The FBI and other law enforcement agencies estimate that there are between 35 to 50 serial killers on the loose in the Uunited States. Other estimates put the number of killers close to 500. In either case officials expect these numbers to continue their dramatic rise. According to a 1984 FBI Behavioral Unit study of serial murder, serial killing had climbed to "an almost epidemic proportion." It is believed that presently there are up to 6,000 people a year dying in the hands of a serial killer.
Although a predominantly North American activity, serial killing is on the rise in all points of the globe. Particularly, with shifts in the geopolitical world order, serial killing has become part of the national landscape in South Africa and the Soviet Union. A predominantly white phenomenon, there has been a dramatic increase in the amount of black serial killers. Even historically peaceful places like Costa Rica now have a serial killer. The following is a list of all active and unsolved cases of serial slaughter.
|KILLERS ON THE LOOSE|
"El Depredador of Ciudad Juarez" (100-200) Since August, 1993, Mexican Federales have been baffled by the growing number of girls and young women appearing dead in the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez a border town next to El Paso with a population of 2 million. The numbers of dead vary according to the source. Here at the Archives we believe there have been at least 170 women have been murdered in Juarez since 1993. Of these, most have been killed by pimps, drug dealers, husbands and boyfriends. However, at least a third of the deaths seem to be unexplained and possibly the tally of one or more serial killers. (cont.)
Possible Colombian Child Killer (50+) Authorities in Colombia, fearing they might have a serial child killer on the loose, have created a special task force to hunt down the suspected maniac. In the past five years fifty-five bodies have been discovered, many of them in mass graves, some showing signs of torture and mutilation. "We fear that there could be a serial killer, or a group of murderers on the loose," said General Rosso Jose Serrano, Colombia's police chief. "The bodies of the children are all similarly mutilated, they were buried with hands tied and have organs missing."
The killings first caught the public attention last November, when a total of 25 children were found around the city of Pereira, 110 miles from the capital, Bogota. Victims have also been discovered in 10 other locations. Hundreds more young boys have been reported missing by their families in the past couple of years.
The most popular theory among Colombians is that the children were the victims of a Satanic sect. Satanism is said to be widely practised in the Pereira region, and the police have long suspected that children were being snatched off the street to be used in rituals. The police are also exploring suggestions that the children could be the victims of an organ smuggling or a group of pedophiles. Some believe the police themselves are responsible for the killings. It has been known that policemen to take part in paramilitary groups that kidnap and kill homeless people, prostitutes and street children. Many of the victims were living on the streets and making money by begging.
"The Green River Killer" (49+) The most prolific unidentified killer of the Archives. The Green River Killer tallied forty-nine kills between 1982 and 1984 in the Seattle-Tacoma area. It's believed that the killer is a white, middle-aged male. During his two year rampage he enjoyed leaving his victims near the banks of the Green River outside Seattle, thus explaining his moniker. All his victims have been women. He prefers prostitutes, but will kill a runaway or a hitchhiker in a pinch. Some believe that the killer might have died, moved away, was incarcerated, institutionalized, or perhaps just retired. As of August 1988 authorities think that he might have resurfaced in San Diego where he has already bagged ten more women... (cont.)
"Twin Cities Killer" (34) No one wants to admit it but evidence points to the existence of one or several serial killers working the streets of Minneapolis and St. Paul. From 1986 to 1994 up to 34 corpses have littered the streets of the Twin Cities. Most of them were prostitutes in their twenties and thirties. Several were mutilated, dismembered, and sometimes even decapitated.
Three scenarios have been posited to explain the growing list of dead. One: there is a number of serial killers preying on prostitues and drug users. Two: there is one or more serial killers and several murderers who have killed once or twice. Three: there is a number of nonserial killers hunting Twin Cities prostitutes. Whatever the case, 34 unresolved killings should not go unnoticed.
The I-45 Killer(s) (32) Over that last three decades the FBI has chronicled at least 32 dead women in an area a few miles on either side of Interstate 45 along the 50-mile stretch between Houston and Galveston in Texas. The latest victim was discoveredin early 1999 by a little boy and his dog when they were out for a walk in some marshy woods. The dog came up with a bone, and then the boy saw a skull. Nearby, the police later would find earrings, shreds of clothing and a belt tied around a tree. Investigators believe the killer used it to bind the young woman while she was sexually assaulted.
Now, for the first time since the first victim's corpse was discovered in 1971, investigators believe they are making progress both in breaking individual cases and devising a method to attack the overall problem. But early indications are not good for those who hoped it could be brought to an end by finding one serial killer who could be captured and put behind bars. "It appears that there may be multiple serial killers," said Don K. Clark, special agent in charge of the FBI's Houston division.
If that suspicion proves true--and investigators caution that they remain far from bringing charges in these crimes--then the bizarre pattern of killings along I-45 would be the result of an equally bizarre occurrence. Police now worry that for nearly three decades this stretch of coastal plain has served as a hunting ground for any number of murderers . Over time, it appears to police, the killers have come and gone but shared in common the site they selected to find their victims--or to dump the bodies of people killed elsewhere.
In fact, the bayous lined with longleaf pine, beech and live oaks appear to have served as a dumping ground not only for local killers but also for Houston's predators. The refineries and ports draw transients. The small towns and country roads have proved easy places to hunt victims. The patchwork of jurisdictions makes it easy to cloak activities simply by crossing the city limits.
The victims in the I-45 cases typically disappeared while out alone, only to be found dead and abused in a remote spot weeks or months later, leaving no hint as to their attacker's identity or motive.
The investigation took an important turn after several particularly horrific and well-publicized crimes in 1997. First, Laura Smither, 12, disappeared while jogging near her home, and then Jessica Lee Cain, 17, vanished, leaving behind only her empty pickup truck parked on the shoulder of I-45. Smither's decapitated body was found in a pond almost three weeks after her disappearance. Cain is still missing.
"Before Laura Smither and Jessica Cain, each one of us was in his own little world, investigating our own individual cases, and we would have no way of knowing that some fellow we wanted to question in one murder, and had been a top suspect, had already been questioned in a very similar murder just a few miles down the highway," said Lt. Tommy Hansen of the Galveston County Sheriff's Department.
Some evidence pointed to a serial killer long ago. Two girls disappeared from the same convenience store in the 1970s. Four bodies were found between 1984 and 1991 in a scrubby patch of pastures dubbed the "killing fields." More subtle patterns now are emerging from a computer analysis of the evidence. The victims seem to cluster according to physical type, such that it appears one killer has a preference for short, slim, brown-haired women. Another killer seems to have demonstrated distinctive habits in the way he disposes of bodies, investigators said.
Stark similarities in several early cases suggest that a serial killer was active in the area in the 1970s, but it is unlikely he will ever be identified because so much time has passed. Further complicating matters, Henry Lee Lucas roamed the Gulf Coast when some of the early I-45 murders took place, but he has not been linked definitively to any of the unsolved cases.
Police have been closely following a suspect who remains at large on the I-45 corridor, but who never has been publicly identified. "We know a guy, we know him very well, a guy who has killed before and who had some kind of contact with five of the girls, but all the evidence is circumstantial," said police Lt. Gary D. Ratliff of League City, a town of 50,000 where the "killing fields" are located.
The unnamed suspect suffered physical injuries in an automobile accident a few years ago and appears to have gone "dormant" since then, Ratliff said. While that is good news in one sense, his lack of activity makes it less likely he might commit a mistake that would allow him to be caught.
March 17, 2000 - Houston investigators believe there are a least a dozen serial killers living in or around the city, or passing through it on a regular basis. One killer is believed to be responsible for the deaths of at least two girls ages 9 and 12 whose nude bodies were found dumped in waterways. Another cluster of killings involves at least four women in their late teens and early twenties who dissapeared around the southern Houston and Galvenston area. Between April 1992 and July 1995 three killings in the Houston area have been linked to a serial killer who likes young Hispanic females and becomes anxious if his victims are not discovered quickly. Over a six-year period four other women have been found within a mile of each other in a field off Calder Road in Galveston County.
In the mid- to late '80s, a task force studied the killings of six prostitutes who worked in Houston's Montrose area. In the early '70s a number of young girls were abducted and murdered. In all ther are about 200 unsolved murders of women and girls in Houston and the surrounding areas since 1971.
Lusaka Serial Killer (30+) Police in Zambia are searching for a serial killer suspected of committing as many as thirty murders, mostly in family groups. His latest victims were an elderly couple, whose heads were crushed with a hoe. Police said the man they're searching for was tried in 1996 for killing a family of three in Monze, southern Zambia. He was sent to an asylum in Lusaka, but escaped within a few days.
On February 7, 1999, Zambian authorities announced that a task force charged with tracking down the Lusaka serial killer was assembled. "This task force has been drawn from the cream of the police service and we are hopeful of results very soon. We used the same system to track Sipalo the Lusaka serial killer of the 80s." The serial killer's latest victims are believed to be the former Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Leonard Kombe and his wife.
On February, 1999, Zambian police it detained a man suspected of being the serial killer. Though no evidence linked Lanelo Mashow to the killing spree, a police source said that the suspect seemed to know a lot about the killings, especially in Lusaka. The source said Mashowo's background also raised much suspicion. However, Mashowo has not yet been charged with anything. The source disclosed that so far eight people had been to Woodlands Police Station to identify the man. Of the eight people two believe Mashowo is the man they saw live with their relatives on the farm while the other six are still in doubt.
In related news, Zambia Independent Media Association (ZIMA) chairman David Simpson criticised the stateowned Zambia Daily Mail for reporting to the police that he was the suspected serial killer. Simpson said the Zambia Daily Mail incident was "unfortunate as it conflicts with journalism ethics". He said the media should protect their sources regardless of circumstances.
"New Orleans Serial Killer" (24 +/-) There is a possible serial killer, or serial killers, roaming the streets of New Orleans logging in at 24 dead. The vicitms are mostly prostitutes who were strangled, their stripped bodies dumped in New Orleans, Jefferson Parish, and swamps further west of the city. The killings started in 1991. Most of the victims were abducted in Algiers and Treme, two of the poorest neighborhoods of the city. A New Orleans police officer, Victor Gant is the suspect in the murders of two out of 24 victims. While being investigated for two death -- one of which was his girlfriend -- Gant remained in the force in a desk job. After a domestic dispute with his current girlfriend Gant was suspended from the force.
On March 2, 1998, another suspect, Russell Ellwood was arrested in connection to two of the killings. Ellwood, a former cab driver, is suspected in eight more killings. However, authorities still believe more than one suspect was responsible for the string of prostitute slayings. "We never thought, from the beginning, that this was the work of one person."
"Possible Vancouver Serial Killer" (27) Though they have no bodies or hard evidience to back their claims, prostitutes in one of Canada's poorest neighborhoods suspect a serial killer is responsible for the disappearance of up to 31 sex-trade workers since 1995. However, according to a spokesperson representing the prostitutes, there can be no other explanation for neighbors and friends in the HIV-ravaged downtown Vancouver neighborhood who have been seen on a corner one minute, then gone for good the next. (cont.)
"Possible Ghanaian Serial Killer" (25) Someone in Ghana has been killing women in cold blood to the tune of 21 dead over the last year. Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr. Peter Nanfuri, assured the Ghanaian public that the police was working hard to arrest the apparently elusive serial killer or killers.
Thousands of women marched in Ghana's capital Accra to press for action against the unexplained killings. The demonstrators dressed in black and sported red armbands chanting slogans condemning police for failing to end the killings .
Many Ghanaians blame the deaths on ritual killers. Most of the deaths have been in Accra's western district, where the bodies have generally been left in unfinished or abandoned buildings.
On June 30, 2000, responding to complaints from the irate citizenry, Ghana's National Security minister Kofi Totobi Quakyi said that there has been no major breakthrough in investigations into the serial murders. The killings started in the Ghanan capital of Accra about two years ago. The seeming police inaction has led to a public outcry for the resignation of the Inspector-General of Police and the Interior Minister.
Police have refused to make any comments on the cases and on whether they are dealing with a serial killer claiming they do not want to jeopardise their investigations. They also say they are over-stretched and do not have adequate resources for such an extensive investigation.
Possible Swaziland Serial Killer (24-33) - In April 2001 the dead bodies of 24 murdered women and children have been uncovered in a forest near Swaziland's traditional capital, Lobamba. Other accounts put the total of victims at 33. Initial investigations have revealed that the victims were killed over a period of several months up to a couple of years. Police Commissioner Edgar Hillary of the tiny mountain kingdom of Swaziland described the murders as a "national disaster".
Police and soldiers stumbled from one body to another after a herdsman discovered the first victim. All the victims' bodies were either in an advanced stage of decomposition or skeletal. Senior police detective Jomo Mavuso led the search in the thick forest. The police discovered that all the victims had been killed in a similar way. The bodies of the 21 women and three children were found stripped naked lying face down. The victims had been raped before either being strangled to death or beheaded.
The bones and clothing of the victims were packed into plastic bags and transported to a nearby police station before being taken to mortuaries for identification. The Swaziland police believe the murders are the work of serial killer.
Police suspect that the bodies and three others found a week before could possibly be further victims of suspected serial killer Bongani Vilakati, who was shot and killed by police on March 29. Vilakati was shot during a chase through a maize field after police had found six bodies buried on his farm about 30 miles from the city of Mbabane last year.
"Possible I-10 Serial Killer" (20) Police in San Diego is investigating an unnamed subject in relation to a string of slaying committed along Interstate 10, the 3,000-mile highway running across eight states in the lower United States.
The investigation was triggered by a woman who provided police with information about the 1981 slaying in San Diego's Balboa Park that only someone who was there and witnessed the killing or who received information from the killer could have known. The female informant, whom authorities have not identified, showed authorities the location of the crime and described how it was committed -- all facts that were known only to police.
The woman accused a truck driver of the 1981 killing, as well a string of other slayings across America. The victims were mostly hitchhikers and rostitutes. According to the informant, the trucker may have killed up to 20 people. Many of the victims were killed in Texas and their bodies dumped or buried in shallow graves hundreds of miles away.
San Diego police have obtained DNA from the suspect and has contacted law enforcement officers from other jurisdictions to compare DNA samples from their unsolved cases.
Officials have developed a time-line on the suspect for 1980 to 1990 and are hoping other law enforcement agencies may have unsolved cases that correspond to the trucker's movements. If so, they can then compare any evidence to that of the trucker. Meanwhile, the truck driver remains free.
"Phoenix Strangler" (19) South Africa's "Phoenix Strangler" is suspected of murdering up to 19 women in and around Phoenix, in the province of KwaZulu Natal. The latest batch of bodies were dug up on July 24 when police found five corpses in shallow graves in a Phoenix sugar plantation. In all 18 victims - black women aged between 20 and 30 years - have been found in graves in the Phoenix-Mt Edgecombe plantation area near the White House shopping complex north of Durban.
All victims were gagged and their hands and feet were bound, were strangled with their own underwear and buried in shallow graves. The latest batch of bodies was discovered by a man walking his dog. "The dog picked up the smell which led to the discovery." Three of the victims have been identified. Two were related to policemen, one of them stationed at the Phoenix police station.
The killings are believe to have started in August, 1994. The latest vicitm is believed to have died August 5, 1997. It appears that the women could have been searching for employment in the area and were lured by a man and a women to their deaths.
On August 15 heavily armed policemen arrested Sipho Agmatir Thwala, 30, during an early morning raid in the Besters shantytown near Phoenix. The suspect, a Zulu-speaking Phoenix man, closely fitted a psychological profile of the killer constructed by Dr. Miki Pistorius, South Africa's own star profiler. Pistorius, who trained under former FBI agent Robert Ressler, is rated as one of the world's foremost and respected authorities on serial killing. In South Africa she has helped track down the River Strangler, the Donnybrook Killer and Cape Town's Station Strangler. The psychological profile described the man as intelligent, charming to women and likely to kill again.
"Cape Town Strangler" (20+) Still on the loose in South Africa, "Cape Town Strangler" is responsible killing about 20 women, mostly prostitutes, according to police. Local authorities believe there are between three and five serial killers at large in South Africa. Here at the Archives we believe the number appears to be much higher.
"El Psicópata" (17+) Costa Rican police said the number of hits by a mysterious serial killer known as "El Psicópata" (The Psychopath) could exceed 31. Previously, authorities had attributed 17 dead or missing people to the elusive killer. Stumped by a decade of ramdom murder, Costa Rican police have even asked the FBI for help in tracking down this mysterious killer.
"El Psicópata" preys on young couples in secluded parks in and around the capital San Jose, police said. He often waits until the couples start making love before shooting them with a high-calibre weapon and mutilating the breasts and reproductive organs of his female victims. It is believed that he follows his potential victims for several days before killing them. In some cases, he has also killed young women on their own and has carried out acts of necrophilia. Authorities now think he may also be responsible for the disappearance of 12 other young people in 1996.
Most of the killings have been committed in a wooded area stretching from the southwestern district of Alajuelita to the eastern neighborhood of Cartago -- a patch of land locals now call the "triangle of death." The killer's murder spree began on June 6, 1986, with the murders of seven women and girls - known as the Alajuelita Massacre - and has continued unabated through October 24, 1996, with the deaths of Ileana Alvarez and Mauricio Cordero,
Costa Rican police have drawn up several psychological profiles of the killer, including one "Rambo" theory that portrays him as a deranged former military or police official. They also think he could be the son of a wealthy politician or a landowner. Police believe the killer is probably in his 30s or 40s, and could be highly intelligent.
