DETROIT, Mich (WXYZ) - Three of the four Detroit women murdered within a week, had profiles posted in the escort section of an online website.
"It's terrifying to think that you know anything like that is happening around here," said an escort we talked with who did not want to be identified. She has a profile posted in the escort section of the website Backpage.com, the same site where three of the four murdered women had posted profiles. The online site is similar to Craigslist. Users can buy and sell items and services, everything from used cars to sex. Craigslist shut down their adult services section in 2010.
"We don't have very many ways to keep ourselves safe other than to go by the sound of the guy's voice," said the woman who did not want to be identified. She asked us to conceal her identity because she uses the site as a part time job, selling her body to support her and her daughter.
"I tried working 40 hours a week with a family to support on my own and after I figured in daycare costs, taxes, and health insurance for me and my daughter, I was ending up taking home $75 dollars a week," said the woman. She says private meeting with a man pay a whole lot more. "It's a risk that we take when we choose a certain profession like this," she said.
Detroit Police issued a public safety alert after women started paying with their lives. Two of the murdered women were found on December 19, and the other two women were found on December 25. Both times two bodies were found in the trunk of a burning car on Detroit's east side.
"It's hard not to think about all the time, it's really scary to think that something like that could happen," said the unidentified escort. She also has a warning for other working women meeting up with strangers.
"If they can't give you another girls phone number that they have spent time with so they can vouch for his behavior, that he was safe and everything, don't see him. It's not worth it," she said.
The website Backpage.com has been on the defensive with attorney generals from different states and religious groups since 2010, after the site was linked to an underage human trafficking ring. The site, which is owned by The Village Voice Media, has defended their adult services section in the past and has warnings posted for users on the site.
Police are just short of calling this predator a serial killer.