The murder of Uber driver Christina Spicuzza

On February 10, 2022, Calvin Crew, a 22 y/o man from Pennsylvania, used his girlfriend’s phone to order an Uber.

A 38 y/o mother of four, Christina Spicuzza accepted the job and picked Calvin up.

As Christina is the innocent victim in this story, I wanted to provide some background into her life:

Christina was born March 19, 1983, and raised in Monroeville, Pennsylvania.

Her family called her Christi and said she enjoyed  art, crafting, and her bible study.  They also said she was always smiling, always positive, and always loving.

Thankfully (and horrifingly), Christina had a dashcam installed in her vehicle so the whole event leading up to her murder was caught on tape.

Christina left her fiance and kids to do her Uber run on Thursday, February 10.  Her fiance Brandon was the one who had bought the dashcam for her, as he was worried about her safety while driving.

Brandon began to worry when she did not return home from her shift as scheduled. I believe he made this social media post on February 11, Friday.

Christi’s body was found on Saturday, February 12.  Her body was found one mile away from where her car had been dumped.

This info comes from CBS Pittsburgh:

Allegheny County homicide detectives are now leading the investigation and could be seen canvassing the area where her body was found for several hours Saturday afternoon looking for and collecting evidence.

“It’s horrible that one of us has gone missing and we have no protection and now we’re worried are we going to be next?” Michelle Landsittle said, a Pittsburgh Uber driver.

KDKA talked to two local Uber drivers Saturday who said they’re horrified by what happened and believe more safety measures need to be in place in order to keep drivers safe.

“It scares me because we have no protection,” Jen Donatella said, another Uber driver.

Landsittle and Donatella said as drivers for a rideshare company, they are required to get federal background checks and need a clean driving record so their riders know they’re safe. They said nothing is done to protect drivers.

On February 18, police announced that Christi died from a single gunshot wound and that a man named Calvin Crew had been arrested.

As mentioned earlier, Calvin ordered the Uber using his girlfriend’s account – I wonder if he did this so a woman driver may have been more likely to accept the job? 

Investigators said at this time that they believed robbery was the motive for the murder.

Police ended up finding the dash cam during a search for evidence in the area surrounding the dumped car and Christi’s remains.  The dashcam was one-tenth of a mile from the Uber pickup spot in Penn Hills, police said. Police viewed the footage from a mini SD card in the camera, which recorded audio and video from the front and back of the car, court paperwork says.

You can view the video online and I will add it in the blog.  In the clip, you see a person wearing dark clothing and a mask, wearing a hood approaching the vehicle from 139 Brinton Avenue at 9:14 p.m., court documents said. 

When he got into the car, Christi confirmed it was the right rider but saying the name of the person who ordered the Uber (Tanaya Mullen).

Even though Calvin did not respond, Christi started the journey anyway. 

Almost 20 minutes into the trip, right near the drop off point, Calvin pulled out a gun and pushed it into Christi’s neck.

“Keep driving,” he tells her, according to court documents.

Four seconds after he pushed the gun into Christi’s neck, she can be seen to reach up and touch the gun, according to video police summarized in the affidavit of probable cause filed in his case.

“You’ve got to be joking,” she says, according to police.

“It’s a gun,” he replies.

“Come on, I have a family,” she says.

“I got a family too. Now drive,” he says.

“I’m begging you, I have four kids,” Christi said.

Police said he told her multiple times to “complete the trip,” and at one point grabbed her ponytail to control her head.

“Please take that off of me,” Christi says at 9:34, according to police.

“Do what, I say and everything will be alright,” Calvin responded, according to police.

Not too much longer after that, Calvin reached forward and yanked the dash camera from the vehicle. 

After Calvin took the dash cam down, he instructed Christi to drive to a wooded area.  He shot her once in the head.  When her body was found, she was still wearing her covid mask.

Calvin initially told police that he got out of the Uber after the trip was completed then walked to the bus station in Wilkinsburg and took the Trafford bus to Pitcairn.  They searched CCTV footage and could not corroborate his story.

Police questioned Calvin’s girlfriend.  She told them he asked her to order an Uber for him and he gave her an address to type in.  She was out of town at the time apparently, so they had this conversation via phone.

When police interviewed her a second time, she suddenly remembered that her gun was missing, and she told authorities.  She said she had purchased the 9-mm gun at a McKeesport gun shop.

In the criminal complaint, we learned that Tanaya texted Calvin while he was in the Uber and said “[I’m] not going to jail if we get caught.”

Two days before Christi’s murder, Calvin was arrainged on separate gun charges.  

This info is from the Post Gazette

According to the complaint, Mr. Crew attempted to purchase a Smith & Wesson M7AP .22-caliber pistol in September 2021 at a gun superstore in Marshall — despite being legally barred from doing so.

Mr. Crew attempted the purchase Sept. 10, but was denied after a record search revealed he was restricted from buying firearms.

The restriction stems from a 2014 incident when he was charged with robbery and theft as a juvenile. Mr. Crew was adjudicated, and the Pennsylvania State Police listed him as a delinquent.

Under state law, Mr. Crew’s delinquent status prohibited the gun purchase, though the complaint states that Mr. Crew lied about his criminal history while filling out a form at the Keystone Shooting Center.

Mr. Crew marked “NO” when asked whether he had ever been convicted of a crime mentioned in the statute.

A little over a month after Mr. Crew was denied the sale, local authorities were notified by the state police.

On Dec. 8, an arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Crew for unsworn falsification to authorities and sale or transfer of firearms while unauthorized.

As of the end of April 2022, Tanaya has not been charged in relation to Christi’s murder.

At the end of March, District Judge Kevin Cooper Jr. held the charges against Calvin, meaning he will likely face trial.

He remains in jail without bond.

SOURCE LIST:

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/03/30/calvin-crew-suspect-to-face-trial-in-uber-driver-killing-after-dashcam-video-played/stories/202203300168

https://www.post-gazette.com/news/crime-courts/2022/02/22/Calvin-Anthony-Crew-Uber-homicide-driver-denied-handgun-purchase/stories/202202220076

https://obituaries.post-gazette.com/obituary/christina-marto-spicuzza-1084440965

https://www.cbsnews.com/pittsburgh/news/christi-spicuzza-calvin-crew-uber-driver-death-arrest-allegheny-county-police-news-conference/

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