On June 26, 1998, the Judicial Investigative Organization Costa Rica announced the arrest of a new serial killer operating in the so-called Death Triangle. The new killer is a 52-year-old construction, the father of 11 children whose favorite hobby is hunting.The police believe that he sexually abuses his victims, then kills them with hunting rifles, and finally buries them under concrete. So far authorities have found no connection between this new unnamed killer and The Psychopath.
"The Monster of Florence" (16+) Between 1974 and 1985, this Eurotrash psychopath has tallied at least 16 grisly sexual murders in the outskirts of Florence. All but two of the victims were courting couples. Four were foreigners. In all killings a .22 Beretta was used, and the women had their left breasts cut off and genitals mutilated. Once the killer (or killers) mockingly sent police a portion of the female genitalia from one of his victims. This pattern of murder-and-gore has been repeated with frightening regularity to the tune of 16 dead.
Police questioned more than 100,000 people and charged seven men with being the elusive killer. The latest accused, Pietro Pacciani, semi-literate farm hand whose hobbies are hunting and taxidermy, was arrested on January 17, 1993, He was convicted of the seven double murders in November, 1994. Not the innocent choirboy type, in 1951 Pacciani was jailed for 13 years for murdering a travelling salesman whom he had spied on during an amorous encounter with his fiancée in the woods. After stabbing the salesman 19 times, Pietro raped the unfortunate lass twhile lying next to the corpse. He also beat his wife and was jailed between 1987 and 1991 for sexually abusing his two daughters.
However, maintaining that he was "as innocent as Christ on the cross," on February 13, 1996, Pietro was set free when an appeals court overturned his conviction. Curiously, the decision to clear Pacciani came hours after the arrest of Mario Vanni, 70, a friend of Pacciani and former postman (showing that lethal postal workers are not a singularly American phenomenon). Vanni was subsequently charged with the murders of a French couple in 1985 .
Investigators acting on new information began to suspect that not one maniac, but an entire gang of ageing drunken perverts may be responsible for the monster's killing rampage. The gang, led by Pacciani, includes Vanni, Giancarlo Lotti, 54 and Giovanni Faggi, 77, a ceramic tile salesman with a penchant for sex toys. Lotti later confessed that he and Pacciani had had a homosexual relationship, and claimed that the women had been maimed to satisfy the fetish of "a doctor", who had paid to procure "sections" of the victims.
On December 12, 1996 the Italian Supreme Court overturned the decision to free Pacciani and ordered a retrial in the light of new evidence. Allegedly Lotti is said to have confessed to police the killings perpetrated by himself and his geriatric card-playing companion. On May 21, 1997, the three alleged accomplices of Pacciani went on trial for their involvement in five double murders.
On February 22, 1998, Pietro, 73, was found dead in his squalid cottage. He was discovered face-down on the floor with his trousers down at his ankles and his shirt up round his neck. Although his face was blue and disfigured, the initial police opinion that he died of a cardiac arrest was being widely doubted, and a post mortem examination has been ordered. Some believe that he may have been killed by the real "Monster" in an effort to protect his identity.
Four Possible Sexual Predators in Chicago (11+) - In July, 1999, Chicago authorities issued a citywide warning about four separate sexual predators active in an in and around the city's South Side. Especifically, the crack and heroin ravished neightborhood of Englewood, bounded by 51st and 59th between Halsted and Damen.
Since 1995, police said, Englewood has been plagued by a string of 11 unsolved killings. "We are now dealing with four distinct patterns. We have four individuals involved in 11 homicides, and in two criminal sexual assaults," said Police Comdr. Frank Trigg, of the Chicago Police Department. Through DNA evidence authorities have linked one man seven murders, another one to three, and two more men to one murder and two rapes. All victims shared a common "high-risk" lifestyle in which they sold sex to earn money to buy smokable crack cocaine. Many of the dead were discovered in burnt-out buildings in the neighborhoods of Englewood, the New City Area, and in Washington Park.
It is believed that the women are lured to the crime scenes with drugs, then raped and murdered once inside. "More than likely," said Commander Briggs, "these predators are selecting a location during the daylight hours, becoming familiar with that location, and then selecting and enticing a victim during the hours of darkness."
In the last eight years police have arrested two other men in connection with multiple slayings of women in Englewood and the adjacent New City neighborhood. In 1997 Hubert Geralds Jr. was sentenced to death for killing six women in Englewood in 1994 and 1995. Gregory Clepper is awaiting trial on charges he killed 14 women in the area between 1991 and 1996.
"Nasrec Strangler" (15) South Africa's "Nasrec Strangler" preys on women commuting between Soweto and Johannesburg. He is believed to have strangled and raped 15 women and a teenager since May of 1995. He has been dubbed the "Nasrec Strangler" because many of the bodies were found near an exhibition center with that name south of Johannesburg.
The killer has been profiled as well dressed, suave and intelligent man with a deep- seated hatred of women. His victims are black females, mostly between the ages of 20 and 35, who are lured from minibus taxis. Authorities suspect he could be a minibus driver. In 1996 authorities arrested a suspected rapist Samuel Bongani Mfeka and is being questioned over the Nasrec serial killings. Although suspected of six other murders, there has been no links established between Mfeka and the Nasrec killings.
On July 5, 2000, two men appeared in a South African court in connection with the murders of 51 people in the Nasrec industrial district in Southern Johannesburg and the Soweto township. Lazarus Mazikane and Kaizer Motshegwa, both 27, were already in custody on unrelated charges when police announced their astonishing body count. "There are 53 cases, of which 51 of the victims were killed," police director Henriette Bester told Reuters. "Of the 51 murder victims, 32 were female, all of whom were raped. Seventeen of the victims were children between the ages of five and eight of whom 11 were girls."
One of the two suspect had been recently convicted and sentenced to 30 years in jail on a rape charge. Facts surrounding the rape case convinced investigators that they had a serial killer in custody. According to authorities the suspects pointed out several murder sites during questioning.
Possible Newark, New Jersey, Serial Killer (14) Essex County Prosecutor Patricia Hurt appointed a task force on April 2, 1998, to investigate 14 unsolved murders of black women over the past five years. The women -- many of them prostitutes -- were stabbed, strangled or suffocated, and their bodies dumped in vacant lots or abandoned buildings a few miles from each other. Nine of the 14 cases targeted by the task force were killed in Newark, while three were killed in Irvington and two in East Orange. They were between 19 and 37 years old.
"We don't know if there is a pattern yet," Newark Police Director Joseph J. Santiago said. "That's not to say I'm not looking for one." The women were killed in different ways and disposed of in different places. But a high-ranking law enforcement source told The Star-Ledger of Newark, "All indications point to a serial killer."
In nearby Union County, Prosecutor Thomas Manahan said he is investigating four unsolved slayings of black female prostitutes killed between 1988 and 1994. He said authorities have likely suspects for all of them, but he appointed a homicide investigator to determine if the killings could be linked to the Essex County slayings.
Possible Muti Serial Killer in Johannesburg (13) South African police believe a serial killer could be responsible for the murders of two children and the disappearances of 11 others over the last five months in a Johannesburg shanty town. Authorities believe the children could have been dismembered so their body parts could be used for muti, a form of traditional medicine.
Police have been searching in and around the Orange Farm township, trying to establish whether any of the township's 13 missing children have fallen prey to suspected muti-murderers or a serial killer. The search was triggered by the discovery of the dismembered body of six-year-old Zanele Nongiza near her home. Three days later authorities found a skull and ribs, also believed to be those of a child. The body of a six-year-old girl was also found in nearby Finetown, outside Ennerdale. Police suspect the killings are muti-related. Muti being a ritualized religious practice of South African blacks. Police believe the first of the spate of killings in the area wstarted in February last year, when the body of a girl was found dumped in the veld near Finetown.
"The Southside Slayer" (12+) The Southside Slayer has tallied at least twelve black "strawberries" (crack-addicted prostitutes) in Los Angeles since 1984. In 1993, after denying the existence of a serial killer wiping out "strawberries" in South Central, authorities arrested a black policemen in connection to the killings. The man proved to be innocent. The whole incident ruined his life and his career in the police department. No one would blame him if he started his own killing spree. However, the real killer is still at large and at work in the streets of Los Angeles. Presently he is at twelve confirmed hits and counting.
"Possible Pittsburg Serial Killer" (12+) Pittsburg police announced there could be a serial killer in their city who has claimed the life of more than a dozen prostitutes since the late 1980s. However, detectives can't establish a connection between the cases except the victims' hard lives as drug addicts who sold themselves for a fix and ended up dead in remote areas outside the city, some in suburban communities and others in outlying counties.
Some victims, such as Leah Hall, 32, of Oakland, who was found dead in Carnegie in 1997, were strangled. But the coroner's office hasn't been able to establish a cause for others, such as that of Cherida Warmley, 43, of Lawrenceville, whose skeleton was found in North Versailles last year, or Faye Jackson, 24, of Garfield, whose dismembered remains were found in a Monroeville creek in 1994.
Talk of a link began in October, 1999, with the discovery of the skeletal remains of Angelique Morgan, 27, in an abandoned Shadyside house. In the winter of 1997, after the bodies of Hall and Dorothy Siemers, 29, turned up in the suburbs, county police said they suspected the deaths could be connected.
Three years ago, Torbin and Pittsburgh police Cmdr. Ron Freeman even discussed going to the media to drum up information about some of the deaths, although they never did.
While some city and county detectives privately doubt there is a link, others point to the improbability that so many similar deaths -- perhaps as many as 18 -- would be the work of different people.
At least five Allegheny County deaths fit the category of prostitutes from the city found dead in the suburbs: Hall, Siemers, Warmley, Jackson and Jessica Freeman, 15, whose beaten body was discovered along railroad tracks in Bethel Park in 1992. Two recent deaths also might be part of the police investigation.
On June 28, the skeletal remains of a young woman were found in a vacant house in Wilkinsburg. She has yet to be identified, but an autopsy showed she was strangled. On Oct. 6, Morgan's skeletal remains were discovered. The cause of her death hasn't been determined, but police suspect she was slain, because she was found under a carpet and a mattress with her sweat shirt wrapped around her head. Police said she was a prostitute and drug addict.
"We have developed suspects in most of these cases, but the evidence does not overlap," said Sgt. Lee Torbin, a 27-year homicide squad veteran. "There is no common denominator."
"Northwest Serial Killer" (12+) The disappearances of 12 women and the slaying of 29 others in the counties of King, Pierce and Snohomish in Washington State are being considered as the work of a possible serial killer.
Authorities do not believe these slayings, which began in 1985, have been perpretrated by the "Green River Killer" because there have been too few of them. The "Green River Killer" was very prolific, killing as many as five women in a month. However, this new killer shares some habits with the notorious murderer: he abducts mostly prostitutes, kills them, and leaves their bodies in rural areas.
Timothy Joseph McGhee (12) On January 10, 2003, the LA Times reported that a Los Angeles gang leader was wanted in connection with 12 homicides. According to police, 29-year-old Timothy Joseph McGhee, the Monster of Atwater, has either overseen or pulled the trigger in the executions of gang rivals, witnesses and others simply unlucky enough to have crossed his path. "He likes killing people; it's his high and he does it for kicks," said Los Angeles Police Department Detective Andy Teague.
McGhee, the leader of Toonerville gang, has spent a third of his life behind bars. Formed in the late 1950s, the mostly Latino gang claims the largely middle-class Atwater Village area east of Hollywood as their turf. McGhee, who has an eagle and a snake from the Mexican flag tattooed across the back of his head, was convicted in 1994 of assaulting a peace officer in San Bernardino County and sentenced to four years in prison. He was released after serving three years, and then sent back to prison in 1997 on a parole violation. He was released in March 1999, violated parole again and was returned to prison in February 2000. He was released two months later. Police suspect that McGhee killed a rival gang member in 1997 and a bodyguard for a rap artist at an Atwater music studio in 1999.
McGhee was "out hunting" with fellow gang members on June 3, 2000, when they allegedly killed 16-year-old Ryan Gonzales "When they go into rival territory, it's like a hunter going into a big-game preserve," , Teague said. McGhee also is alleged to have fatally shot a 17-year-old boy, Marty Gregory Roybal, who was sketching a picture at the Los Angeles River on September 14, 2000, and then, seeing that a nearby homeless man -- David Lamont Martin, 33 -- might have been a witness, is alleged to have killed him too.
McGhee's killings accelerated during the summer of 2001. In June 12, he is suspected of fatally shooting a Pomona resident, Manuel Apodaca, 21, and critically wounding Nina Guerrero, his pregnant girlfriend, when they tried to rob him. Guerrero suffered severe brain damage, but was able to give birth. The next month, McGhee ordered the killing of Carlos Velasco, a 21-year-old man working at a furniture warehouse. Three weeks later, McGhee allegedly killed Bryham Robinson, 38, Cheri Wisotsky, 46, and her mother, Mary Ann Wisotsky, 64, after Cheri told police about drug dealing at the house where McGhee's sister lived.
In November 2001, McGhee and fellow gang members, armed with handguns and assault rifles, went looking to kill a victim in rival territory, police said -- revenge for the earlier slaying of a Toonerville member. Once they spotted a sport utility vehicle on the road, they decided to make the occupants their next victims. McGhee and crew allegedly cut off the SUV and fatally shot Margie Mendoza, a mother of two, and wounded her husband. "They murdered the first people they saw," Teague said. "For them, it didn't matter if it was a guy watering his lawn or a kid skateboarding down the street. All that's necessary is that the victim is in the rival gang's territory."
"Spider Killings" in Iran (12) Authorities suspect there is a serial killer active in Mashhad, one of Iran's holiest cities. Since July 2000, at least 12 "truck women" -- prostitutes who service truckers and delivery men -- have been found strangled to death, their bodies dumped into local streets and canals. In all cases a head scarf has ben found knotted twice to the right side of the neck. The slayings have been dubbed "the spider killings" by a local newspaper because of the way the women were found wrapped in their chadors.
Curiously, the killings pose a complicated problem for Iran's religious leadership who deny the existence of prostitution in their society. "We are an Islamic state. We don't have prostitution. We don't have drug addicts," said Fatamh Mansourian, director of the first and only nongovernmental organization allowed to work on the issue of prostitution. "The first step is saying, Yes, we have prostitutes; we have problems."
Some believe that the killings are a cold-blooded conspiracy perpetrated by religious radicals and aimed at undermining moderate presidency of Mohammad Khatami, who has tried to open society and force it to confront difficult social issues. H. Zaare Seffat, deputy governor general for security and law enforcement in the region said that there is no proof of a conspiracy but that the conservative religious community is not terribly disturbed by the affair. "Extramarital relations--our society cannot accept," he said, though he added that he does not excuse murder. Furthermore, no one really feels sorry for the women who, for all given purposes, have hopelessly disgraced themselves. But most believe the killings are the work of a single individual out for some sort of revenge.
The authorities are especially sensitive about the killings because they've been happening in Mashhad. The city -- whose name literally means Place of Martyrdom -- is an extremely sacred site for Iran's Shiite Muslims, drawing as many as 12 million pilgrims annually to the burial site of Imam Reza, the eighth grandson of the prophet Muhammad. The city also has a dark underbelly -- right next to the sacred shrine -- crawling with heroin addicts and prostitutes, where the killings are taking place. The city is also overwhelmed with 200,000 refugees from Afghanistan, which is merely a two-hour drive, and which bring poverty, drugs and prostitution.
The first body was found on a roadside last July. The dead woman, Afsaneh, 30, was a suspected prostitute and convicted drug user. The next week, two more prostitutes were found strangled, both with those two knots on the right side of the neck. Five months later, three more bodies were added to the toll, and police acknowledged a link between the killings and set up a special task force. When local newspapers suggested that the killings were the work of religious vigilantes, the reform-minded parliament in Teheran ordered an inquiry. On April 1, 2001, following the inquiry, the local investigative team was replaced with a special squad from Tehran. Within two weeks, three more prostitutes were killed, suggesting it could indeed be a politically motivated rampage.
Possible Cincinnati Serial Killer (12) Although police are reluctant link any of the killings or discuss the subject, it seems like the Cincinnati area has a serial killer hunting women. Since 1996 about a dozen female bodies have popped up throughout a eight to ten county area in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. The victims are similar in age and appearance.
"The Norfolk/Hampton Roads Killer" (12) Since the mid-eighties a number of homosexual men have abducted in and around the Norfolk area and their bodies dumped in the Chesapeake/Portsmouth areas. Ten were strangled; the others were too decomposed to determine how they died. All but one were found nude. Most victims were gay, some were drifters or transients and some were hustlers. Nearly all were last seen in or near gay bars in Norfolk or Portsmouth.Chesapeake Detective Cecil Whitehurst who was assigned to the case said the fact that the killer dumped the bodies away from the crime scenes made solving the cases more difficult. A couple of suspects have been in custody regarding one victim or another, but no one has been tied to more than one killing. On March 5, 1998, Chesapeake Police Chief Richard A. Justice named Elton M. Jackson as the suspect in all 12 homicides
"The Cleveland Torso Murderer" (12+) Also known as the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run. His official tally was 12, but some believe that he killed up to 40. His bloody rampage spanned from 1935 to 1938. Some believe he was active from 1923 to 1950. He decapitated most of his victims and cut off their limbs. Unwittingly he caused the downfall of Eliot Ness who failed to capture him. The Mad Butcher apparently was very knowledgeable of anatomy leading many to believe he might have been a surgeon. The Butcher's precise cutting style also linked him to the Black Dahlia murder in Los Angeles.
