We found out how local law enforcement is having a difficult time battling the sex for money trade advertised on the website's erotic services section. But there is a far more sinister and dangerous side to this activity.
After last week's arrest of Philip Markoff, the so-called 'Craigslist Killer', you'd think women would be scared to solicit their services to strangers on Craigslist. We went onto the website's erotic services category and contacted a local woman who was a frequent advertiser. She told us, she's fully aware of the potential dangers associated with her business.
It's something she hoped would never happen.
"He grabbed my arm and started snatching on me."
Just like thousands of others around the world, this woman, who we willl call "Ashlyn", is a frequent advertiser in this section on Craigslist.
She's a local who says she's just trying to get by.
"A lot of women are trying to make money right now, times is hard."
One day her friends convinced her to post an ad on Craigslist, claiming she would cash in for something she already knew how to do best.
"I started out dancing. I was a dancer for 6 years."
Offering private dances for $170 an hour, the money started rolling in.
"They would get a hotel and we would go there, and I would do a dance for an hour and then I would leave."
But it was when the clients would hand over the money.
"That's when I have trouble"
She says that's when the aggression and demands would get out of hand. One night she got a call from a man who took interest in her erotic ad on Craigslist. That night she compromised her safety for a little bit of extra cash, letting her worst fears get the best of her.
I invited a man who I didn't know was obnoxious and drunk and I did it at my own home. I basically told him what he's getting…he's only getting a lap dance...So I started doing the dance and he came out and was like 'I didn't ask for the dance I wanted to have straight up sex.' "
Things got a little out of hand that night.
"I was thinking does this man have a knife, is this man going to cut me or shoot me?"
It turned out he did have a knife. Fortunately Ashlyn was armed with a can of pepper spray.
"That was my protection, I got away."
When asked if it was all worth it…
"No, No Not really, I would rather be on the street than lose my life." My mom and dad….they're always talking to me saying well, we wonder if you know, were going to get a call the next day, calling us saying hey your daughter is dead."
Although many might say this lifestyle is on the fringe of normal society, it's very lucrative, making it more common then you might think. But even innocent Craigslist ads can attract the wrong people.
-Insist on a public meeting place like a cafe
-Tell a friend or family member where you're going
-Take your cell phone along if you have one
-Consider having a friend accompany you
-Trust your instincts
Watch 'Craigslist or Victims List' Part 1.