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Alleged Serial Killer Lured Victims Into the Woods with Promise of Riches - Don't Fall for This One

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From Auburn, Washington, comes a story providing a gruesome reminder of the all-too human folly of letting greed override common sense.

According to local news station KONG-TV, Richard Walter Bradley was initially arrested in May 2021 on one charge of homicide, but, as he awaited trial, three more charges of homicide were added.

Bradley’s initial charge was for the alleged murder of 44-year-old Brandi Blake. According to the charges, as reported in The Seattle Times, he lured her to the vast Game Farm Park in Auburn before, allegedly, bludgeoning her to death and burying her in a shallow grave.

While investigating these charges, however, police found three human ribs belonging to missing person Emilio Maturin, 36, only 30 feet from where Blake’s body was found. Investigators later found remains of Michael Goeman, 59, and his son, Vance Lakey, 31.

Both, according to investigators, had been shot, and days later, Bradley had been seen driving their car, according to Law & Crime.

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Bradley faces three charges of first degree murder in addition to the one received back in 2021.

The common denominator for each of the victims was their tendency, according to the Seattle Times, to travel with large amounts of cash and/or drugs.

Would you fall for this deadly ploy?

Blake was carrying $20,000 that she had just won and was known to carry cash and drugs. Maturin’s car was filled with heroin, meth, and $15,000 before leaving with Bradley, and Goeman had just received a large inheritance, which was with him in his car, according to court documents.

How did Bradley allegedly manage to convince these four individuals, each flushed with cash for one reason or another, to accompany him to their inevitable doom?

His alleged scheme went like this: He reportedly approached the victim asking for help digging up a hidden stash of gold. After sufficiently winning the victim’s trust and luring them to an isolated spot, he would kill them, steal their car (with money and/or drugs contained therein), and flee.

As ludicrous as this meet seem to us, reading about this grisly case in the comfort of our own homes, Bradley’s far-fetched story worked well enough at least three different times.

Despite consoling ourselves that we’d never be stupid enough to fall for such a transparent ploy, how many of us would actually have the common sense to disbelieve this fellow’s story and resist his overtures of apparent trust?

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How could this have happened?

Well, as with many serial killers, if the charges are correct, Bradley preyed on a depressingly common weakness in human nature. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, and, allegedly, Bradley all played on common weaknesses to one extent or another.

Such criminals can appeal either to the good aspects of our nature or, sadly and just as effectively, our baser instincts. In Bradley’s case, if the charges are true, he appealed to that baser instinct — namely, greed.

Based on how many people still fall for the poorly written emails that promise gobs of money in exchange for, essentially, nothing, it seems the human capacity to be blinded by the promise of easy money is alive and well.

Life is hard, and life is expensive (especially now). It’s easy to dream idly of a miraculous windfall of cash, and when confronted with such “easy money” schemes, many of us let those idle dreams surpass our common sense or even self-preservation instincts.

As our parents always told us, there’s no such thing as a free lunch, and crime doesn’t pay. Even if these grievous misadventures didn’t end in murder, who knows what else could’ve faced Bradley’s alleged victims? Incarceration, swindling, even, as detailed in the police reports, arson?

Never trust a stranger promising you a giant sum of money in exchange for comparatively little — if Bradley’s supposed victims had suppressed their greed and remembered this pearl of wisdom, then perhaps they could still be alive.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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