Serial killers are the most feared types of criminals, and identifying them raises particular challenges for investigators, reports the Arizona Republic. Why? Because they often kill strangers; they often move bodies, so crime scenes may go unidentified, and they often do not fit any preconceived notion of what a serial killer looks like. Phoenix police have been trying to get to the bottom of a series of violent crimes linked to two assailants.
The “Baseline Killer” has been robbing, raping and killing victims since August. The “Serial Shooter” attacks began in May 2005. Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill said the Baseline Killer definitely fits the criteria of a serial killer, but not enough is known about the Serial Shooter cases to make that determination. He said nine incidents in the Baseline cases are linked by definitive evidence: six homicides and three robberies that involved 11 people at one location last November. The Baseline Killer is suspected in 21 incidents. In the 34 Serial Shooter cases, only four have been so linked. The assailant is believed to be responsible for five homicides, though those crimes have not been forensically linked.