Ness believed the Butcher was a medical student from a prominent and politically active Cleveland family. The name of the suspect was never released due to the family's powerful connections. Curiously, the murders stopped in August of 1938 when Ness forced the student doctor into a hospital. The killings resumed briefly in 1950 when he was let out and stopped when he was hospitalized once again n.
In 1939 the sheriff's department extracted a confession from a Bohemian immigrant named Frank Dolezal. When the confession was questioned Dolezal recanted and was soon found hanged in his jail cell. It is believed his apparent suicide was in fact a cover-up for the brutal treatment he received from the police.
"Grand Rapids Serial Killer" (11) Authorities are puzzled by the slayings of 11 women -- nine of which were prostitutes -- in and around the Grand Rapids area. "When this started, the reaction we heard was rather casual, like the women who had been killed were too careless. But then more and more bodies were found."
The first victim, Lesa Otberg, 25, of Grand Rapids, was discovered in March 1994 in nearby Muskegon. Eight months later, another body, still unidentified, was found in neighboring Ottawa County. The others have been in the Grand Rapids area, including five since August, 1996. The latest victim was Victoria Moore, 29, whose decomposed body was spotted by a squirrel hunter two weeks ago 20 miles north of the city.
Police aren't certain they are dealing with a serial killer. "We're not denying that it's a possibility," said Lt. Carol Price, a spokeswoman for the 15-member task force assigned to the case. "But we don't concentrate on that theory to the exclusion of others."
At least five of the 11 victims had contacts with the Rose Haven Ministry, a sanctuary for prostitutes. Most of the victims have been young white women with dark hair.
Missouri River Killer (10+) AKA "Independence Avenue Killer". Apparently a serial killer has been dumping into the Missouri River the bodies of Kansas City women from red light district. On October 10, 1996, the body of 21-year-old Christy Fugate was pulled from the rushing waters of the Missouri river near Dover in Lafayette County, Missouri. Since then, nine more bodies has appeared downriver.
All murdered women were alleged prostitutes working in the Independence Avenue area of Kansas City, Missouri. They were all roughly of the same weight and height, and many had been warned of the possible threat to their lives posed by what police are ready to call a serial killer.
So far, ten women from Kansas City have been discovered downstream, and three women who were suspected to work in the Independence Avenue area have disappeared. Five months after Christy's body was discovered, the body of Sherri Livingston was found in the river nearby. Three weeks passed, and another body - Connie Wallace-Byas - was found. The next day, Linda Custer's body was recovered near Dover. Two weeks later, Chandra Helsel's body was found near Boonsville. In April 1998, the mutilated body of Tammy Smith was found in the river near Sibly.
The bodies of four other Kansas City women have been discovered along the water's edge. Police believe they too may be the victims of the mysterious Missouri River Killer.
"Possible Atlanta Lust Killer" (10+) Law enforcement personnel believe that a lust killer has been at large in Atlanta for the last 15 years. Though the killings have been occuring since the Wayne Williams investigation, many upper level enforcement agents believe that it is not a serial killer. The suspected perpetrator hunts black prostitutes and thetrically stages their bodies at most crime scenes. The possible killer is believed to be responsible for more than ten deaths.
"The Original Night Stalker" (10) On October 3, 200, California investigators annnounced they had uncovered through DNA testing that a serial killer was responsible for the deaths of 10 people, most of them couples, between 1979 and 1984. Dubbed "The Original Night Stalker," the killer is believed to have carefully selected his victims from upscale communities in Orange, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Using cutting-edge technologies investigators at the Orange County Sheriff's Department have linked six separate murder scenes and 10 victims to a single suspect.
The suspected killer disappeared after 1984, leading authorities to believe he might have died, was incapacitated, or was incarcerated for an unrelated crime. "It's very doubtful that he would have just stopped," Orange County sheriff's Detective Larry Pool said. "Serial killers don't just stop." After years of inactivity, the investigation is white-hot once again, driving the families of the victims have posted a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of the unidentified suspect.
The mystery began to take shape four years ago when scientists at the Orange County Sheriff's Department's DNA lab started applying new technology to old murder cases and found three with striking similarities. The next year, the department's new "cold case" unit found evidence that a previously undetected serial killer may have left at least 10 victims in three Southern California counties from 1979 to 1984. DNA tests of semen and hair found at four crime scenes and a common method have led investigators to believe that a single man was involved in six different attacks.
The idea that the killer may still be alive has spurred Detective Pool to conduct a desperate search to match a face to the trail of DNA. The search has taken him and partner Brian Heaney to San Quentin prison, where more than 60 inmates occupy death row. But the two hit a legal hurdle. An injunction prevents investigators from taking DNA samples from California inmates on death row.
At the time of the murders the killer is believed to have been a young man, maybe in his early 20s, and he had a medium build, with a broad, muscular chest. He also brought his German shepherd to several of the crime scenes. Based on the nature of his crimes, Pool said, investigators have concluded that the killer harbored a murderous rage towards women, probably because he believed some woman in his life, "a girlfriend, a mother, a stepmother," wronged him.
His first known attack was in 1979 when he broke into the home of Jennifer Horinek and her boyfriend Abraham Himmel in Goleta, not far from Santa Barbara. When the man started rubbing himself over his pants the would -be victims managed to escape. Several weeks later, authorities say, the man broke into the Goleta home of Alexandra Manning, a clinical psychologist, and Dr. Robert Offerman. There he caught the couple sleeping and bludgeoned them to death. Curiously, he brought his dog with him. As in all other cases, he used an object he picked up in the home as the murder weapon.
More than a year and a half passed before the killer struck again. Again, the victims were from Goleta, leading investigators to believe that the killer lived nearby. Authorities now say that the killer seemed to have carefully selected his victims, picking out women who appealed to him and making sure that their mates could easily be disposed of. the victims were Cheri Domingo, 35, and Gregory Sanchez, her 27-year-old lover. Domingo had been bound and her head smashed with a blunt object. Sanchez was shot first and then clobbered to death.
By 1980, authorities say, the killer headed south. First he killed Charlene Smith, 33 and her husband, Lyman Smith, in their Ventura County home. The Smiths were beaten to death with a log from their fireplace. A short time later, the killer surfaced in Orange County, south of Los Angeles. There he targeted Keith Harrington, 24, and his new bride, Patrice. They were found bludgeoned to death in their Laguna Niguel home. A year later, authorities say, another young Orange County woman, Manuela Witthuhn, was raped and killed in her Irvine home. In 1986, another young woman, Janelle Cruz, 18, was also killed in her Irvine home. She, too, had been raped. Since the murder of Cruz the killer has not resurfaced, leading investigators to think he is dead, incapacitated or in jail.
On March 28, 2001, authorities announced they had linked through DNA the "Original Nightstalker" to a series of rapes in Northern California. Known as the "East Area rapist" the suspect is responsible for at least 44 rapes committed from Sacramento to San Ramon during a three-year period in the 1970s. "Unfortunately it's still a faceless person," said Jim Amormino, a spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department. "Now more and more information is going to come out. There is lots of work to do--the most exciting news would be to match this up to a suspect and bring him to justice, and I believe this brings us closer to doing that."
Using new DNA technology investigators talked to a now-retired detective in the rape cases who speculated that the rapist had moved to Southern California in 1979. A series of phone calls led to the Orange County Sheriff's Department, which had retained DNA samples from the murders, and the match was made. "It's a breakthrough from the standpoint that the investigators down there all of a sudden have 44 new cases where investigations were done," Holes said. "Now the homicide investigators have a history of the early offenses--we're all hoping that it leads to the killer's apprehension."
"River Monster Killer" (10) While police in Transkei probe reports that a "river monster" has killed at least seven people in the Mount Ayliff area in the last few weeks, there are growing fears that a serial killer is actually on the loose and is being mistaken for the "monster". Police spokesman Insp Maphelo Ngame confirmed that police were investigating the possible existence of the "half-fish, half-horse" monster said to have savaged people crossing the Mzintlava river to Rubaleko village. "The matter has been reported to the police by several people in Mount Ayliff and while the monster is said to have struck on different occasions, the affected families have given similar accounts of how the victims were attacked.
"The Butcher of Mons" (3-10) Since March 22, 1997, authorities have found 30 garbage bags in the town of Mons and it's surroundings containing severed female body parts of at least four, and possibly up to eight, women.
Belgium's latest criminal embarrassment seems to be taunting authorities by leaving the dismembered remains of his victims in places with emotive names. Having already left remains in the Rue du Depot (Dump), near the River Haine (Hate), on the Chemin de l'Inquietude (the path of Worry), and on the banks of the River Trouille (Jitters), one can only think that Belgian authorities should give their geography more cheerful names.
Police are under heavy pressure to solve the killings after strong parliamentary criticism of bungled investigations into missing children kidnapped by Marc Dutroux's pedophile ring. Investigators revealed that the victims were dismembered with "remarkable precision" leading them to believe the killer could be a surgeon or butcher. They believe the suspect might have a regular suspect he may have a 9-to-5 job because the carefully placed bags with dismembered bodies have only appeared on weekends.
An FBI-trained specialist has been called in to help prepare a psychological profile of the maniac. Furthering the scope of the investigation, Belgian prosecutors have been in contact with French counterparts in Valenciennes, to find out if there is any link with the still-unidentified woman's pelvis found at Chateau l'Abbaye in January, 1996.
Analysis suggests that one of the victims might have died less than two weeks before the body parts were found. Another victim seem to have been killed up to two years ago. Some body parts appear to have been frozen suggesting that the killer must have access to a large refrigeration unit.
On June 3 a report was released that said investigators are looking into some religious motive, or even satanism, relating to the killings. "The treatment of the bodies is very methodical, which is often the case with satanics involved in ritualistic killings," said local gendarme Didier Van Reusel. The town itself has worshipped through the ages many saints associated with decapitation. Pointedly, the last of the 30 bags found containing bodyparts was on Rue St Symphorien, named after a third century French saint who was decapitated and whose relics are in church nearby.
The initial supposition that the killer was a butcher or a surgeon because of the precision of the dissections has been disproven. Apparently the killer did not dismember the bodies by hand. He rolled his victims through a machine -- used for chopping logs -- with circular blades placed at 12-inch intervals. Each body part so far found measures exactly one foot. "There are not that many places you can carry out that operation, with the blood and the smell," said Mr Van Reusel. "And there are not that many people who own a machine like that."
The report also identified Martine Bohn, 43 and Nathalie Godart, 21, as two of the victims. Martine, a French transsexual and a retired prostitute who worked the bars, disappeared on Sunday July 21. Her torso was found floating in the Haine with her breasts cut off. A third presumed victim is Jacqueline Leclercq, 33, who disappeared on Jan 23. Psychiatrist believe the killer is a fastidiously anal retentive person. All 30 bags disvovered were bundled up and knotted in precisely the same manner. "Very neatly, very precisely, the work of an obsessive," said Mr Van Reusel. Furthermore, their placement and display seems to be meticulously thoughtout and orchestrated.
Authorities released their only suspect -- a man who lived in the fringes of society who new one of the victims -- because clearly he was not the killer. Presently the man left the country and the deadly cat and mouse game continues.
A year later, on May 21, 1998, authorities believe the killer might have resurfaced in the city of Ranst where police found 5 human heads and skeletal remains of what could be 7 bodies in a container.
Operation Enigma (14) On May 26. 1996, in order to find out whether or not they are dealing with a serial killer, British authorities launched Operation Enigma. The files on the unsolved murders of scores of women over the past decade have been reopened and police will be harnessing the skills of criminologists at home and abroad, including the psychological profilers of the FBI.
The killings go back to January 1987, when 27-year-old prostitute and heroin addict Marina Monti's partially clothed body was discovered on waste ground near Wormwood Scrubs prison in west London. She had been strangled and beaten. Next was Janine Downes, 22, also a prostitute. Her half-naked body was found in a hedge near the Wolverhampton to Telford road in February 1991. She, too, had been severely beaten and then strangled. The other seven victims followed a similar pattern.
"From the general information, such an individual is likely to be personable and not stand out. He is able to blend in because he can approach and solicit victims," former FBI profiler, Richard Ault told authorities. According to Ault such a man would be employed and probably falls into what the FBI categorises as the "organised" killer-- someone of above-average intelligence, socially competent, often living with a woman and driving a well-maintained car who kills after some stressful event.
However the British police are skeptical of the FBI's profiling and computer referencing techniques. They prefer to find their killers the old fashioned way. James Dickinson, an assistant chief constable of Essex police, who is co-ordinating Enigma, acknowledges some common traits in the nine separate murder inquiries but points out that the investigating teams, having considered all the relevant information, "do not feel that there were sufficient grounds to formally link the nine inquiries."
Enigma was launched by the crime committee of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) two years ago, following concern about the number of unsolved murders of women. It was co-ordinated by experts at the National Crime Faculty at Bramshill, the police training college in Hampshire. They analysed factors such as geography, position of the body, the weapons used and medical details of sexual assaults. Computer analysis provided psychological profiles of the killers and the probable modus operandi. Initially, police identified 21 clusters involving 72 murders, but narrowed it down to 14 linked cases.
After reviewing 207 unsolved murders of women since 1986, authorities concluded that there are four suspected serial killers stalking Britain and that 14 women may have died at their hands in the past six years. The 14 murders were subdivided into four "clusters" - each with with distinctive characteristics sugesting that four men were responsible.
One cluster appears to be centered around Lincolnshire where at least three women had been strangled and sexually assaulted in similar circumstances. In another "cluster", police have obtained a psychological profile of a suspect who may have killed four women. Police from Lincolnshire, the West Midlands and other forces investigating the 14 deaths will meet within two months to compare their cases.
"The Negev Desert Psychopath" (9+/-) Police investigators believe there's been psychopath hunting tourist around Israel's southern Negev desert for the past 12 years. The latest vicitm could have been the English hitchhikker Max Hunter who was shot at point-blank range in the summer of 1997.
The suspect -- described as a 50-year-old, thin man with greying hair -- shot Max and his travelling companion along a desert road more than an hour into the journey. Police initially focused on a possible "terrorist" motive. But sources said that the investigation had now been widened to include a psychopath who has stalking the Negev for several years.
In early August police arrested Daniel Okevn, a former Israeli army officer, for the shooting death of Hunter, and suspect they might have a serial killer in their hands responsible for a series of gruesome rape-murders around Israel. Investigators are compiling a dossier of unsolved crimes which may link the reserve army major to the rapes and murders of four women in southern Israel in 1986, the 1994 rape and murder of a schoolgirl, the 1997 disappearance from Tel Aviv of a 15-year-old, and the 1996 murder of a couple in the Ben-Shemen forest in central Israel.
Okev was a member of a secret Israeli army unit that executed Palestinian prisoners in the Gaza Strip 25 years ago. The manner of the Gaza Strip executions in the early 1970s was identical to Okev's murder of Hunter and point-blank shooting of Gibb. Although Okev claimed he killed Hunter "in a fit of madness" it has become clear that these burst of madness have been coming at a frequent rate.
"I-70/I-35 Killer" (8+) Police are searching for a man who has killed five women and a man in at least three Midwestern states and three more women in Texas. Their prime suspect is male in his mid-20s to early 30s. He is described as thin, 5-foot-7, with sandy blond hair with a reddish tint and a day-old beard.
During a 29-day killing spree -- between April 8, and May 7, 1992 -- the killer preyed on female shop clerks within a mile or two of the interstates. His male victim had long hair and a earring, leading authorities to believe the killer thought he was a woman. He robbed most of his victims, but as an afterthought. Clearly, his main intention was murder. After 29 days the killer disappeared from the Midwest. Authorities believed he was in jail or dead until 1993 when he started killing in Texas. There he bagged between two and four more women using once again his signature .22 automatic pistol.
Cluster Killing in Rural Lousiana (8) On October 29, 1999, authorities in Lousiana announced that the deaths of eight black men found outside New Orleans could be the work of one or more serial killers. All the victims have been asphyxiated -- which is highly unusual considering the victims were young men -- dumped in remote areas and, strangley, left shoeless.
There is no hard evidence connecting the killings, but common threads tie them together. Aside from being young and black, the victims came from poor neighborhoods. Three knew one another. Some had a history of either taking or selling drugs. Most were killed in one place and dumped elsewhere. Seven were found either shoeless or missing one shoe.
The most prominent cluster is in Kenner, a town in Jefferson Parish, home to the New Orleans International Airport. Between October 1998 and June of this year, the bodies of three young men were found, their corpses deposited within a one-mile radius around the outskirts of the airport, stuffed in or next to dumpsters. All three were shoeless. Police said the killer apparently removed the victims' shoes intentionally. "It's baffling," Caraway said. "There's a lot of theories -- maybe that's his trademark or maybe they were inside a house."
