In this episode of Crime Watch Daily Updates: Criminal cavorting couple, Benjamin and Erika Sifrit traveled to popular vacation destination Ocean City, Maryland, over Memorial Day Weekend 2002. While there, they met Martha “Geney” Crutchley and Joshua Ford.
One day during their trip, Benjamin and Erika didn’t have the correct fare when they got on a bus, so Joshua offered to pay for their trip. Joshua, Geney, Benjamin, and Erika befriended each other, and they all went out to a bar that evening. Then, they took the party back to the Sifrit’s condo in what would ultimately become a fatal decision.
Back at the condo, the couples drank and hung out in the unit’s hot tub. Then, Erika claimed her pocketbook went missing and blamed Joshua and Geney, but it was all fake. Benjamin pulled out a gun and shot Joshua as they locked themselves in the bathroom. Benjamin kicked down the bathroom door and opened fire.
Geney and Joshua did not survive. Erika and Benjamin dismembered their bodies and drove to Delaware to get rid of the remains.
Benjamin and Erika engaged in other crimes, too. Erika apparently had a history of breaking into Hooters, which is precisely what happened about a week after Geney and Joshua were brutally murdered.
The two were at a Hooters after hours, but somehow tripped an alarm. Police arrived at the scene, and Erika asked one of the cops if he could hand her a Xanax in her purse. When police opened her purse, they found Geney and Joshua’s IDs, bullet casings, and other evidence that directly linked Erika and Benjamin to the killings.
They were arrested, and in 2003, went to trial separately. Benjamin was convicted of second-degree murder for Geney’s death and sentenced to 38 years in prison. Erika, on the other hand, was found guilty of first-degree murder for Joshua’s death and second-degree murder for killing Geney. A judge sentenced her to life in prison, plus 20 years. She’s eligible for parole in 2024.
Erika and Benjamin ended their marriage in 2010.
In April 2022, Benjamin’s case went before the Maryland Parole Commission, who denied his request for parole.
Let’s look back at the case of a criminally inclined couple and the brutal double murder that shook Ocean City.