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Craigslist Founder Donates to Craigslist Victim

The founder of Craigslist joined the effort Sunday to remember a 24-year-old Minnesota woman who died in 2007 after responding to a phony ad for a baby sitter, television news station KSTP TV reported from the Associated Press.

Craig Newmark made a personal contribution at the concert organized to raise money for the Katherine Ann Olson, a scholarship in her name. Olson's family created a scholarship at her alma mater, St. Olaf College in Northfield. Preference for the scholarship will go to Hispanic and Latino students, in memory of Olson's passion for working with Hispanic children in her community

Newmark praised the family's efforts to help their daughter and sister's legacy live on, and reminded the crowd of over 1,200 people to take precautions when using the Internet.

"Despite the billions of times well-meaning people have helped each other through Craigslist, it's been devastating to see that it can also be used by bad people to take cruel advantage of others," Newmark said as he stood with Olson's family on stage at a church in a Minneapolis suburb. (AP/KSTP TV)

Newmark wasn't available for interviews, and a spokeswoman said he wanted to keep the amount of his donation private. Olson's father Rolf described the donation as "substantial," though he declined to specify the amount.

Craigslist made headlines in October 2007 when Olson was found dead after responding to the ad. The Web site received negative attention again last month when a Boston University medical student was arrested and charged in the death of a 25-year-old masseuse he had allegedly contacted through Craigslist.
Olson's memorial concert featured musicians she liked along with a local Latino theater troupe with which she once performed. After Michael Anderson, 20, was convicted in Olson's death, the planning for Sunday's concert began after being in the works for a long time.

"Legally we could not be doing publicity because of pretrial publicity and possibly tainting the jury pool," said Nancy Olson, Katherine's mother. "We were very careful about that."(KSTP TV)

Olson said the family also wanted to focus on one thing at a time.

"Who would want to have a celebration concert if we still had the trial to go?" she said. (KSTP TV)

While Nancy Olson said the conviction "doesn't bring Katherine back," she says the family's new passion is keeping Katherine's memory alive through the scholarship.