The first of the Kenner three to die was 16-year-old Joseph Brown, whose body was found Oct. 20, 1998, across a small bridge on a dead-end road. Brown was in gym shorts and shirtless. He'd been struck on the head several times but died of suffocation. Police said he had cocaine in his system. A plastic bag was found next to his head, covered with his blood. Caraway was not sure whether the bag was used to suffocate him or keep his blood from staining the car that presumably carried his body.
Not much is known about the second Kenner victim. On May 30, Manuel Reed, 20, of New Orleans was found stuffed inside a Dumpster near an industrial strip about a mile from where Brown's body was recovered. He, too, was suffocated and without his shirt and shoes. He also had cocaine in his system, police said. On his right shoulder was a 5-inch tattoo of an ankh -- the Egyptian symbol of life.
The last of the Kenner victims was 21-year-old Angel Mejia, found June 20, about seven blocks from the Reed crime scene. Mejia, who was strangled, was lying next to a trash bin on a dingy commercial strip lined with engine repair shops and an adult bookstore. Caraway believes the killer intended to throw Mejia's body in the Dumpster, but the Dumpster was full. Ligature marks on his legs have led police to speculate that restraints were used to move him.
According to a study by Tom Petee, director of criminology and criminal justice at Auburn University, at least 25 percent of serial killers strangle their victims. "It's kind of an intimate form of killing, hands on, and it's a control type of killing," he said. Petee theorizes that the victims may have known the killer or were relaxed enough -- possibly due to drug use -- to let him get close.
On Dec. 14, 1997, nearly a year before the Kenner slayings, the body of 20-year-old Gary Pierre was found along the shoulder of a road in a remote area of nearby St. Charles Parish. Pierre was neatly dressed and fully clothed, including his shoes. He had been asphyxiated, but there was no evidence of trauma or drug use. St. Charles Parish sheriff's officials acknowledge similarities to the Kenner killings and are sharing information with police there, but say there's nothing at this time to connect the deaths.
In addition to these four slayings, investigators are looking into at least one more in St. Charles Parish and another three in Jefferson Parish that bear similarities.
On July 31, 1998, Murray Ranson's body was found on Highway 3160, a dark, desolate stretch of road lined with canals in the St. Charles town of Hahnville. Ranson was fully clothed and badly beaten, said Capt. Patrick Yoes of the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Office. Ranson was asphyxiated and died with his shoes on.
In nearby Jefferson Parish on Oct. 5, 1998, the body of Oliver Le Banks, 26, was discovered on the edge of a road about three miles from the Kenner dumpsites. He was shirtless and wearing shorts and socks. One shoe was off, the other nearby. Cocaine and alcohol were found in his body, said Bill Duncan, an investigator with the Jefferson Parish Coroner's Office. The cause of death was strangulation.
The following month, on Nov. 27, 1998, 18-year-old Bruce Williams turned up in a ditch in Metairie, also in Jefferson Parish, about eight miles from the Kenner victims. He had been suffocated. Williams was partially clothed, and his shoes were found about 15 feet from his body, said Col. John Fortunato, spokesman for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office.
The latest victim turned up Sept. 1, lying face down in the weeds, only a few feet from where Le Banks' corpse was discovered. Mitchell Johnson, of Kenner, was the only victim to be found nude. At 34, Johnson was older than the others. The cause of Johnson's death is undetermined, but some type of suffocation or asphyxiation may have been involved, according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. Cocaine and methadone were also found in Johnson's system.
Five months before the first of the bodies was recovered, 19-year-old David Levon Mitchell was already dead and buried. As far as police are concerned, he died of asphyxiation by drowning. There was no evidence of a struggle or foul play and no drugs in his system. Police have closed the case, though this was news to Mitchell's parents, who don't believe their son died a natural death and assumed the investigation was still ongoing.
Mitchell's body was found July 14, 1997, in a canal off highway 3160 -- a highly unusual place to swim. His parents said he was a good swimmer, was never in trouble with the law and had a job at an area hospital.
"It was not no damn accidental death -- somebody threw him in there," said his mother, Leatrice Mitchell, who spent nine years as a deputy sheriff with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff's Department.
Possible Serial Killer in Rapid City (8) Eight homeless men have appeared drowned over the last 16 months in a stream that runs through a park in Rapid City, South Dakota. When the first few bodies turned up in the stream on the edge of the Black Hills, police thought nothing of it. As more men died, however, law officers became suspicious. "There's just too many of them to say it's coincidence. But it could be," Police Chief Tom Hennies says. The latest to die was Timothy Bull Bear Sr., 49, from the town of Allen on the Pine Ridge Reservation. He was found in the creek on July 8.
Authorities have no witnesses, there are no bullet holes, stab wounds or evidence of foul play. Police don't know where most of the men entered the stream. What investigators know is that six of the eight dead were Indians, and all but one had been drinking heavily just before they died.
The homeless who live under bridges along the creek believe someone is pushingthe men into the water when they are passed out drunk. Rumors reported to police include accusations that the creek people are being killed by a fellow homeless man, by racist skinheads, a motel owner, members of a Satanic cult, and a big white man on a bicycle. One report even accused a police officer.
Italian Riviera Serial Killer (8) Italian police suspect serial killer has killed eight women along the Italian Riviera since March 9. The latest victim was 32-year-old Maria Angela Rubino who was found on April 18 inside a train bathroom by a cleaning crew at the station in Ventimiglia, a town near the French border. Police said she was partially clothed but did not appear to have been sexually assaulted. The previous body, a Milanese nurse, was uncovered on Easter Sunday in the bathroom of a train headed from the coastal city of La Spezia to Venice.
Both victims were in their early 30s and traveling alone. Both were found locked inside the bathroom leading police to believe that the killer has access to a master key. Adding a certain flair for the bizarre, the killer, after each slaying, left the victims' handbags on their train seats. RAI state broadcast reported that the slayer was believed to be left-handed and shot the victims in the back of their heads using pieces of their clothing to muffle the sound.
Four of the other victims were prostitutes and two security guards. The guards were shot when they came to the aid of a prostitute being threatened by a man with a gun. Italian news reports said the same type of .38-caliber jacket-less, fragmenting bullet was used in all eight killings. The two recent victims and the prostitutes were all shot in the head while forced to kneel.
On May 8 paramilitary police in Genoa announced a the arrest of a 47-year-old gambler described as "unstable", over the recent serial killing spree terrorizing the Italian Riviera after DNA tests tied him to one of the murders. Donato Bilancia -- who has a criminal record for illegal arms possession, robbery, gambling and kidnapping offences, and for holding up a prostitute with a gun in 1990 -- has been arrested only for the March 29 murder of Tessy Edsohe, a Nigerian prostitute.
Bilancia was arrested after being trailed for 11 days. The DNA match linking him to the dead prostitute was obtained from cigarette butts and a cup which he used in a bar by plainclothes agents who had been trailing him for 11 days. Authorities believe they can link the lethal gambler to 18 or more murders spanning over a two-year period. Local Carabineri believe Bilancia not only killed women for pleasure, he also acted as a hired gun for local underworld figures.
On May 15, 1998, Donato Bilancia, confessed to a string of slayings in the Italian Riviera, saying he was mentally ill, suddenly flipped and could not explain his 90-day long serial killing spree.
"Colonial Parkway Killer" (8) There is a serial killer in Virginia that they have yet to catch dubbed the "Colonial Parkway Killer." To date he has killed four couples-- a gay female couple in 1986, followed by a couple in 1987 and two in 1988. One couple is presumed dead and is still missing.
The killer likes to abduct the lovers from their vehicles and kill them, leaving them on I-64 near New Kent County behind a rest area, or on the Colonial Parkway (2 sets here) in their vehicle or as the final couple---whereabouts unknown. One couple was left at a remote site at Ragged Island, off the James River near Smithfield. This killer is still at large to this date. Activities surrounding the murders have lead investigators to suspect either a law enforcement officer, someone impersonating a cop, or perhaps a rogue operative from the CIA.
Possible Transvestite Killer in El Salvador (8) Seven gay transvestites and a female prostitute have been shot to death in El Salvador in the past six weeks but police appear little interested in their investigation. A police chief told a local radio station the murders could be the work of a serial killer but added they were still under investigation.
"Spokane Serial Killer" (10-18) According to the Spokane serial killer task force eight women have been slain by a serial killer in the Spokane area and two others in the Tacoma. All victims shared high-risk lifestyles involving prostitution, drugs, or both. The serial slayings started on November, 1997. The task force is also looking into possible links with 17 other unsolved killings of area women since 1984 -- the year the Green River killings halted at a three-year toll of 49 women. Based on FBI analysis of the crimes authorities announced: "At this time, we're very confident in saying that our individual, or individuals, is in no way connected to the Green River killer." Authorities believe they might be dealing with a copycat Green River Killer
All but one of the Spokane victims were shot to death, their bodies dumped in out-of-the-way spots in or near the city. The women shared histories of prostitution and/or drug abuse. Police say an "extreme likelihood" exists that the four most recent victims -- found from Nov. 6 to Dec. 26 at two sites outside the city -- were killed by the same person or persons. And authorities are considering the possibility their deaths may be linked to those of three women found slain in late August and mid-October. In the latest development, the task force announced that the death of a woman with "a highly mobile lifestyle" whose body was found Dec. 7 in Tacoma -- 300 miles to the west -- may be connected with the Spokane killings.
UPDATE: On April 20, 2000, the three-year investigation into the serial murders of up to 18 Spokane, Tacoma and Kinsap County area prostitutes seems to have come to an end with the arrest of Robert Lee Yates. A balding 47-year-old husband of 24 years, father of five, aluminum worker and Desert Storm veteran, Yates was charged with the 1997 murder of Jennifer Joseph, a 16-year-old Spokane prostitute and is suspected of being responsible for up to 17 more deaths. Yates was a near-20-year veteran of the armed forces who was stationed in New York, Massachusetts and Alabama, as well as Germany and Somalia. In 1997, after retiring from the service and moving to Spokane, he joined the National Guard. As a guardsman he spent one weekend a month trained at Fort Lewis south of Tacoma. "He came to us very, very qualified. In the three years he was assigned to us, he was a good performer. He did an excellent job," said Lt. Col. Rick Patterson, a National Guard spokesman. (more...)
"Mataviejas"(7+) There's a serial killer stalking elderly women in Mexico City. To date the killer has strangled at least seven elderly women with stockings or telephone cables. The latest murder ocurred in October of 2005. Police are investigating whether 22 other slayings of older Mexico City women since 2003 are also related.
The killer, dubbed "Mataviejas" (Old Lady Killer), is believed to be a cross-dressing man or a robust woman. Witnesses have described a masculine figure in a dress near the scene of some of the crimes.
Investigators believe the killer probably tricks his or her way into the victims' homes by posing as a nurse or government worker, then kills the women and ransacks their places. In most cases, only small objects such as crucifixes and rings are stolen as souvenirs.
Police theorize that that killer might be mimmicking France's Monster of Montmartre, a transvestite killer who strangled or bludgeoned to death 21 elderly Parisian women between 1984 and 1987.
Three of the victims all had copies of an 18th century painting called "Boy in Red Waistcoat" by French artist Jean-Baptiste Greuze. The portrait, which was popular in Mexico in the 1970s, shows a feminine-looking boy in a frilly red tunic.
"Lisbon Ripper"(7+) A Portuguese serial killer dubbed the "Lisbon Ripper" is being hunted across Europe. He is being sought by police in Portugal and four countries where he has killed. The "Ripper" is believed to have killed at least seven women since 1992, three in Portugal and one each in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark and The Netherlands. All his victims, the last of whom was murdered late last year, were young, drug-dependant prostitutes.
The consistent pattern of the murders has convinced Portuguese police and Interpol that the killings were committed by the same man. Victims have been strangled, then disembowelled with a shard of glass. On no occasion has there been evidence of rape.>
The killer is believed to be a white male, between 35 and 40 years-old, tall, with a pathological hatred of women, and probably suffering from AIDS. Police think that he may be a truck driver whose work takes him across Europe.
Possible Serial Killer in Siberia (7+)- Police of the Altai region in southwestern Siberia are searching for a serial killer responsible for the murders of at least five female applicants to the Altai Technical University. The five students were kidnapped between June 26 and August 15. Two other women -- the mothers of the five university applicants -- have also been reported missing. Some bodies of women killed in the area have been found in ditches, in woods and in the Obj river near the city of Barnaul, but the bodies of the five young women reported missing from the university have not been found yet. Investigators believe the killer has been active around Barnaul for several years and has been responsible for an undetermined amount of unsolved murders.
Thrill Killer in Downtown Denver (7) Five transient men have been found beaten to death in Downtown Denver over the past two months. Although police have not officially linked the five deaths, they believe the killings may have been the work of a thrill killer. The circumstances in the five killings appear too similar, to close to each other and in too short of a time to be coincidental. All five transients were brutally bludgeoned to death in September. All were found within about a six-block radius of Coors Field.
On September 7 the bodies of Donald Dyer, 51, and George Worth, 62, were found under a loading dock at 2460 Blake Street Melvin Washington, 47, was found severely beaten a day later on 18th Street and died a week later from his injuries at a hospital. On September 26 the battered body of Milo Harris, 51, was found in the South Platte River. The fifth man, Kenneth Rapp, 42, was found by a city crew cutting weeds in a lot northwest of Coors Field. Like all other victims Rapp died from blunt trauma to the head. Investigators believe Rapp died four to eight weeks before he was discovered.
The killings have spurred many transients who would normally spend their nights on the street to seek shelter. At last count, the metro area had about 6,000 homeless people. But there are only about 3,200 beds available, counting transitional and family units. Due to the increased demand, city officials have extended a policy allowing shelters, including the rescue mission, to take in more homeless than they're normally allowed. The policy typically is put into effect during cold weather.
"I have been working in Denver for 14 years, and this is the first time we've seen a pattern of violence against homeless people on the streets," said John Parvensky, president of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. "This is really something very unusual," said Del Maxfield, the director of the rescue mission, adding that he doesn't think fellow transients are responsible for the attacks. "I just do not think it's transients preying on transients. These guys all share a common bond. ... Fighting over a bottle of wine is much different than beating someone up for no cause at all."
On November 18 two more bodies were found in the LoDo section of Denver sparking new fears of a serial killer and maybe even one or more copycat killers are at work. The two bodies discovered near Union Station had been beheaded. Authorities launched a massive investigation when the two bodies were found and enlisted the help of the FBI to profile the possible serial killer.
In related news the Denver district attorney has charged 18-year-old Michael Leathers with the September 25 non-fatal assault and robbery of a homeless man. Leathers, who is from Littleton, also is a suspect in the attack on another transient September 26. However, blood samples taken from Leathers did not connect him to any of the murder scenes.
Possible Serial Killer in Flint, Michigan (7) On October 24, 1999, FBI and police agents announced the creation of a task force in Flint, Michigan, to try to determine if a serial killer has been slaying black womem. All seven known victims have been involved in prostitution and drugs, and -- like in Chicago -- have been found in or near abandoned houses.
"There were no similarities to the girls and no geographical similarities," said Oakland County Sheriff's Sgt. Clay Jansson, who served on a task force investigating the disappearances of four young women. A Grand Blanc Township man convicted of kidnap and rape was listed as a suspect in three killings, but no charges have been brought.
"Beast of the Bastille" (7) From 1991 to 1997 the lethal "Beast of Bastille" is suspected of having tortured, raped and killed seven women in the neighborhood of the famed Revolutionary era Parisian prison. On March 27, 1998, French police picked up Guy Georges in Montmartre after police DNA-matched him to four Beast of Bastille murders and one attempted rape.
The suspect portrayed in police sketches was described as being of North African origins, aged between 25 and 30, tall and athletic, with short dark hair. Georges -- who is homeless and unemployed -- is 35, short, and of Afro-Caribbean appearance.
"The Glasgow Prostitute Killer" (7) Prostitutes who work in Glasgow's red light district fear ther is a serial killer stalking them. With seven of them murdered in the city since 1991, many are taking self-defence lessons from specially-trained police officers.
Detectives are looking for similarities between the latest death of Margo Lafferty, 27, and that of two other vice girls, Jacqueline Gallagher in June 1996 and Tracey Wylde last November.
All seven murders remain unsolved. In two cases -- Karen McGregor and Leona McGovern -- separate men were tried for murder but walked free after verdicts of not proven and not guilty respectively were returned.
Girls working the streets have also been issued personal attack alarms and leaflets offering practical safety advice. The leaflets provide advice to prostitutes on what clothing to wear, where to sit in a client's car, how to deal with a violent client and how to protect their money.
Since the launching of Operation Enigma, the murders of dozens of prostitutes all over England, Scotland and Wales, have gained much neede dattention
Three years ago police in the Midlands refuted suggestions that a serial killer was responsible for a series of prostitute killings in the West Midlands and Leicestershire. But nobody has been brought to justice for the murders of Tracy Turner, Samo Paull, Gail Whitehouse or Janine Downes. And no one in Glasgoq is being her responsible for the seven dead prostitutes.
