November 11, 2013
Troy LaFerrara is strangled and stabbed to death by newlyweds Elytte and Miranda Barbour
Miranda (18) and LaFerrara met on Craigslist after Miranda posted an ad for escort services. The two met in Miranda’s car; unbeknownst to LaFerrara, Elytte (22) was hiding in the backseat awaiting the code phrase “Did you see the stars tonight?” After the phrase was uttered, Elytte strangled LaFerrara from behind with a cord while Miranda stabbed him 20 times. The couple robbed LaFerrara of his money, searched for a remote location to dump his body, then cleaned their car of blood. The body was found the next morning. LaFerrara’s cellphone was found and texts to Miranda quickly led police to her and her husband.
The motive behind the attack has varied through the investigation and trial. Miranda — whose uncle was jailed in 1998 for raping her when she was 3 years old — first claimed the attack was self-defense, that LaFerrara molested her in the car. She also claimed she tried to give him an “out” by lying to LaFerrara and claiming she was underage, then killing him when he stated he didn’t mind.
Yet another claim involved a supposed Satanic cult. Miranda told reporter Francis Scarcella, “My entire life went upside down when I turned 12. I got into a gang, based around Satanism. I always felt there was something inside of me, and I knew it was bad, and one day it would be totally out of control. This is not the first time.” When asked how many she had killed, Miranda replied. “I guess… I know that when I hit 22 I stopped counting.” Most of these victims, according to Miranda, were involved with child rape. Investigators looked into the details of Miranda’s alleged victims but could find no evidence to link her to any additional murders, and the claims have largely been dismissed.
Elytte, however, presented a different motive: “We just decided that we were going to kill somebody. We had no reason other than that.”
Whether LaFerrara was killed for thrills, to add to an aspiring serial killer’s victim count, or as an analogue for Miranda’s rapist remains unclear. Regardless of their reasoning behind the killing, the Barbours accepted a plea agreement to second-degree murder and were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Sanghani, Radhika. “The girl who killed a man for kicks.” BBC. July 5, 2018. Accessed: November 11, 2019. https://www.bbc.co.uk/bbcthree/article/c72cac4e-8e31-4baf-84ce-29e8041ebc19
Lee, Peggy. “Troy LaFerrara’s Wife Reacts To “Thrill Killers” Plea Agreement.” WNEP. August 26, 2014. Accessed: November 11, 2019. https://wnep.com/2014/08/26/troy-laferraras-wife-reacts-to-thrill-killers-plea-agreement/amp/
Lysiak, Matthew. “Exclusive: Craigslist Killer Miranda Barbour Tells How and Why She Killed.” Newsweek. April 28, 2014. Accessed: November 11, 2019. https://www.newsweek.com/2014/05/09/exclusive-craigslist-killer-miranda-barbour-tells-how-and-why-she-killed-248670.html