When soon-to-be parents Brooke Ann Slocum and Charles Oppenneer found themselves in financial straits they turned to Craigslist in hopes that a generous stranger would answer their ad, but what they got was more than they had bargained for.
On July 2, 2014 Slocum posted to the online classified site:
“I need $50 by 330pm today. I can pay you back later tonight but I need gas and some mess quick! Everyone has bronchitis at my house and I do not want to get sick! I’m 8 months pregnant and my lungs are all squished as is…if you could help me and my daughter will greatly appreciate it!”
according to documents obtained by a Detroit-area CBS affiliate. Ten days later the couple would get a reply to the ad.
Under the handle “Mike’s Hard,” Brady Oestrike reached out to the couple and there was the suggestion of exchanging cash for sex. Oestrike agreed to give the couple $120, after Oppenneer assured him that there would be no “male-on-male action” involved. They all agreed that they would meet at a public park around midnight that same night.
The following day police found an abandoned Saab registered to Charles Oppenneer. They had little doubt due to evidence found at the scene that Oppenneer had been murdered. It would be four more days until they uncovered Oppenneer’s body concealed within a pile of sticks.
After the discovery of Oppenneer’s body, investigators learned that Oppenneer’s girlfriend, Brooke Slocum, had also been missing.
Unlike Oppenneer, Oestrike chose not to kill Brook. For five days Slocum was kept caged in a dog crate and tortured repeatedly. Throughout this period Oestrike caught most of the footage on a CCTV system he had installed. The video cuts out shortly before 1pm on July 17, 2014. At the time, Slocum had still been alive.
A roommate was able to tell investigators that they knew that the couple had posted ads to Craigslist. Police were able to use the couple’s own computer and track the messages back to Brady Oestrike.
Police had been preparing to raid Oestrike’s home, when Oestrike fled the residence. He took police on a brief chase that ended at the Burton Street on-ramp. Oestrike crashed his car, then shot and killed himself. Inside the trunk of his car, the body of Brooke Slocum had been recovered. Investigators believe that Oestrike had strangled her earlier that same day.
Media sources were able to obtain photos of Oestrike’s home, revealing a man’s slow descent into paranoia and madness. Various weapons, sex toys, and medieval collectibles littered the home, along with some of Oestrike’s writings.
According to Oestrike’s family they never saw any warning signs, but Oestrike had a series of bad relationships,which may have been a partial motive behind the murders.