"I-70 Killer" (7) In the 1980s there was another serial killer operating on a stretch of the I-70 highway betweeen Indiana and Ohio. Unlike the previously mentioned I-70 Killer, this maniac's victims of choice were gay men. In October 1998, authorities announced that they strongly suspected that Indianapolis businessman and serial killer, Herb Baumiester could have been the dreaded highway killer.
An FBI profiler said that Baumeister's cavalier pattern of openly dumping his victims' corpses in his backyard was a sign he had killed many times before. Herb, who insinuated to a potential victim that he had killed 50-60 people, was known to have travelled on the I-70 from Indiana to Ohio around the time of the killings.
"South-Eastern Italian Killer" (7) Police in Italy's south-eastern region of Apulia are hunting a serial killer of elderly women who strikes only on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Up to date, one spinster and six widows have been killed.
All the victims lived alone on the ground floor and opened their door to the killer, suggesting the assailant could be a priest or another woman. In a further twist, each time the killer struck, there was a soccer match on television. One report said the murderer was thought to be "a person about 35 or 40 years of age who as a small child may have been maltreated by his grandmother". All the victims' throats were slit with a knife, an ice-pick or a screwdriver.
"Perm Serial Killer" (7) On August 29, 1996, Russian police in the Urals city of Perm are looking for a serial killer who has claimed seven victims in less than three months. Perm's police chief Andrei Kamenev was scarcely more forthcoming. "It is true that we are looking for a killer who already killed seven people. His latest victim was a woman who was raped and stabbed in an elevator."
"The Tylenol Killer" (7) In 1982 seven people were killed by cyanide-tainted Extra-Strength Tylenol capsules that were purchased from drug stores and groceries in and around Chicago. Though never formally charged with the deaths, an unemployed accountant, James Lewis, was arrested for a futile attempt at extorting one million dollars from Johnson & Johnson, the makers of Tylenol. In October, 1995, James was freed from a federal penitentiary in Reno after serving a 12-year sentence.
"Ironman" (7) In the 1970s, a South African serial killer known as "Ironman", clubbed seven people to death with an iron bar and robbed them as they walked home late at night. Although the killings have stopped, "Ironman" was never apprehended.
Possible Washington D.C. Serial Killer (2-6) Washington D.C. police arrested a suspect in the deaths of two of six women whose bodies were found in the city's Petworth neighborhood over a 13-month period. Darrell Turner, 34, who lives next door to the building where one of the bodies was found, was arrested at his home without incident.
Police charged Turner with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths late last year of Jacqueline Teresa Birch, 39, and of Dana Hill, 34. Police said they had not ruled him out as a suspect in some of the other cases but indicated that other people also are being investigated.
Birch's body was found Nov. 18 inside a building about three miles north of the U.S. Capitol, next door to where Turner lives. The body of Hill, who lived on the same block as Turner, was found Dec. 1 behind an abandoned fast food restaurant about 1 1/2 miles from the Capitol. The two women died from manual strangulation, police said. No official causes of death for the other four women have been established.
Five women who lived in the neighborhood or frequently visited have turned up dead since November 1996. Three of them were found inside a pair of gutted buildings. The torso of a sixth woman who was believed to have frequented the neighborhood was found in a nearby alley. Police would not comment on whether Turner is a suspect in any of the other deaths.
The task force that arrested Turner was put together in November, after The Washington Post called attention to the deaths and the community began weekly meetings. The Princeton Place Task Force eventually included FBI agents and, as Broadbent revealed for the first time yesterday, members of the DEA. Throughout the inquiry, police have declined to speculate on the possibility that a serial killer was at work, at times going to great lengths to offer alternative explanations, including the possibility that some of the women died of drug overdoses.
"Possible South Dublin Serial Killer" (6+) Irish police have called in the FBI to help track down a suspected serial killer after the disappearance of six young women. The Irish Gardai will use the bureau's expertise in pyschological profiling to try to achieve a breakthrough in the string of dissapearances that began in 1993. Four of the "missing six", all aged between 17 and 26, have vanished within a 30-mile area of the Wicklow and Dublin mountains, south of the capital.
Police originally dismissed suggestions that the cases were connected, in spite of the similarities between them. But, after the disappearance in daylight last July of Deirdre Jacob, an 18-year-old student teacher, officers took seriously what locals had believed for years: that a serial killer is on the loose.
In October, 1998, a special Gardai six-man squad was formed to solve the disappearances. But the officers of "Operation Trace", headed by Assistant Commissioner Tony Hickey, who has had FBI training, remain baffled. Sgt Patrick Tracey, a member of the team, said: "The FBI has had so many cases in America of serial killers, and there are common denominators in many of them. When they are analysed afterwards, lots of common threads have been identified.
The first missing woman was Annie McCarrick, 26, an Irish American who was studying in Dublin. She disappeared during a trip to the mountains on March 26, 1993, prompting one of the largest missing persons investigations in Irish history. The US ambassador, Jean Kennedy Smith, and Al Gore, the Vice-President, lobbied the Irish government on behalf of Ms McCarrick's family. Her father, John, a former New York policeman, was scathing about the investigation by Irish police and offered a $150,000 reward for information.
Beautician Jojo Dullard, 21, vanished on November 9, 1995, outside a telephone box at Moone, Co Kildare, while hitching home from Dublin after missing the last bus. Ms Dullard was talking to her best friend when she hung up, saying a lift had arrived. She was never seen again.
Ms Jacob, Ms Dullard and Ms McCarrick went missing in roughly the same area as Fiona Pender, 25, a part-time model, seven and a half months pregnant, who disappeared from Tullamore, Co Offaly, on August 23, 1996. Also included in the police investigation are Ciara Breen, 17, who disappeared from Dundalk, on Eire's northern border, on February 17, 1997, and Fiona Sinnott, 19, a single mother who went missing last February from Co Wexford, in the south.
Officers are also comparing the six cases with those of three women whose bodies were found in the mountains in the past 20 years. Phyllis Murphy, 23, was found raped, strangled and partially hidden in bushes in the Wicklow Mountains in 1980. Eight years later, the decomposed body of Antoinette Smith, 27, was found in a boggy, shallow grave in the Dublin Mountains. She is thought to have been raped and strangled. Two miles away, in 1992, police uncovered the body of Patricia Doherty, 30, a mother of two, who vanished after going Christmas shopping.
"BTK Killer" (6+) From 1972 to 1978 the "BTK Killer" --Bind Torture Kill --killed six or more people around Wichita, Kansas. He liked to call the police and talk to them about his crimes. He also sent several letters where he talked admiringly about David Berkowitz, saying that he wanted to be like the "Son of Sam". Authorities have his voice on tape, yet no suspects have been arrested. One of his victims was a young girl whom he tied to a pipe in her basement and murdered. Then he masturbated over her corpse.
"Zodiac Killer" (6+) The elusive Zodiac is the most mythical killer on the loose in California. There are numerous theories surrounding his identity, methods, and reasoning behind his astrological killing spree. His numbers vary according to sources. Some attribute only six hits to this faceless maniac. Others believe the Zodiac has tallied up to 49. Some have settled on 37 after a note he sent to a San Francisco paper on January 30, 1974 in which he wrote "Me-37; SFPD-0."
"Zodiac," one of numerous killers obsessed with publicity, sent twenty-one letters to various newspapers boasting of his crimes. He obtained his astral moniker after he scribbled zodiac signs around several of his victims. His killing spree started in 1966 and faded around 1974. The rare survivors from his attacks have described him as a heavy set man with glasses and red hair.
In one of his letters he explained that he killed "because it is so much fun." His master plan was to collect "slaves for the afterlife." He also threatened to "wipe out a school bus some morning." For a time it was believed that "Zodiac" had moved to New York where he continued with his deadly habits. However, that astral killer proved to be a copycat. On June 18, 1996, 29-year-old Heriberto Seda, New York's "Zodiac Killer," was arrested after a 3 1/2 hour siege in Brooklyn.
Trail of the Zodiac Killer
Dec. 20, 1968 Two teenagers on their first date, David Farraday and Betty Lou Jensen, are shot to death as they sit in a parked car on Lake Herman Road outside Vallejo.
July 5, 1969: A man with a flashlight approaches a car parked at the Blue Springs Golf Club in Vallejo and, without a word, opens fire on the occupants. Darlene Ferrin, 22, is killed instantly; her companion, Michael Mageau, 19, survives. Less than an hour later, a man calls Vallejo police from a pay phone and says: "I want to report a double murder. If you go one mile east on Columbus Parkway to the public park, you will find kids in a brown car. They were shot with a 9mm Luger. I also killed those kids last year. Goodbye."
July 31, 1969: The Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner and the Vallejo Times-Herald each receive a copy of a poorly spelled letter, signed only with a simple crossed- circle design, in which the author takes responsibility for the July 5 shootings and includes a portion of a cipher. The decoded message, errors and all, says in part: "When I die I will be reborn in paradice and the I have killed will become my slaves."
Sept. 27, 1969: Bryan Hartnell and Cecelia Shepard, both college students, are picnicking at Lake Berryessa in Napa County when they are approached by a tall man wearing a hooded costume. He ties them up with rope and stabs them with a foot-long knife. Shepard dies, Hartnell survives. The killer uses a magic marker to draw his trademarked cross-circle design on the door of Hartnell's Volkswagen.
Oct. 11, 1969: San Francisco cab driver Paul Stine, 29, is fatally shot by a customer at Cherry and Washington streets in Presidio Heights. A dispatcher mistakenly broadcasts a lookout for a black suspect, and two police officers stop a white man who may have been the killer on a nearby street before letting him go.
Oct. 13, 1969: The Chronicle receives a letter containing a bloody swath of Stine's shirt and a threat to shoot children on a school bus. Bay Area police departments respond by assigning officers to escort buses to schools.
Nov. 10, 1969: The Chronicle receives another letter from the Zodiac containing detailed plans for a "death machine" to blow up a school bus. "The police shall never catch me, because I have been too clever for them," he writes.
March 22, 1970: Kathleen Johns, 22, and her newborn daughter are traveling on Highway 132 west of Modesto when a man in a car offers to help them tighten the nuts on a loose tire. Instead, he disables their vehicle and gives them a ride under the guise of driving them to a service station. The man then drives them around for several hours without stopping. At one point, Johns asks if he always helps strangers this way and he replies, `'`By the time I get through with them, they won't need my help." Johns escapes by jumping out the door with her infant and later identifies her kidnapper as the man depicted in wanted poster for the Zodiac.
July 26, 1970: The Chronicle receives another letter from the Zodiac in which he makes an unsubstantiated claim of killing 13 people. Part of the letter, which appears to be a parody of lyrics from the Gilbert and Sullivan opera "The Mikado," describes the ways in which the killer plans to torture his slaves in the afterlife. "Others I shall skin them alive + let them run around screaming," he writes. "And all the billiard players I shall have them play in a darkened dungen (sic) all with crooked cues and Twisted Shoes."
July 8, 1974: In his last verified letter to The Chronicle, the Zodiac complains about the columnist Count Marco, whom he says "always needs to feel superior to everyone."
The Brooklyn Strangler (6) New York City police believe there is a serial killer active in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Williamsburg who is responsible for the deaths of six women. To date the victims have been identified as: Vivian Caraballo, 26, found in an elevator room on a rooftop in Williamsburg on August 26, 1999; Joanne Feliciano, 35, found on another rooftop in Williamsburg on September 16, 1999; Rhonda Tucker, 21, found dead in her apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant on September 25, 1999; Katrina Niles, 34, found dead in her apartment in Bedford-Stuyvesant on October 4, 1999; Jane Doe, tentatively identified as Laura Nusser, 43, found dead February 21 in a burned-out utility room under the Williamsburg Bridge; and Patricia Sullivan, 49, found in an empty lot in Williamsburg.
All victims had arrest records for prostitution or drug-related offenses and all were found nude or partly clothed. In all of the cases, the women were strangled, apparently with whatever the killer found at hand: two with their own sneaker laces, one with the drawstring from a pair of sweatpants, two with electrical cord and one with a piece of cloth. DNA evidence suggests that the first three victims may have had sex with the same man shortly before their deaths. Two of them where also found on rooftops. Three of the victims -- Caballero, Feliciano and Sullivan -- were killed on a Thursday, and a fourth -- Rhonda Tucker -- was found in dead her apartment on a Saturday, but was last seen on a Thursday.
On August 5, 2000, a 31-year-old homeless crack addict admitted to strangling five Brooklyn women, adding that images of his mother clouded his mind as he committed his final murder. "The thoughts of my childhood and foster care and mom came into my mind" just before he crushed the life out of Patricia Sullivan last month, Brooklyn Strangler Vincent Johnson told investigators. "I didn't see strangling her as doing something wrong at the time."
Possible Belize Serial Killer (6) A string of six rape-murders of girls throughout Belize has residents concerned that a serial killer might be on the loose in their usually quiet Central American nation. A thousand people turned out in Belize City for a candlelight vigil in memory of the victims. Citizens have marched to demand more aggressive police work, and Belize City authorities have imposed an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew for everyone under 17.
The bodies of four young girls have been found in the countryside surrounding the capital of Belize City. Two more were found in northern Belize and another was raped, beaten with a rock and left to die in the southern town of Dangriga. She survived and told her story to police.
In March, authorities charged a 40-year-old mechanic with one of the mutilation murders near Belize City, and people took the arrest as confirmation that the serial killer was behind bars. But with the recent discovery of a new victim, people wonder whether police have the right man behind bars. With a population of only 200,000, Belize has long been relatively free of sex crimes and murder. While the man was in jail another young girl was found mutilated, lerading to the man's release.
In March 2000 Belizean authorities released new information on the suspected serial killer stalking their small Carribean nation after the dissapearence and mutilation murder of yet another young girl from Belize City bringing the victim count up to six. The psychopathic killer, dubbed "Jack the Butcher" by the local press, claimed his last known victim February 15, 2000. The victim, Naomi Hernandez, age 15, dissapeared after her grandmother sent her to collect rent money from a tenant. Nine days later her mutilated remains were fished out of the water by a BDF Maritime Wing patrol boat. She was found headless and her entire left arm was missing. With the grim discovery of her remains Naomi became the fifth and oldest victim of this tropical Jack the Butcher. Like the others she was sexually assaulted, stabbed repeatedly and had one of her limbs severed.
Possible Kenner Serial Killer (6) The bodies of tree young men were found dumped in or near garbage guards or alongside isolated roads in Kenner, leading authorities to suspect the existence of a possible serial killer. The victims sold drugs, consumed drugs or both. Two knew each other and were neighbors. All were asphyxiated and were missing their shoes when they were found.
Of Jefferson Parish's 36 homicide victims in 1998, two died by asphyxiation, both of them strangled. Nationwide, strangulation and suffocation made up less than 4 percent of homicides in 1996, the latest year for which information is available, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
But strangulation is much more popular among serial killers, according to a study of 350 known serial killers by Tom Petee, director of criminology and criminal justice at Auburn University in Alabama. Nearly a quarter of them strangled at least some of their victims, he said. Another study showed that more than a third of male serial killers strangled or suffocated some of their victims.
Investigators in two other counties believe three more murders could be related to the unidentified predator. Of the six victims, all but Pierre were missing one or both of their shoes. All were dark-skinned men between the ages of 16 and 27. But most significant, Kenner investigators say, is that all the victims were strangled or suffocated.
"Strangulation as a method also allows for the offender to bring the victim to brink of death and back again if desired, so that the offender can retain control and relive the experience as many times as he desires," Gorby said.
"It's a personal, intimate way of killing," Petee said. Often serial strangling deaths involve some sort of sexual element, either mutilation or a more overt sexual attack, he said.
Possible Anchorage Serial Killer (6) Police in Anchorage, Alaska, believe there's a serial killer active in their city to the tune of six unsolved killings since the summer of 1999. Five of the victims have been Native American women, the other one was African American. Most of the victims were known to be heavy drinkers who spent time on the street late at night. The latest victim -- who has not been identified -- was found in a ravine near the aptly named Arctic Boulevard. The woman's body was covered by frost and was in heavy brush. It was discovered about by a man who had applied for a job at the nearby Gallo's Mexican Restaurant on the east side of Arctic Boulevard.
On October 2, 2000, Joshua Wade was charged with first-degree murder in the death of an American Indian woman. Wade, 20, was taken into custody without incident at an apartment building in the city, police said. Wade was charged in the death of Della M. Brown, whose body was found in a shed in the city's Spenard neighborhood on September 2.
Brown's slaying brought to six the number of women killed in the past 15 months in Anchorage whose deaths had been unsolved. Brown and four other victims were Indians. A sixth victim, killed last summer, was black. Police said they have information linking Wade to some of the other recent murders, but did not elaborate. Anchorage police Detective Sergeant Ken Spadafora said at the time of Brown's death all the victims, ranging in age from 25 to 59, were homeless or substance abusers or both. At least two victims were stabbed to death; another was drowned.
In their continuing efforts to solve a two-year-old string of homicides of mostly Native women on Anchorage streets, police started posting their own reward posters, offering $20,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a suspect or suspects. The cash comes from a project by the Alaska Native Justice Center to raise reward money from Native corporations and other donors. The victims of the remaining unsolved homicides are Vera Hapoff, 26, found June 9, 1999, in Ship Creek; Annie Mann, 45, found Aug. 8, 1999, behind a Post Road building; Michelle Foster-Butler, 38, found Sept. 26, 1999, at East 10th Avenue and Juneau Street; Genevieve Tetpon, 28, found March 22, 2000, along a frontage road leading to Arctic Valley; and Tina Shangin, 59, found Aug. 6, 2000, in a wooded area along the Glenn Highway across from Northway Mall.
