clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Does spy store harbor secrets about a murder?

The Spycraft store just east of the Las Vegas Strip harbored dark secrets: A woman stopped in to buy a book while her husband waited in the car. It was the last time he saw her alive.

Police suspect the owner, who once bragged that he had "grown up around the CIA," killed her, closed up shop for the day, then took the body 250 miles away to Phoenix where he buried it in a shallow grave.Last week, authorities found a body believed to be that of 20-year-old Ginger Rios, a backup singer in a casino band, who disappeared four months ago.

The store owner, who called himself John Flowers, was arrested Tuesday in Los Angeles after trying to flee federal agents. Police here have issued a murder warrant for him.

Police said Flowers is actually Craig Jacobsen, 26, who is wanted in Tampa, Fla., for battery on a federal officer and a probation violation on a counterfeiting charge.

In a February interview with The Associated Press, Jacobsen was eager to advertise the gizmos and gadgets that filled his store: stun guns, small knives, motion detectors, tiny video cameras, binoculars.

When asked about his background, however, he was evasive.

He refused to be photographed and said he was interested in the spy business because he had "grown up around the CIA." He wouldn't elaborate.

Tenderly carrying his infant child during the interview, Jacobsen said he owned the store here, another spy store in Phoenix and several in California. Police suspect he lived in the stores.

When police questioned Jacobsen within a few weeks of Rios' disappearance, he couldn't seem to get his story straight. He reportedly said Rios bought books on how to change identifications and how to kill people, but he couldn't locate any record of the sale.