Missing "Trafficking Victim" Found Safe: Daily RFT's 5 Top November Crime Stories

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Cassandra LaFave
Cassandra LaFave

November was a busy month for St. Louis criminals. The city hit a depressing milestone: 100 murders so far in 2013. The U.S. Supreme Court had to step in to allow Missouri to execute racist serial killer Joseph Franklin. Plus, remember that guy who killed his neighbor in the great pork steak v. pork chop debate?

Here are five of our most popular crime stories from November 2013.

1. Family Fears Missing Wisconsin Woman Kidnapped, Brought to St. Louis to Repay Debt The family of 25-year-old Cassandra LaFave was sure she'd been kidnapped and trafficked to St. Louis (or maybe Kansas City) to repay a debt. She wasn't. She called police from Wisconsin after 8 days missing to let them know she was safe. LaFave is now in jail on cocaine possession and three counts of resisting arrest that are not related to the time she was missing.

2. Joseph Franklin Executed: Last-Minute Efforts to Halt Execution Overturned by Supreme Court

Franklin was supposed to die just after midnight on November 19 as the first person in Missouri executed by pentobarbital. But when two judges filed separate, last-minute orders to halt the execution because it violated the Constitution, the U.S. Supreme Court had to step in. In the wee hours of the morning, the court decided in favor of the state of Missouri, and Franklin was executed at 6:17 a.m. for the sniper murder of a man at a St. Louis suburb synagogue in 1977.

3. Man Gets 4 Years for Chopping Cat to Death with Hatchet Grieg Ragen says he was putting his cat out of its misery after it was struck by a car, but an autopsy showed the cat's only injury was caused by a hatchet to the spine. The judge gave Ragen the maximum sentence.

4. Murdered Over Pork Steaks: John Cunningham Found Guilty of Manslaughter John Cunningham knew what he was eating was a pork steak. When his uncle tried to tell him it was a pork chop, Cunningham shot and killed him. A jury found Cunningham guilty of manslaughter -- a lesser crime than murder -- and he'll be sentenced on December 20.

5. Anthony Brinkman: Posted Online Ad to Rape His Daughter, Arrested at Cracker Barrel Anthony Brinkman brought his daughter to Cracker Barrel to meet up with folks he'd contacted online about abusing his daughter. Turns out, those folks were undercover cops, and Brinkman is in jail. (And that's why you should always hit the "Report Abuse" button online when you see something suspicious.)

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at [email protected].

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