"The Atteridgeville Mutilator" (6) Since 1956 Pretoria's township of Atteridgeville has seen a spate of gruesome serial killers. Experts cannot explain why this particular area has bred so many killers. This original mutilator murdered six boys over five months in 1956. He was never caught or identified.
"The Babysitter" (6) During the winter of 1976 an unidentified killer stalked Oakland County, Michigan, preying on suburban children. The killer was nicknamed "The Babysitter" due to the lavish care he provided his young victims while he held them captive before murdering them.
Of the six possible victims attributed to "The Babysitter" two were raped. The corpses of four were washed clean and carefully laid on the fresh snow. The obsessive scrubbing of the corpses suggested that the killer was either practicing some type of cleansing ritual or just merely removing any incriminating evidence.
Because the different killing methods used by the assailant, authorities were led to believe they were searching for up to four different killers. But by the sixth victim, 11-year-old Timothy King, police started believing that they were searching for only ne killer. After Tim's disappearence, his mother went on television promising the boy his favorite chicken if he returned home. He never made it back home alive, however the killer did feed him a chicken dinner before suffocating him.
On March 27, 1977, a Detroit psychiatrist published an open letter directed to the killer theorizing on his motives for preying on children. Of the many responses one stood out: "The artcle was wrong You better hope it doesn't snow anymore." The psychiatrist recieved more letterss froma man called "Allen" who claimed that his roomate was the mysterious killer. It seems that both men were Vietnam vets and that his serial killing buddy was targeting suburban children in his war against affluent America.
There were no more deaths attributedto "The Babysitter." Authorities believe that the killer might haveret ired, died, moved, or was incarcerated for an unrelated crime. Perhaps he moved to warmer climates where he never again saw fresh snow.
In the 1980s, suspicion focused on Norberg, a former Warren autoworker, when relatives found among his belongings a cross inscribed with the first name of a victim -- Kristine. Although he died in a car wreck in 1981, on August 29, 1999, Michigan authorities announced they were going to his grave in Wyoming to take DNA samples to match it to a hair found on the body of one of his alleged victims.
Guatemala's Jack the Ripper (5-8+) The serial killer in Guatemala City has strangled three prostitutes over the last three months usings plastic sheeting. He has also been scrawling angry, moralistic messages on the backs of his victims with a blood-red marker. Dubbed Jack the Ripper, police believe he may have previously killed prostitutes in El Salvador and even Los Angeles.
In an effort to find the serial killer, officers are hitting the streets at all hours, searching for prostitutes and passing out computer-generated composites of the suspect. The pictures, compiled from witnesses who say they saw the suspect enter various hotels with prostitutes later found dead, depict the killer as a short, tan-skinned, 35-year-old with closely cut black hair and sunken brown eyes. Police say he goes by the last name Blanco and speaks with a Salvadoran accent.
Investigators believe the suspect may have fled back to El Salvador after police closed in on his trail. "We're afraid our suspect has fled to El Salvador," said Enio Rivera, director of Guatemala's national police force. "We have been in close contact with authorities there because we are convinced this man will kill again."
The killings began January 27 when police discovered the body of an unidentified prostitute who had been strangled in a dingy, pay-by-the-hour hotel in downtown Guatemala City. In a note to police written on his victim's back, the killer said he "didn't like it, but couldn't help killing" and that he had already killed two prostitutes in Los Angeles. Authorities in California were unable to confirm the killings.
Two weeks after the first victim was discovered, police found the strangled body of Roxana Jamileth Molina in another hotel room on the Guatemalan capital's western outskirts. And on March 6, the owner of a nearby hotel, led police to the remains of another strangled unidentified prostitute.
The killer's fourth victim was discovered four days later, also near downtown Guatemala City. The woman's body had "death to all the dogs. Seven down, three to go" etched in flowery handwriting on her back. On March 29, the body of a fifth strangled prostitute was discovered in Huehuetenango, 180 miles northwest of Guatemala City.
Police don't know for sure how many women the serial killer has slain but authorities in neighboring El Salvador are ready to blame the same suspect for the murder last month of a prostitute there. He added the killer uses his red marker to mark his victims with the letters MS, the initials of the Salvadoran gang "Mara Salvatrucha," which has members all over Central America.
Possible Calgary Serial Killer (5+) In a 19-month period in the early 1990s five women, four of whom where prostitutes, disappeared and their bodies were later found dumped around the outskirts of Calgary. Then the killings stopped -- and there have been no more prostitute murders in Calgary for the last six years. Police believe it's possible one of the potential suspects for the killings was jailed for another murder.
The five unsolved murders are of Jennifer Janz, who disappeared in July 1991; Jennifer Joyes, who disappeared a month later; Keely Pincott, who disappeared three months later; Tracey Maunder, who went missing in October 1992; and Rebecca Boutelier, who disappeared in February 1993. The bodies of Janz, Joyes and Pincott were discovered in separate shallow graves west of the city, while the bodies of Maunder and Boutelier were found in fields east of the city. During the same time period these five women were murdered city officials also have unsolved murder files on six other women.
Possible Fort Lauredale Serial Killer (5+) Florida police investigating the death of Delia Lorna Mendez, whose severed body was found in a dumpster along Federal Highway in Hollywood, are now looking for connections with four Fort Lauderdale prostitutes who worked the highway at one time or another that have also turned up dead.
At least three of the women had similar characteristics: slender builds and strawberry-blonde hair. All were strangled and were last seen strolling along U.S. 1 in Fort Lauderdale. One of the Fort Lauderdale women was mutilated and dumped near a Palm Beach highway.
Boston police is also looking for connections between Mendez's death and the murder of Austrian nanny Karina Holmer who, three years ago, was strangled, cut in half with surgical precision, and left in a dumpster under a pile of rubble.
Possible South African Serial Killer Team (5+) Authorities believe they have discovered South Africa's first case of a pair of serial killers working together. Between February 1997 and January 1998, five young girls, all aged six, were murdered in Finetown, Orange Farm and Evaton, south of Johannesburg. Almost all had been horribly mutilated by their killers. And in March last year a child's ribcage and intestines were found. Detectives on the case believe the remains belonged to another unknown victim. The pattern of the attacks has suggested to police that they are facing the unusual combination of two serial killers working as accomplices.
Police arrested a suspect who works for Johannesburg's southern metropolitan substructure in February. The suspect told police about a killing in the presence of another man, who is now being sought. Police now worry that the other man may strike again. "He will most probably strike again, maybe not here but elsewhere. I can't tell where and when. These people's minds are not like ours. Only God knows how their minds work," said Detective Inspector Christopher Moultrey, who, with another detective, is working around the clock to find the killers.
"He must be strong to lift up the child if she cries and doesn't want to walk with him. He doesn't stand out in a crowd as he dresses in clothes that are neither fancy nor shabby. He also knows the area very well. He knows when the schools come out and where to hide the bodies. Although he also knows the ages of the victims beforehand, he doesn't seem to be a friend of the victims' families. He selects children because he can easily overpower them or lure them away." Signs of sinister killings in the area began to emerge in late 1996 with the discovery of the severely mutilated body of a baby. "No one ever came forward to claim it," said Moultrey.
Subsequently five girls - Edith Aaron, Nompumelelo Kgamedi, Nthabiseng Majoe, Zanele Nongiza and Bukeka Mhlonitshwa - were killed and their bodies dumped in bushes. Aaron, Kgamedi and Majoe had broken necks and were found under trees. Nongiza and Mhlonitshwa, on the other hand, were found decapitated and with missing torsos. Later that year the police found a child's ribs and intestines in a plastic bag which Moultrey said could be linked to the other killings.
"It could be that the killers are curious about how the body works or they want to shock the police and public," said Myburgh. "Or they are getting arrogant and are sending a message to the police that they are getting better and will never be caught."
El Loco de la Ruta (5+) Since 1997 Argentina's highway killer has claimed at least five lives. All his victims were prostitutes who were strangled or slit their throats. Their nude bodies were found along highways around the Argentinian city of Mar de Plata. Some of the victims had their genitals mutilated, one had the word "Puta" (whore) carved on her chest. Police have six suspects but no evidence linking them to any of the crimes. Five more prostitutes are missing and presumed dead. FBI and French authorities have come to help local police with a profile of their killer. It is believed that he might have AIDS and probably grew up with an overebearing mother.
Possible Serial Killer in New Mexico (5+) Detectives investigating the killings of five homosexual men in Albuquerque plan to compare notes with Santa Fe police who are looking into the death of a former county commissioner who was gay. The five Albuquerque killings have occurred since 1994, and while there are similarities, there also are differences that lead police to believe they are not dealing with a serial killer.
Possible Brazilian Serial Killer (5+) Brazilian police are hunting for a possible serial killer after finding two boys, ages 10 and , dead with their sexual organs mutilated in northeastern Maranhao state. Both boys had been raped and one had his neck broken, but the exact cause of their death had not been established yet.
"We believe the boys may have been the victims of the same person who killed another three boys in Paco do Lumiar in the last three years... The other three were also sexually mutilated and their bodies were also found in wooded areas," a police spokeswoman said. The bodies of another two boys were found with similar mutilations last year on the outskirts of Sao Luis, she added.
UPDATE: October 10, 2001
Two women in East St. Louis were found slain one day apart, bringing the number to eight women murdered in the same general area over the past two years. Police said the two most recent killings appear to be unrelated to each other or to the other six slayings.
The first victim found was Lolina Collins, 41. An autopsy showed she had been strangled. Her body, clad only in a bra, was found with a trash bag over the ankles and a second trash bag over her arms. The mother of three had worked at a state hospital until April, and was planning to become an elementary school teacher, her husband said. Police identified the second victim as Brenda R. Beasley, 33, of St. Louis. A motorist found her nude body lying by a fire hydrant. She had her wrists and ankles bound with duct tape. It was unclear if she was sexually assaulted, but she apparently died from a blow to the head. A mother of four, Beasley worked full-time at a fast food restaurant.
The bodies of six other women have been found in the same general area in East St. Louis since November 1999. Most were in areas frequented by prostitutes and drug users.
Possible Serial Killer in Bogota (5+) Five young girls have been abducted from a three-block stretch in Bogota's Miguelito neighborhood from November 1995 to July 1997. Not one has been found. Neighbors are calling the place of the abductions the "Street of the Damned." In January, a mass grave of 20 murdered, abused children was uncovered in western Bogota.
Jack the Ripper (5) The father of modern serial killing, and one who got away with it. Jack terrorized the streets of London in the late nineteeth century and brutally murdered five helpless women. To date no one knows who Jack the Ripper was. Like the minions that followed his example, Jack enjoyed taunting the police and would send letters to the press boasting of his deeds. He practiced cannibalism and tore apart the internal organs of four of his victims. Once he mailed to a newspaper a piece of the kidney from one of the victims when authorities doubted the authenticity of his correspondence.
Two amateur investigators believe an army Colonel from Cheltenham was Jack the Ripper. The pair of researchers are convinced that Colonel Claude Reignier Conder, from Tivoli, was the notorious murderer who killed five prostitutes in 1888 in London. Many famous Victorians were linked with the case, including writer Lewis Carroll and Queen Victoria's grandson Prince Albert Victor, but crime writer Tom Slemen and criminologist Keith Andrews revealed that they have uncovered new evidence which proves Conder was the killer.
According to the researchers the cryptic messages carved on the victims' bodies and scrawled on a wall at the crime scenes were in ancient languages which Colonel Conder knew from working as an archaeologist in the Middle East. "Jack the Ripper was a brilliant 39-year-old British intelligence officer, archaeologist, writer, map-maker and trained killer," wrote Tom Slemen. "The man Keith and I know to be the Whitechapel murderer has lain in Cheltenham Cemetery for 91 years. His name was Claude Reignier Conder. He was born in Cheltenham and had many relatives there. I believe he has descendants living in the area today. He was not suspected of being the Ripper at the time of the killings and even so-called 'Ripperologists' will not have heard of him."
The pair also say 19th century Metropolitan Police chief Sir Charles Warren - who was in charge of the hunt for the Ripper - was a close friend of Conder's. They claim Warren, who went to school in Cheltenham, knew his friend was the killer but took the secret to his grave when he died in 1927. Both archaeologists, Conder and Warren gained worldwide fame by excavating hundreds of sites in the Middle East between 1867 and 1882 and wrote an international bestselling book about their finds.
They discovered the remains of King Solomon's Temple in Jerusalem, including artefacts and rings, which Mr Slemen says sparked a chain reaction which led to the gruesome murders. The rings and other personal items were stolen from Conder's house by prostitute Annie Chapman, who was later killed by Jack the Ripper. According to Slemen, "All of his victims had known one another and had all benefited from Chapman's robbery."
The writer says that Colonel Conder retired to Cheltenham in the early 1890s and lived in the town until his death after a stroke in 1910. His wife Myra died in 1934 and is buried in the same grave.
New York's Last Call Killer (5) On a hot summer night in 1993, Michael Sakara stood up from his customary barstool at a Greenwich Village piano bar -- "the kind of place gay guys brought their moms"-- announced he was too drunk to sing his last-call favorite, "I'll Be Seeing You," and walked out the door with a new friend. Thirty hours later, Sakara's head and arms, hacked off, carefully washed and triple bagged, were found in a garbage can along the Hudson River about 30 miles north of Manhattan. The rest of his body was found a week later, in another garbage container several miles away in Rockland County.
The Sakara case was a defining incident for many East Coast homosexuals. It proved beyond doubt that a serial killer was stalking gay bars, killing middle-aged men and dumping their dismembered bodies in rural New York and New Jersey. Gay protests quickly reached Washington, where congressmen demanded that homosexual murders receive equal diligence by police.
More than 30 detectives from six jurisdictions eventually interviewed some 500 people. Police had descriptions of the suspected killer, weapons and a slew of clues. They had publicity, reward money and intense pressure for an arrest. And then, nothing. No new leads, no probable suspects, and -- after five grisly gay murders all committed in May or July between 1991 and 1993 -- no similar new deaths. The high- profile task force quietly disbanded. For nearly seven years, the "Last Call Killer" murders were just so much filler in cold case files.
The horror started on May 5, 1991. The body of Peter Anderson, 54, a wealthy Philadelphia socialite and Republican city council candidate, was found stuffed in several plastic bags at a rest stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Lancaster County. Anderson was last seen two days earlier at the Townhouse Bar & Restaurant, an upscale bar popular with gays on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. He had been sexually mutilated.
Fourteen months later, a state crew was emptying garbage cans from a rest area on New Jersey's Route 72 in Woodland Township, Burlington County found the head of Thomas Mulcahy, 57, a bisexual computer executive who had disappeared from Manhattan two days earlier. Mulcahy's legs and torso were later found 20 miles away near milepost 61 of the Garden State Parkway in Ocean County Mulcahy, who had a wife of 34 years and four children in Sudbury, Mass., had been staying in Manhattan on business. He was tracked to the Townhouse on Tuesday night, and then to his business presentation and lunch on Wednesday. He never made it back to the hotel. He was bitten on the neck and stabbed in the chest. His body was then sawed into seven parts and washed.
The head and arms were dumped at Woodland, along with his clothes, briefcase, presentation materials, wallet and identification. There was the keyhole saw used in the dismemberment, the box it came in when bought from a Staten Island hardware store in 1989, latex gloves bought on Staten Island in 1990, a plastic shower curtain and a beige Liz Claiborne fitted bedsheet. Also included was a spare blade the killer -- described by police as "a medic, nurse or hunter at least moderately familiar with anatomy and cutting" -- didn't use.
Exactly one week after Mulcahy's head was discovered, the limbs and torso of Guillermo Mendez, 56, of Schenectady, N.Y. were found on July 17 in garbage bags in Rotterdam, N.Y. His head was later found in a garbage bag in a cemetery.
Authorities continued to argue whether the killings were related. The matter was still unresolved May 10, 1993, when a ripped bag was found on Crow Hill Road in Manchester Township, Ocean County with the head of Anthony Marrero, 43, a gay prostitute who performed sex acts for $10 in the restrooms of the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan. The rest of Marrero's body was found in woods near the road. The last dismembered body to be found was Sakara on July 31.
Sakara, 56, looked to be the breakthrough case. Unlike the other victims, out-of-towners and a hooker whose final movements were impossible to track, Sakara was a creature of habit. Sakara left the bar July 30 with a white man in his early 30s, with light brown hair and a medium build. He, like Sakara, drank scotch and water. About a dozen people at the bar saw Sakara with Mark/John that night. At 4:30 a.m., after 13 scotch and sodas, Sakara, 6-foot-4 and 250 pounds, stumbled out of the bar, holding onto his new friend.
