Facebook is great for sharing news with loved ones and letting friends know what you’re doing. However, for one couple the social media site was used in more nefarious circumstances – after the man had murdered his girlfriend in a jealous rage.
It’s a tragic story of love, jealousy and murder that shockingly played out on Facebook in August 2016. A once-happy couple had been plagued with relationship difficulties that ended one summer’s night in a brutal killing with a chilling twist.
Kiesha Betton lived in Elyria, Ohio with her two teenage daughters. In recent years, various Elyria public buildings have been used in Hollywood movies; in August 2016, however, the town would attract attention for much darker reasons.
Also living with Betton and her daughters was Betton’s boyfriend, Leonzo Bufford. Members of Betton’s family said that the couple had been engaged and planned to get married. However, according to others, they had probably already separated, and Bufford was no longer a resident at the property.
It is thought that Betton and Bufford’s relationship had turned sour when Bufford began to suspect that Betton was cheating on him with other men. On August 7, then, Bufford went to the house to confront her about it. And he took a gun with him.
Neighbors said that they heard Bufford accuse Betton of being unfaithful as they fought inside the house. Both of Betton’s daughters were reportedly home at the time of the argument. And yet no one thought that the dispute would result in a murder.
At around 11 p.m., then, police arrived at the house after neighbors heard multiple shots being fired. There, officers found 40-year-old Betton, who had been hit multiple times. She was taken to University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center, where she was later pronounced dead.
While Betton’s two daughters were unhurt and moved in with their father, witnesses informed police that Betton had been shot by her boyfriend. Soon, a warrant was issued for Bufford’s arrest and all officers were put on alert for his capture.
As events unfolded, though, something grim was happening online. Bufford had apparently been updating Facebook with news about what had taken place. However, in a disturbing turn, he hadn’t been using his own profile. In fact, he had been using Betton’s account, after he had murdered her.
“Never play games with someone [sic] emotions or cheat on them when they give you their all,” he wrote in a chilling update. The message continued, “Please respect their love and devotion, someone will end up hurt or worse dead.”
Though the message was attributed to Betton, the timing of the update told a far more sinister story. The post was sent at 1:57 a.m., around three hours after Bufford had fatally shot her. The posting continued as news of Betton’s death began to spread to friends and family.
Bufford had logged onto Betton’s Facebook account and begun to tell her friends and family what he had done. And not only that, as friends began to learn of what had happened to Betton, Bufford interacted with them by continuing to post comments and updates.
One of Betton’s friends commented and put to Bufford that he should kill himself. Bufford replied, “I will.” The same friend added, “Do it now, do it live.” Given how events would play out into the early hours of the morning, it would be a chillingly prophetic call to action.
Captain Chris Costantino of the Elyria Police Department said, “We know that after he had killed her and was driving, he was updating her Facebook page. We were monitoring her page and we saw that he was updating.” Disturbingly, however, Bufford wasn’t only posting updates.
It is believed that Bufford also updated Betton’s profile picture. A friend left a comment on the new picture asking, “Who is this dude?” Bufford – still posting as Betton – is thought to have replied, “That’s the guy she cheated on.” But the chilling story doesn’t end there.
Next, around two hours after Betton was shot, another shooting was reported at a house in South Euclid – around an hour away from Elyria. Once there, police found a man and a woman who had both been seriously injured. Meanwhile, a neighbor was extinguishing a car that had been set on fire near to the house.
Later, the couple from Cleveland were identified as Sophia Latimer and Darnell Strowder – Latimer was a former girlfriend of Bufford’s. Police believe that Bufford set fire to the car before he shot the couple. In addition, a witness placed Bufford at the scene.
Bufford is believed to have lived at the house in South Euclid some years ago. “They’ve been broken up for years so I don’t know why, why now he was coming to do this to them,” newsnet5.com reported a neighbor of the pair as saying.
After tracking Bufford’s cellphone signal as he updated his activities on Betton’s Facebook page, however, police finally tracked the killer down. He led them on a chase lasting nearly three miles, ending in a Cleveland parking lot.
As police stopped his car, Bufford turned the gun on himself. He shot himself in the head and died at the scene. And in a final, disturbing post on Facebook before his suicide, Bufford wrote, “I’m done being lied to, that’s why it happened.”