Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Phoenix Serial Killers

JimmyB has a post about two serial killers at large in Phoenix. The Washington Post has the story.

One of the killers is the Baseline Killer. "Investigators said that the Baseline Killer, named for his initial crimes along Baseline Road here, launched his crime binge last August. Since then, police said he has killed five women and one man, and committed seven rapes and eight robberies. Descriptions of him vary, leading detectives to theorize he may wear disguises. They said he occasionally engages victims in conversation before abducting them at night from places such as car washes and bus stops." The other is called the Serial Shooter. "Operating independently from the Baseline Killer is the Serial Shooter. The shooter has killed five people, three horses and five dogs since May 2005, investigators said. The shooter, who targets people outside at night, also is thought to have wounded another 16 people and four animals. Police say they do not have enough evidence to be certain that the Serial Shooter, despite the moniker, is one person. Investigators said the shootings might have been carried out by more than one person, just as the sniper who was thought to be terrorizing the Washington area in 2002 ended up being two people: Lee Boyd Malvo and John Allen Muhammad."

In its inimitable style, the FishWaPo portrays the Phoenicians as cowering in their boots. "'All the people who own little stores around here are doing the same thing: locking the doors even in the day,' said Garcia, 29, who is locking herself in her store most days and has seen a drop in business. 'People are afraid. Very, very afraid.' 'It's too close for comfort,' said Gary Clark, 44, who owns the restaurant and now makes sure no employee in his late-night crew ventures outside alone after closing."

One solution, buy a gun. Learn how to use it. Be aware of your surroundings. Don't venture into unknown areas. It appears the only thing the people did according to the Post is that they "stocked up on pepper spray and flocked to self-defense classes." Pepper spray isn't very effective against a shooter at distance, nor is Karate. More effective against the Baseline killer as he appears to engage victims in conversation first. Close range pepper spray and martial arts, great, not so great if the person is shooting at you from far away.

Self defense doesn't just mean physical action or reaction. Think, be aware, have a plan. Waiting until the unthinkable happens is guaranteed to lead to tragedy.

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