Johannesburg Muti Killer (5) On March 17, 1996, police in Johannesburg announced that a possible new serial killer is stalking little girls in the poverty-racked areas south of the city. Inspector Tinus Oosthuizen, who has been investigating the disappearance of children in Orange Farm and Ennerdale in southern Johannesburg, says he believes that five girls killed in the area since October 1996 are all the victims of the same man. Some of the bodies were mutilated. "At this stage we don't suspect that the children were targeted for muti killings, but the possibility can't be ruled out," Oosthuizen said. Muti is a ritualized religion practiced by South African blacks that uses mutilated body parts as powerful charms. It is unclear if this killer is the same or a new one to the other Muti killer which we have reported previously
Possible Lewiston Serial Killer Killer (5) Authorities in Lewiston, North Dakota, have a series of five killing form the late 70s and early 80s that they believe were perpetrated by the same individual. Though, they have a long-time suspect, police have not arrested or identified the individual. Curiously, the task force investigating the Spokane serial killings have visited this unnamed suspect after receiving a tip that he might somehow be involved in the killings. After being interviewed, he man was ruled out as a suspect in the Spokane case
However, he is still aviable suspect in the Dakota serial rampage. The killings of Kristina Nelson, 21, and Jacqueline Miller, 18, and the disappearance of 35-year-old Steven Pearsall were reopened about a year ago. They all vanished on the same night in September 1982 and are all believed to have been at or near the Lewiston Civic Theater sometime during the night. Almost two years after their disappearence, the bodies of the women were found on a brushy slope in Kendrick. Although Pearsall was never been found, he is not believed to be their killer.
Authorities announced years ago they believe the person responsible for the Civic Theater slayings also was involved in the 1979 disappearance of 12-year-old Christina White from Asotin, Washington. White was attending the Asotin County Fair when she called her mother from a friend's home to say she was feeling ill. Her mother told her to walk back to the fair when she felt better. She never arrived. Kristen David, a 22-year-old University of Idaho student from Lewiston who disappeared in 1981, is believed to have also been murdered by same person. Eight days after her dissapearance, her headless torso and leg were found along the Snake River in Clarkston. The next day, the head, arms and part of a leg were found.
The Springfield Strangler (5) With five women suffocated to death in Springfield, Massachussetts, over a four-month period local authorities believe they might have a serial killer in their midst. The announcement came on March, 22, 1998, after DNA testing on the latest victim -- Joyce Dickerson, a 37-year-old mother of two -- confirmed a link with four previous homicides. Dickerson's frozen body was found March 11 near an abandoned restaurant three weeks after she dissapeared from her home.
Two killings occured in February: Rosemary Downs, 43, whose naked body was found in the bedroom of her apartment on February 11, and Loretta Daniels, who was found also naked and suffocated in an alley about a half-mile away on February 3. The first two slayings were a homeless woman was found bound and strangled Oct. 25 in an alley and another woman who was found strangled Nov. 1 in her apartment. All five victims had links to cocaine use.
On April 9, 1998, Alfred J. Gaynor, 31, was charged with the killings of Joyce Dickerson and Rosemary Downs. DNA evidence from semen samples linked the local handyman to the murders. Gaynor -- who allegedly shared crack cocaine with the two dead women -- has not been ruled out as a suspect in three other Springfield killings.
Possible Maryland Serial Killer (5) Patrons at three District of Columbia gay nightclubs have become fearful that a killer is targeting them after five gay back men have been killed in three separate incidents. Gay men at the Bachelor's Mill, 360 and Full House nightclubs became alarmed when they recognized pictures of three of the victims that were posted at the Washington bars. "At some point they all frequented the same clubs but we have not established that they knew each other," said Cpl. Diane Richardson, spokeswoman for the Prince George's County police.
The first victim, Anthony Barnes, 42, was found stabbed to death in his Bladensburg, Md., home on October 6, 1996. Next to die were Jimmy McGuire, 33, and James Williams, 27, who were found shot to death December 21 in a single-family house they shared in Clinton, Md. The final two victims were John R. Whittington, 41, of Hyattsville, Md., and Derrick Hilliard, 22, a D.C. resident, who were found shot to death Jan. 5 in a first-floor room at a Motel 6 in Camp Springs, Md. There have been no signs of forced entry in any of the cases.
"San Mateo County Serial Killer" (5) In 1976 there were 5 slayings in 3 months that terrorized northern San Mateo County. All the victims were young women who were stabbed to death. All had long brown hair parted in the middle. No one has been arrested for the murders. The only development in the last decade was that the county collected the evidence a few years ago and shipped it to the FBI crime lab.
One of the original detectives, Bob Robinson of Pacifica, said in a 1986 interview that police took hair samples from 256 potential suspects, trying to match those found in the Cascio and Baxter cases. They did. The suspect was convicted of a sex crime involving a teen-age girl in another Bay Area county. Unlike fingerprints, however, hair samples are not considered conclusive evidence. In 1976, the FBI crime lab could tell Robinson only that fewer than one out of 4000 people had the same type of hair. Robinson, who believed the suspect could have been involved in several Bay Area slayings, moved to Southern California in 1981.
In a story 10 years after the slayings, however, The Times found a connection. The suspect's brother lived San Mateo, and had been in jail for more than two months. He was released shortly after Cascio was killed. The county jail keeps records of an inmates visitors, but destroys them after a few years. By 1986, the records for 1976 visitors were gone. In the mid-1980's, Texas serial killer Henry Lee Lucas was brought to San Mateo County to see if he could convince police he had committed the 1976 murders, but he couldn't.
"OKC Serial Killer" (4+) At least four women have been found dismembered in the Stiles Circle-Lincoln Terrace-Medical Center Area of Oklahoma City. The first body was found dismembered near the Capitol building in 1976. The last body was found in 1985 during a demolition excavation for the construction of the Centennial Expressway. None of the victims have been identified.
In addition, on April 22, 1995, the body of a female Hispanic or Native American minus head, feet and hands was found in a shallow grave on an abandoned stretch of highway 50 miles west of Oklahoma City. Due to similarities in the method of dismemberment, authorities believe that the perpetrator could be the same as the "OKC Serial Killer."
"Pomona Strangler" (4+) Authorities in Pomona, California, are reluctant to confirm the existence of a serial killer offing black prostitutes in their community. The four dead women discovered in 1993 frequented the local hooker strip, Holt Avenue, and were probably picked up there by their killer. Three more dead women surfaced in 1994 and 1995 that have been linked to this elusive killer. During April of 1994 FBI agents were unsuccessfully brought to the area to analyze the crime scenes and find possible links indicating the existence of a serial killer. Federal agents never did follow through with the investigation. For now the four cases sit unsolved and inactive. Somewhere a killer seems to have gotten away with serial murder and no one is on his/her trail.
Possible Serial Killer in Lousiana (4) Authorities in Lousiana said they believe a woman who was beaten to death and found in November 2002 in a field near Lafayette was slain by a serial killer responsible for the deaths of three other women in Baton Rouge. The apparent fourth victim, Trineisha Dene Colomb, 23, was reported missing November 22 after her car was found in Grand Coteau, a small town near Lafayette. Two days later, her body was found about 20 miles away by a hunter. DNA evidence from the scene matched genetic evidence from the three other killings, which occurred in Baton Rouge, about an hour's drive east of Lafayette.
A witness reporting seeing a white pickup truck parked behind the woman's abandoned car at the end of a gravel road, authorities said. A similar vehicle was mentioned by witnesses at the other killings.
The first three victims were linked by DNA this summer, setting Baton Rouge residents on edge and leading to the creation of a special investigative task force. A hot line for tips has received thousands of calls and police said they have checked out thousands of leads, but there have been no arrests. The first victim, Gina Wilson Green, 41, was found strangled in her home September 24, 2001. Charlotte Murray Pace, 22, was found stabbed to death in her home May 31. Pam Kinamore, 44, was abducted from her home July 12. Her throat was slit and her body dumped about 30 miles from Baton Rouge.
Colomb was the first black women connected to the murderer. She and Pace were less than a year apart in age; Pace was a month away from her 23rd birthday when she was killed.
Family Massacre in Wales (4) Detectives investigating the July, 1999, family massacre in South Wales have turned to the Internet to try to track down the killer. South Wales police have put two posters detailing the main points of the murder investigation on the force's web site.
The move comes exactly two months after divorcee Mandy Power, 34, her disabled mother Doris Dawson, 80, and her two daughters Katie, 10, and Emily, eight, were found dead at their home in Clydach, near Swansea, South Wales. Detective Chief Inspector Chris Coutts said: "Although I believe the key to the investigation lies in Mandy's private life, we are using every means available to us to get these vital appeals out to as many people as we can. Officers investigating the murder particularly want to interview a woman who took a taxi to the Powers' home at about 1am on the night of the murders. They also want to trace the owner of a gold chain which was found at the family's house by detectives.
Police believe the murderer or murderers responsible for a family massacre in Wales knew the victims, and is probably one of the villager of Clydach. As detectives released new information about the killings, the small community was rife with rumour and counter-rumour. Most locals believe South Wales Police already know who the killer is and are merely taking their time to make sure they get all the evidence.
Within hours of the murder it was revealed that Mrs Power was having a lesbian affair with Alison Lewis, a former British martial arts champion and a former member of the Welsh women's rugby team. The couple had met when Mrs Power started watching Uplands Women's Rugby team in nearby Swansea, where Mrs Lewis - a former South Wales Police officer who is married to a serving officer - was an imposing winger. Soon they started an intense but secret relationship. The same day that Power and her children were discovered dead Mrs Lewis tried to kill herself by taking an overdose and then throwing herself from the upstairs window of her marital home.
South Wales Police have put up a reward of £30,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the murderer or murderers. Detectives are anxious to trace a man who took a taxi from the Compass public house on the night of the murders. The investigation team also wants to talk to a heavily bloodstained man who visited a newsagents the following morning some seven miles away. But most of all, they want to talk to a woman who took a taxi to Kelvin Road on the night of the murders.
Possible Itabuna Serial Killer (4) On March 14, 1999, Brazilian police announced they were hunting a serial killer who has tied up, raped and stabbed repeatedly four women before dumping their bodies in a field close to a motorway. Sergeant Marcelo de Jesus Bispo said officers found the four corpses in Itabuna in the northeastern state of Bahia, 282 miles south of the beach resort of Salvador. "All had their hands tied and showed signs of battery and sexual violation," he said. "The autopsy has still not established how many stab wounds there were on each body, but it varies between five and eight stab wounds, concentrated around the heart area."
Police have so far identified three of the women, aged 19, 24 and 36. They are looking for a farm owner who, according to witnesses, lured the women with promises of work harvesting beans.
"Charlotte-Mecklenburg Serial Killer" (5) On October 4, 1996, Charlotte residents were told that police were investigating the possibility that a serial killer may be responsible for the disappearance or deaths of at least four African American women since 1992. Police said they have set up a task force to look at those unsolved cases and others for similarities.
A second task force was formed on April, 1999, when a fifth black woman was added to to the victim list. On May 14 Charlotte police arrested Jafar Abdul Talib, formerly known as Willie James Lynch, and charged him with one of the killings. However, police say they have not ruled out the possibility that the women -- all prostitutes, drug users or both -- were the victims of a serial killer.
Talib 58, was in the Mecklenburg County Jail on an unrelated charge of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, when he was charged with Little's murder. Not your model citizen, Talib was also charged with murder in 1985. The charge was later dismissed by the district attorney's office. Police said the victim in that case was a woman, but did not provide other details.
"Belarusian Serial Killer" (4) Taxi drivers in Brest, a southwestern town on the Belarusian-Polish border, are terrified of a serial killer who, in the final months of 1996, killed three fellow cabbies and a gas station attendant. After the latest killing in January, 1997, the cabbies held a protest surrounding the courtyard where the killer struck down his victim and honked for 30 minutes.
"Possible Serial Killer in Columbus, Mississippi" (3-5) Senior citizens in Columbus, Mississippi, have been arming themselves at an alarming rate following Police Chief Donald Freshour warning that a killer was targeting elderly citizens in their community. There have been five unsolved murders of senior citizens since 1996 in this peaceful community of 24,000 people. Police believe at least three of the killings may be the work of the same person. All of the victims lived in the northern part of the city and died in a similar way, but Freshour was reluctant to use the term "serial killer."
On Nov. 21, the body of 80-year-old Louise Randall was found in her home. The woman, who was a retired waitress and needed a walker to get around, had been strangled. About three weeks later, 67-year-old Betty Everett, a beautician at a retirement home, was found strangled in her home. Both women had been bound and gagged.
Those two deaths made police take a closer look at the killing of Robert Hannah, who was strangled and beaten over the head. His body was found Oct. 13 in his home after a fire. They believe the fire was started to cover up his murder. The body of Mack Fowler, 78, was found in his kitchen July 8, 1996, and the corpse of George Wilbanks, 75, was found Nov. 2, 1997 in his home.
On April 17, 2000, authorities announced they were close to solving at least two of five unsolved slayings of local senior citizens. Police said they no longer considered the five murders the work of a serial killer and believe that only two of the deaths were linked. In fact they said they have evidence linking an unnamed suspect to the murders of Betty Everett and Louise Randall.
"I would like to bring some closure to this for several reasons," Chief Billy Pickens said. "One is for the families of the victims, and the other is for the community. I think the community has accepted that there wasn't a wild serial killer running around." Columbus City Councilman Chuck Weldon said people don't talk much these days about the unsolved killings and that widespread anxiety seems to have diminished. "Everybody is just anxious to get them solved," he added.
"Possible Utah/Nevada Serial Killer" (3+) On February 12, 1999, investigators announced they were one important step closer to finding a serial killer believed to be responsible for the death of one woman in Nevada and at least two more in Utah. They've identified one of the victims and that's an critical clue, because until now, they have been unable to identify any of the women found shot to death and left by several highways in Utah and Nevada. All of the women were stripped naked and posed in crucifix-type positions, with their hands pointing away.
Investigators believe a serial killer prowling the western states is responsible for all of the deaths. They found the body of one woman alongside Interstate-80 near Elko in 1992. Now, they've identified one of the first women killed in 1991 in Juab County, Utah. And that is a significant step toward finding her killer. Sheriff Dave Carter from Utah said, "We talked and we worked on this over the computer until last night and we're quite certain that we do have an identification on it. This will give us someplace to start and that really makes me optimistic. This information made my whole day yesterday." They aren't releasing much information about the woman yet, but they do say they were contacted by an investigator out of Florida about an old missing person's case, which led them toward the ID.
"Possible New South Wales Serial Killer" (3+) Police fear an Ivan Milat-style serial killer is stalking the Queensland-New South Wales border region. A team of detectives is investigating links between the murders of at least three female hitch-hikers over the past two years.
The latest victim is Lois Roberts, twin sister of Aboriginal actor Rhoda Roberts. Her body was found, bound with rope and electrical cord, in a shallow grave in Whian Whian State Forest, 30km north- east of Lismore on January 8.
The remains of the other two women were also buried in state forests within a radius of about 150km between hippie haven Nimbin and Coffs Harbour. In October 1997, the body of shop assistant Lee Stace, 16, was found in a shallow grave in scrub near the coastal resort town of Yamba.
In November 1996, the badly decomposed remains of Victorian tourist and musician Ineka Hinkley, 20, were found in bushland at Bongil State Forest, 16km south of Coffs Harbour.
A task force codenamed Metz and involving seven officers has been established at Lismore to investigate similarities in the slayings. The leader, Acting Det Insp Peter Gallagher, confirmed the operation was looking at a number of murders and disappearances. He confirmed detectives were linking with several other teams throughout the country investigating homicides.
The task force is understood to be looking at similar unsolved crimes in south-east Queensland. Lee Stace's father Peter said: "There's a dangerous person out there, I'm sure of that."
Possible Serial Killer in Idaho (3) On September 24 Long Island flight attendant Lynn Henneman Henneman was killed in Boise, Idaho, by what authorities believe might be a serial killer. "All doors are open right now," Boise police Lt. Jim Tibbs said. "Things are not looking good. There just isn't anything new, and we're worried. The odds against us are increasing, and it may be extremely difficult to get a suspect. The longer this goes on, the harder it's going to be to crack."
On the day of her death, after eating a spinach salad at a local microbrewery, The Table Rock pub and grill, Henneman phoned pals from her room at the Doubletree Hotel in the Idaho capital and said she was going for a walk. But the next day, Henneman failed to show for her return flight to Chicago and was reported missing. Then, a little more than a week later, her nude body was discovered floating in the Boise River by an angler.
Sources said Lynn Henneman was strangled, but cops in Boise would not confirm a cause of death. Nor will detectives say whether she had been sexually assaulted. The police reluctance to release even the barest of details may be due to their suspicion that the Henneman murder could shed light on two other previously unsolved homicides in the area. Several hundred yards from where cops believe Henneman was murdered 22-year-old Kay Lynn Jackson, was raped and murdered on April 5, 1998 - Palm Sunday - while walking to church. Ada County Sheriff's detectives are also probing the unsolved homicide of another young women, Cassandra Ann Yeager who was found June 27, 1999, at a local reservoir. She had been shot with a single bullet to the head.
