With nine murders, seven rapes, and more than 40 shootings, residents across a vast part of the Phoenix area are on edge about whether they or someone they know could become the next victim, reports the Arizona Republic. A sense of fear has many residents concerned, with some adjusting their routines to keep safe. Neighborhood groups are on alert, warning residents to keep in contact with each other and be especially aware of their surroundings. The situation is “everybody’s worst nightmare,” said Tim Cahoon of the Loma Linda Neighborhood Association.
Homicide detectives are stymied and are seeking the public’s help. They have little physical evidence and a vague description of only one assailant, the Baseline Rapist. Police believe there are three assailants, all operating differently, who since May 2005 have been responsible for the violent crimes. One officer said he could not remember so many similar crimes taking place in the same time frame in his 22 years on the force.