Tragically, Sue’s death is not an isolated incident. The Sue Weaver CAUSE vows to promote education and awareness in the memory of those that have lost their lives to unsafe service employment.
Share your story. Contact CAUSE.
2013 | Philadelphia, PA
Melissa Ketunuti, 35, was a second year infectious-diseases fellow, researcher, and pediatrician. She hired an exterminator, Jason Smith, who strangled and bound her, and set her home on fire. This case is unique in that this man did not have a criminal record. There were, however, signs that he was unsafe, and we can certainly learn from it.
2009 | New York, NY
Eridiana Rodriguez, 46, was a wife, mother, and grandmother who immigrated from the Dominican Republic. She was working as a cleaning woman in a Manhattan high rise when Joseph Pabon, an elevator operator, murdered her and hid her body in an air duct. He had a history of violent and criminal behavior which was clearly not taken into consideration upon his employment.
2006 | Chicago, IL
Janice Ordidge and Urzula Sakowska were both murdered just months apart by Anthony Triplett, a contractor for a national cable company. A background check was performed and he had no previous criminal record, but this is a prime example of why we preach ‘Never be home alone with a service worker; invite a friend over for coffee’. Janice mentioned to her boyfriend that she felt uncomfortable during the service call. TRUST those instincts. While background screening is a great tool to weed out potential predators, it’s crucial to take other precautions when a stranger is coming into your home. In 2013, Triplett was sentenced to life in prison without parole.
2005 | Rockland County, New York
Mary Nagle, 42, was a wife and mother. She and her husband hired the contractor Color-On who send an illegal immigrant, Hererra Castellanos, to power wash their deck. He entered their home without permission, raped, beat, and murdered Mrs. Nagle. Mr. Hererra was wanted on a 2002 warrant, and no background check was performed.
2001 | Douglas County, Nebraska
Jane Doe 1, raped in her home by David Taitte, a delivery driver for TK Pizza, (a Domino Pizza franchise). When Taitte applied for the job he had been in prison 16 times and had a history of sexual assault. He is now serving 25-30 years. No background check was performed.
2000 | Alamo, California
Dr. Kim Fang, a plastic surgeon, was murdered by ex-convict Mesa Kasem (and an accomplice) while working as a delivery man for an auction house. Kasem’s first conviction – for firearms offenses – was when he was 17. He was also a gang member. No background check was performed.
1999 | Norcross, Georgia
Melissa Danielle Jennings, murdered by the apartment complex maintenance man, Calvin Oliver, a convicted rapist. Oliver’s criminal record, spanning almost 20 years, included armed robbery, burglary, robbery by force and credit card fraud. At the time that he was hired by the apartment complex, TGM Ashley Lakes Inc., there was an outstanding warrant for his arrest on theft check charges. He is sentenced to life in prison for murder. No background check was performed.
1999 | Kansas City, Missouri
Mary Ruth Bales, 80, beaten to death in her home by an ex convict, Wesley Purkey, working as a plumber. He had spent the last 25 years in prison for various violent felonies including aggravated robbery, burglary, assault and kidnapping. No background check was performed.
1998 | Alameda, California
Dr. Kerry Spooner-Dean, pediatrician, was robbed and stabbed to death in her home by Jerrol Woods. When hired by America’s Best Carpet Care, Woods was on parole following a 12-year prison sentence for armed robbery. He had multiple robbery convictions dating back more than 30 years. He was convicted for life without parole. No background check was performed.
1998 | Kenton County, Kentucky
Ramona Jean Williamson, was strangled to death by Fred Furnish an employee of Tech Dry. After killing Mrs. Williamson, Furnish used her debit cards to withdraw money from her bank accounts. Furnish had several convictions in Kentucky and Indiana for theft, burglary, receiving stolen money by fraud, and assaulting a prison guard prior to being hired by Tech Dry. No background check was performed.
1996 | Alameda, California
Terina Ferminick, a minister’s wife, was raped and stabbed to death in the rectory by carpet cleaner, Giles Nadey. He had two previous felony convictions. No background check was performed.
1996 | Texas
Jane Doe 2. Kirby Co., a vacuum cleaner manufacturer, was found liable as one its distributors hired a door-to-door salesperson with a criminal record who raped a female customer in her home. No background check was performed.
1995 | Dallas County, Texas
Hall Fin Group was found liable when the brother of the apartment’s assistant manager killed a female tenant. The assistant manager had a criminal record. No background check was performed.
1994 | Florida
Two students murdered by an employee of Rainbow International Carpet Drying and Cleaning Co., while cleaning a carpet in their home. Employee had prior arrest for drugs, carrying a concealed weapon and resisting arrest with violence. No background check was performed.
1993 | Maryland
Jane Doe 3, sexually assaulted in her home by Arthur Von Lanier who had a long criminal record when he started cleaning carpets for Sears. No background check was performed.
Kristi Reade sued the Kirby Company, maker of vacuum cleaners, after a salesman sexually assaulted her in her home. Hired by an independent distributor, he was on probation at the time for indecency with a child. No background check was performed.
1991 | Boston, Massachusetts
Alba Pellegrini and John Ward. This 77 year-old grandmother and her 32 year-old quadriplegic grandson were murdered by Jesse Rogers, working as a home health care aide for Trusted Health Resources. When hired, Rogers had six larceny-related convictions. He had been stealing from Ward and murdered them to cover up the thefts. No background check was performed.
Jane Doe 4, raped in her home by convicted felon John Cramer, working as a meter reader. No background check was performed.
Elizabeth Harris was violently attacked by a deliveryman employed by Tallahassee Furniture. He was a convicted criminal with a history of mental illness. No background check was performed.