NEW YORK (WPIX)—Craigslist is finally cleaning up its act. Officials announced Wednesday, the website's plans to remove its trouble-ridden "erotic services" section from the popular site. The move comes on the heels of two brutal murders of a local masseuse and a New York City radio reporter.
Craigslist, which has been called by some officials the "largest source of prostitution in America," will replace the erotic section with an "adult" category that will be monitored by employees of the site. Such listings posted in the new category will expire in 7 days, officials say.
The creators of the San Francisco-based site began receiving mounting pressure from law enforcement officials after medical student Philip Markoff, 23, was charged with killing Julissa Brisman in a Boston hotel. The pair apparently met on April 14 through Craigslist. Markoff, who has since been dubbed the "Craigslist Killer," pleaded not guilty in the case.
In addition, the decision was made after WABC radio news man George Weber, 47, was found dead in his Brooklyn Heights apartment on March 20. A 16-year-old boy, whom authorities say Weber met through Cragislist for sex, is accused of stabbing Weber 50 times.
The attorneys general of Illinois, Connecticut and Missouri met with Craiglist officials last week seeking an end to the racy listings category.
"We will be monitoring closely to make sure that this measure is more than a name change from erotic to adult and that the manual blocking is tough and effective to scrub prostitution and pornography" said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal.