If you think it's hard finding a job in a rough economy, try being pregnant and looking for work. It's a scary world out there. And the murder of pregnant mom Deanna Ballman, who answered a Craigslist ad to clean a doctor's house last year, doesn't make it any easier.
Ballman was working odd jobs until she gave birth, when she hoped to find something steady. But that never happened. Deanna Ballman was raped and murdered with an injection of a lethal dose of heroin. Her unborn baby, Mabel, also died that day.
Ballman left behind two older children.
Her sister, as executor of her estate, is now suing the doctor who allegedly killed her, along with Craigslist and the hospital where the doctor worked before his medical license was suspended, for $40 million. The money could take care of her kids, kids whose mom was killed in part because of the work that she was doing to care for them.
Not that any of this is Deanna Ballman's fault. Not by a long-shot.
Cops say that is on Dr. Ali Salim who is charged with two counts of murder as well as rape, felonious assault, corrupting another with drugs, kidnapping, tampering with evidence, and abuse of a corpse.
But the choices she was stuck with, that she was so desperate for work, certainly hurt her in the end.
Whether her alleged killer -- Dr. Salim's case is still working its way through the criminal courts -- was able to overpower her because of her pregnant state or not, we don't know. But there's no doubt here that her pregnancy played a role in her death. It made her desperate, desperate enough to take a job in a private house, a job that wasn't tied to an agency or service.
There is ALWAYS a risk when you work in someone else's home. You're on their territory, for one, and you're in a private place, where things can go on sight unseen. Going in on your own, without the backup of some agency, makes it riskier. There's less of a paper trail making the client feel like they could get caught.
Not to mention the client could be anyone -- there's no one taking a credit history back at the office.
Not every Craigslist ad is suspect. There are hundreds (thousands?) of people making transactions every day on there that are perfectly safe and good for the economy.
But the more desperate you are for work, the more willing, it seems, you are to take risks ... risks that could put you in a Deanna Ballman-like situation.
Have you ever taken a job in someone's home without being sent there by an agency? Would you do it again?
Image via police