

This is happening alot with purchases thru online sellers.
There maybe should be stores set up to move the item and cash thru a mediary system.
I just did jury duty where a guy was murdered thru a Carigs List add, shot for his cash which he thought was buying an item listed .
I guess we need to wake up and be careful, the bad guys have moved online !

Flag Reply +2 rate up
arcoregar April 14 2014 at 12:01 PM

Look up the story and see the two punks that did this...sooooooooooooooooooooo typical.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
1 reply
holly arcoregar April 14 2014 at 12:21 PM

Typical weakling negro youth with a gun and homies to back themselves up. WEAK

Flag Reply +2 rate up
wahl1024 April 14 2014 at 7:06 PM

Some of these comments are very dumb...this isn't a Craigslist problem it's a society problem.

Flag Reply +9 rate up
1 reply
dmfischetti wahl1024 April 14 2014 at 8:24 PM

True. The sickos are using Craigslist. Not the other way around. Sad.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
kitchenman4u April 14 2014 at 6:37 PM

I am so sad to hear of you, and your family's heartbreaking loss.
Your husband sounded like a wonderful caring, decent man.
I am sure a lot of people did, and would have liked to have Jim
As an actual real friend.
God bless you and yours! Keep Courage, Keep Smiling, Keep Strong.

Flag Reply +11 rate up
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