Possible Kauai Serial Killer(3)The first victim was found August 30, 2000, at a remote campsite at Pakala Point Beach near Waimea. The victim, Daren Singer, 42, had been raped, stabbed, and her face was severely beaten. On May 22, a 52-year-old woman was stabbed and badly beaten and left for dead in a foiled sexual assault in a remote area of Kekaha. On April 7, the battered body of Lisa Bissell, 38, was found in a ditch near Polihale State Park. She had been raped, stabbed and beaten. All three case are so simmilar they are believed to be the work of the same individual. In addition, a woman caretaking a house in Kekaha survived a brutal, similar attack in May. Previous to the sudden rash of five killings there had not been a homicide in Kauai in two and a half years. Of these five killings two have been solved. Previously all murders and unsolved killings on the island had involved drug dealers or domestic disputes. None has involved brutal attacks on random victims like these.
Rumors that have been swirling about the island concerning the murders, while refusing to be drawn (on the record) into any extensive comments concerning a primary suspect in the case. "The investigation is still ongoing. We are awaiting some more test results," Morris said, referring to DNA evidence sent away to labs on the mainland. He added that the Police Department has spent more than $22,000 on testing of evidence collected at the crime scene and from potential suspects questioned by detectives.
When asked about a convicted sex offender arrested on the West Side last summer - a man a Honolulu television station named as a prime suspect in the killings - Morris would only say that the 40-year-old convicted rapist remains in jail on a parole violation. Morris wouldn't comment on a reported lineup which included the ex-convict that police conducted on Oahu last month for the 52-year-old survivor of the May attack in Kekaha, and who was flown in from the mainland. Morris would only say, "I cannot confirm or deny that."
Asked if DNA evidence already collected from convicted sex offenders questioned earlier this year had proven inconclusive, Morris replied, again that authorities are awaiting results of DNA tests. "It is an ongoing investigation," he said. "We are following up several leads. We hope the case will be resolved in the near future. These brutal crimes affect all of us police officers personally." An unidentified subject suspected in the May attack is described as approximately 6 feet tall, dark-haired and weighing between 180 and 200 pounds.
"The Mitilator of Perpignan" (3) Police in France have linked a Salvador Dali painting of a dismembered woman to the murder of two young women and the disappearance of a third. The three victims were last seen near the Perpignan railway station, which since the 1960s was a focus of obsession for the famed surrealist painter. The mutilated victim Moktaria Chaib, a pretty 19-year-old student, was found near the station just before Christmas 1997. Chaib had been stabbed to death. Her sexual organs had been amputated with such surgical precision that police thought only somebody with medical training could have been responsible. Within weeks they arrested a man. Andres Palomino Barrios, a Peruvian-born surgeon living near the station. Denounced by the press as "a Latin Jack the Ripper", he was soon linked to the 1995 disappearance of Tatiana Andujar, a 17-year-old student who, like Chaib, was last seen getting off a train at Perpignan.
The police case against Barrios fell apart when on June 26, 1998, the brutalised torso of Marie-Hélène Gonzalez was discovered. The 22-year-old an office worker had disappeared after catching a train to Perpignan 10 days earlier. Her head and hands were missing. A postmortem examination revealed that, like Chaib, her anuses had been excised by scalpel. Barrios was freed on bail in August last year but remains technically under investigation.
In his Diary of a Genius Dali wrote that the Perpignan railway station, the nearest French terminus to his Catalan home at Port-Lligat, would produce the feelings of "acceleration of intelligence" and "mental ejaculation". Describing a taxi ride around the station, Dali wrote he inspected it, "as if it were some esoteric monument of which I had to find the meanings . . . about the station I could see a radiating aura in a perfect circle . . . my penis sprang to attention with joy and ecstasy: the centre of the universe was there before me". Inexplicably he also claimed Perpignan had saved Europe from destruction millions of years ago when the continents split apart.
A panel in his 1965 work, The Station at Perpignan, shows a male figure about to sodomise a female. Another of Dali's paintings, The Spectre of Sex Appeal, features a female torso with missing head and hands. Gonzalez's skull and hands were discovered in a ditch outside Perpignan in December.
"Possible Serial Killer in Alabama" (3) A string of recent murders has fueled speculation among Anniston, Alabama, residents that a serial killer might be on the loose. "The citizens in the community are worried about the killings, and there is no information being passed on," said Roosevelt Parker, head of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "They want the police to get on it and solve these murders." However, police deny their claims.
The rash of deaths started with the January 13, 1999, discovery of the body of 37-year- old Glenda Marie Pearson of Anniston in a field. Ms. Pearson died from a gunshot wound to the head, authorities said. The next day, Suddy Gentry, 29, was found dead in a drainage ditch.On Jan. 16, the body of Eric DeWayne Dimming, 21, was found in his home. He had been shot to death.
Authorities do not believe any of the homicides are related, and said they do not point to a possible serial killer.
"Possible Rome Serial Killer" (3+) As of August, 1997, following the deaths of an American in Rome and a Florentine nobleman, Italian authorities announced there may be a serial killer on the lose targeting homosexuals .
The American, Louis Inturrisi, 56, taught at Rome universities and wrote for the New York Times, was found bludgeoned to death in his Rome apartment. The nobleman, Count Alvise di Robilant, 72, a former managing director of Sotheby's Italia, was found battered in his Renaissance home in Florence in similar circumstances to the American. Curiously, the Count, although known for his female conquests, had begun a homosexual affair before he was killed.
The latest victim, Enrico Sini Luzi -- elderly Italian aristocrat and gentleman-in-waiting to the Pope -- was found in his socks and underwear with no signs of forced entry in his home. Tightened around his neck was a red cashmere scarf, while on his wrists there was adhesive left by sticky tape. Authorities have 19 unsolved homosexual killings in seven years in and around the Italian capital. However, only the three last ones seem to be most clearly related.
"Possible NY Gay Serial Killer" (3+) From 1991 through 1994 NYPD has linked at least three murders in the New York metropolitan area, and believe as many as five may be the work of a serial killer stalking gay men.
Four of the victims were last seen in Manhattan gay bars. Their bodies, hacked to pieces, were dumped in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Rockland County, just north of New York City. The killer stuffed one man's body into a trash barrel and left his hands and head in plain sight on top of the lid. To date, police have no suspects.
"Australian Pedophile Killer" (3) There is a new possible serial killer in Australia who is killing and mutilating pedophiles. The former mayor of Woolongong, Frank Arkell, was bludgeoned to death and had pins stuck into his face and eyes. Arkell had been charged with pedophile offences but had not been tried. Police speculated that the murderer was interrupted before s/he was able to perform further mutilations such as those performed on David O'Hearn, a convicted paedophile, who was murdered and decapitated as well as having his genitals and a hand cut off and his stomach slashed. Police have linked these murders to the murder of another paedophile, Trevor Parkin. There is speculation that a former victim of these men may have turned into a vigilante serial killer.
"Possible Budapest Serial Killer" (3) A possible serial killer is targeting the owners of small businesses in Budapest. Police said the assailant -- believed to be a man aged around 30 -- opens fire on his victims from point-blank range shortly before the business owners' closing time. On February 4, 1998, a shopkeeper was seriously wounded by a man using the same gun involved in the deaths of two other businessmen a day earlier and the slaying of a sports shop owner in mid-January.
Police in Hungary have announced that they have found the man wanted for the murder of four shop assistants earlier this year. Hungary's first so-called serial killer is a young man in his twenties of Yugoslav nationality. The murders caused a dramatic fall in the sense of security of Budapest's citizens and put public security among the main issues of the general election in two months' time. T
The man in police custody has so far admitted to one attack in which two shop assistants died and police say they have evidence to prove he was guilty of two other killings.
At a public ceremony held in the new national police headquarters the detectives responsible for his capture were given awards and the alleged murder weapon, a small pistol, put on display. The murders over a three-week period beginning in mid-January caused a noticable increase in fear on the streets of Budapest.
Many small shops kept their doors locked, with customers required to ring a bell before they could enter. An extra 1,000 uniformed policemen were put onto the streets. For the time being they will stay there.
"Perth Serial Killer" (3) a.k.a. "The Claremont Killer." A suspected serial killer believed to have murdered three women in the Australian city of Perth has been described by a leading criminologist as a "verbal, intelligent man who has been able to get the trust of his victims."
The last known victim Ciara Glennon, 28, dissapeared March 17, 1997 leaving the Continental Hotel -- a popular nightspot in the affluent Claremont suburb of Perth -- after a St. Patrick's day celebration. She is the third woman to disappear from the Continental and its surrounding within the last 14 months. The two other victims were, Sarah Spiers, 18, who disappeared in the early hours of a January morning in 1996, after visiting the Continental with friends, and Jane Rimmer, 23, disappeared from the same area eight months ago.
Ciara Glennon, the third victim, was found in a shallow grave some 40 miles outside of Perth three weeks after her dissapearence. Jane Rimmer was also found 25 miles from the city. The body of Sarah Spiers has yet to be discovered. Police believe the killer enjoys to drive, because of the long distances he/she covers to bury the bodies of victims. Strangely, police stated the killer enjoys washing his car after killing based on evidence found at the murder scenes.
The detective leading the hunt, Paul Ferguson, said police suspected the killer was a person in authority, such as a police officer or security guard. "These are not random attacks. The person or persons responsible are very organized. The age and type of women targeted show these attacks don't just happen anywhere, to anyone."
Another theory is that the killer could be a cab driver. Detectives are taking fingerprints and saliva samples from Perth's 3,000 licensed taxi drivers. The authorities in Perth advised young women not to travel home on their own alone. Night-time taxi trade has dropped by 40 per cent. A 41-year-old public servant from Cottesloe has been identified as the prime suspect in the killings, but police have been unable to gather enough evidence to charge him.
The Forest Park Killer (3-5) On June 6, 1999, Portland's Police Chief Charles Moose said that the discovery of a third strangled woman in a city park has led investigators to believe the slayings are the work of a serial killer.
The three women, discovered May 7 and 8 and June 2, were found in steep terrain off a dirt roadway along Northwest Saltzman Road, were identified as Lilla Faye Moler, 28, and Stephanie Lynn Russell, 26, both of Portland. Autopsies showed they were strangled. Both victims had criminal records that included drug charges. Russell most recently was arrested Oct. 26 on charges of heroin possession, and Moler was arrested Dec. 29 on the same charge. The the third victim was identified as 17-year-old Alexandria Nicole Ison, of Portland, had at least one drug arrest, a runaway background and was known to lead "a transient lifestyle."
The first victim, Moler, who was discovered by hikers, was lying face down, partially concealed by waist- and shoulder-high grass and blackberry vines. Russell was found a day later about 80 yards downhill from Moler, also nude and with visible strangulation marks. Ison was located about 25 yards south of the paved part of Northwest Saltzman Road, off what looked like a faint deer path.
Investigators were struck by the women's similar facial features, height, weight and hairstyle. They interviewed relatives and friends and profiled each victim. They learned that all three frequented upper West Burnside Street, had heroin addiction problems and engaged in prostitution.
On July 20 Portland police announced the arrest of produce worker Todd Alan Reed, 32, who is suspected of the murders of three women found in Forest Park. Authorities partly credited Detective Sgt. Dave Schlegel for the arrest who remembered previously arresting the suspect in a sexual assault case seven years ago. Detective Sgt. Schlegel had arrested Reed in 1992 in a sexual assault and kidnapping case.
According to court documents from his 1992 conviction, Reed lured a 24-year-old woman to his car on the pretense he needed directions, then forced her into the car at knifepoint, raped her and fastened a belt around her neck. She escaped, and he was convicted of attempted rape and served three years behind bars, between 1992 and 1995. Reed served three years in prison, from 1992 to 1995, for first-degree attempted rape and violating the conditions of a prior first-degree burglary conviction from Gresham, according to the Department of Corrections. After his release, he was ordered to serve eight years of post-prison supervision. Two weeks before his arrest he was kicked out of a sex-offender treatment program because he failed to attend.
An undercover police sting targeting men patronizing prostitutes along upper West Burnside Street led to a week-long round-the-clock surveillance of the suspect before his arrest. Reed apparently made contact with the victims -- Lilla F. Moler, 28; Stephanie L. Russell, 26; and Alexandria N. Ison, 17 -- along West Burnsid. Police also say that after interviewing Reed, he admitted to having sex with two of the victims in the past. All three victims were heroin addicts, and two were involved in prostitution.
The suspect was arrested as he was about to unlock his bicycle and leave work in the middle of his night shift. "He got a call from his girlfriend, and all of a sudden he went over to his bike to leave, and the police got him," owner Dave Rinella said. Reed liked to read science fiction and fantasy books and would talk about them with co-workers. The only unusual thing co-workers noticed was when he went into a panic about a month ago because he feared he had lost his wallet.
Police say they searched Reed's car recently and found plastic stripping that could be used to strangulate people. They also say they found a book called "The Killing Gift." That is a murder novel about a woman who can kill people without touching them.
Spotsylvania Killer (3) In August, 1997 authorities announced the killings of three young girls around Spotsylvania, a small town 30 miles north of Richmond, were likely the work of a serial killer. The slayings of Sofia Silva, 16; Kristin Lisk, 15; and her sister, Kati Lisk, 12, bear obvious similarities that led the task force of federal, state and local investigators to tie them together.
Kristin and Kati disappeared May 1 and were found floating in a river five days later. Sofia's body was discovered in a creek eight months earlier. All three girls disappeared from their homes after school, leaving behind no sign of a struggle. The families lived within 10 miles of one another. All had dark hair and slim, athletic builds. Their bodies were found clothed and in water within 40 miles of their homes, and none bore obvious signs of trauma.
Possible Toronto Serial Killer (3) On May 23, 1996 police linked the consecutive murders of three prostitutes, sparking fears that a serial killer is loose on Toronto streets. Autopsies and ballistic testing confirmed that the same gun was used to kill three victims in the span of three hours.
"They all died of gunshot wounds to the head and they were all killed by the same gun," Detective Sergeant Jim McDermott told a news conference at police headquarters yesterday. "We have three people that are known prostitutes ... and have all been killed in a short span of time, with the same weapon," McDermott told reporters, adding police are "quite concerned" for the safety of prostitutes and people in areas where they work.
"The Double-Initial Killer" (3) Also known as "The Alphabet Killer" In the early seventies three girls in and around Rochester, NY, were brutally raped and strangled and their bodies dumped in neighboring villages that bore the same first initial as their names. All three victims' first and last names had matching initials. The three dead girls were Carmen Colon, who was found dead in Churchville, Wanda Walkowicz, who was found in Webster, and Michelle Maenza, who was found in Macedon.
More than 800 suspects were questioned. The three girls came from poor catholic families, were 10 and 11 years old, and all had problems in school. Due to the odd similarities shared by each victim, authorities believe the killer worked in a social service agency, school or other institution that gave him/her access to their family records. On December 8, 1995, a convicted murderer at a maximum-security prison claimed to know the identity of the elusive killer.
"Possible South Florida Serial Killer" (3) Police in South Florida investigating the slayings of two women believed killed by the same person are visiting every local man arrested for soliciting a prostitute in the past year. The victims -- Kim Dietz-Livesey, 35, and Sia Demas, 21 -- had both been arrested on cocaine and prostitution charges. Both were found stuffed into suitcases and left in plain sight along streets. Dietz-Livesey was found June 22, 2000, in Cooper City, and a woman walking her dog found Demas' body two months later -- on August 9 -- in Dania Beach, about 15 miles away. About 30 Miami-Dade and Broward counties detectives have researched more than 250 leads.
In addition to talking to men arrested for soliciting, they have visited registered sex offenders in the area, contacted the FBI and questioned former associates of the two women. "People think that just because it's a prostitute who was murdered, we don't take it seriously," said Broward Sheriff's Sergeant. Robert O'Neil. "But any murder of a human being is of a serious nature. We investigate it as seriously as the murder of a high-profile businessman."
A third boy was found body stuffed inside a suitcase -- that of 33-year-old Magdaly Mitsoulis -- is not linked to the other cases. Police said the woman's former husband, Silvio Javier Mitsoulis, 35, told detectives he strangled her.On April 22, 2001 a fourth body was found in a suitcase in a north Miami-Dade canal by a group of boys rowing their boat. Officers at the scene said they could not identify the gender or ethnicity of the victim, although they believed it to be a female. They believe, though, it could be the body might be that of Rebeca Peña, 26, of Miramar, an aspiring actress who was reported missing five days before. Police have not confirmed or denied that this latest discovery is related to the two previous cases.
Jerusalem police commander Yair Yitzhaki said police were investigating links between the killing and six previous knife attacks on Arabs, including one fatal stabbing, in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish quarter of the city. "Signs in the field indicate that this is a murder with a nationalist background," said Israeli Public Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani, using police terminology for attacks between Jews and Arabs.
"Possible Miami Gay Serial Killer" (2) Miami police investigating possible links between the recent murders of two gay men. Authorities released the victims' identities and photographs in an effort to help their investigation. Leonides Ramos, 51, and Osvaldo Fino Carballo, 39, both Cuban refugees living in Allapattah, were shot to death six days and six blocks apart. "We are treating (the murders) as though they are connected," homicide Lt. John Campbell said. "The more we look, the more similar they appear."
"Possible Mpumalanga Serial Killer" (2) On March 18, 1997, South African police in Mpumalanga have warned there may be a serial killer on the loose following the discovery of the body of a second woman who had been raped and strangled with her underwear. Police said the young woman's body was found by a cyclist on Grootvlei farm near Delmas on WednesdayThe first victim, found about 50km from Bethal in Mpumalanga, was also strangled with her underwear.