There may be a spree killer at work in and around Phoenix, Arizona. So far he’s killed at least four: Noted forensic psychiatrist Steven Pitt, who consulted in famous cases like the murder of JonBenet Ramsey; a pair of paralegals; psychologist Marshall Levine.
The combination of victims–all apparently shot, two in legal work, two in psychology–suggests a single killer with a grudge. It may be that he’s going down a list. Spree killers, even more than mass murderers (there is a difference) are often working directly from a grievance. With the world, with a profession, with any particular group of people. From AZCentral.com:
Police were still investigating whether Levine’s killing is connected to the other three.
The scene at Levine’s office, Peak Life Solutions, was secured with crime tape shortly before noon Saturday. Multiple police cruisers were parked outside of the office complex. Two cars were parked in the lot behind the tape.
The murder of teacher Rachael DelTondo wasn’t random, it was a “crime of passion.” That’s what investigators say—DelTondo likely knew the killer who pumped six rounds into her chest on May 13. CBS Pittsburgh quoted Beaver County DA David Lozier, who said investigators “could not be taking this more seriously.” Detectives are interviewing neighbors and studying any available surveillance and reportedly trying to crack her cell phone. While Lozier emphasized to the press that police are certain she knew her killer, he said nothing about a suspect.
In 2016 police spoke with DelTondo after finding her with an underage student. Lozier indicated that the incident has been completely mischaracterized and that she shouldn’t have been suspended from her job at Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. He said it was “shameful” that DelTondo “was painted with a police report that had been written that did not result in criminal charges.” He then said she was the victim of “a personal vendetta against her at the time.” Of course, that leaves a huge question dangling over what the public knows about the case so far: Whose vendetta? It would be interesting to know if the fiance who broke up with DelTondo after she was found with the student had any connection to Aliquippa police.
This is strange. A teacher in Aliquippa, PA was shot six times in her driveway Sunday night. Rachael DelTondo had just come home from an ice cream shop, CBS reports, when someone opened fire, six shots to the chest. Here’s why it’s so strange: DelTondo was involved in at least two controversies, including one linked to the Aliquippa Police. In 2017, CBS Pittsburgh reported on a beef she had regarding a wedding dress. She later broke up with her fiance. CBS reports that after the breakup, someone leaked info known only to the Aliquippa PD regarding some kind of past relationship between DelTondo and an (ex?) student. She was suspended from her teaching job and Pennsylvania State Police launched an investigation into Aliquippa police. To state the obvious: no way this was a random homicide.
One was found on Lake Houston. The other close to Calcasieu Lake. Two locations, 150 miles, the heads of two redheaded women. The Houston Chronicle reported they had good teeth and their heads were in plastic bags. Perhaps stranger still, the heads reportedly weren’t far from RV parks. The women were around the same age, as well. One woman’s hair was dyed, as she had dark roots. Forensic examination determined she may have been hispanic. An official said the Louisiana head was “real similar.” Police already have an unknown person of interest: a young man driving a blue-green Chevy Silverado. It’s just too soon to say it’s the beginning of a trail of heads spreading across several states. Perhaps these women were targeted for something unrelated to similar appearance. But it’s still horrific, and strange.
This is my latest for Real Clear Life, published last Wednesday. It’s about the Waffle House Shooting in Antioch, Tennessee. It took place just a mile from where I grew up, in the area where I built my sense of place and home. This is kind of personal, but also about the aftermath of something terrible, and what it feels like to be close to it, yet far away.
I grew up about a mile from the location of the Waffle House where Travis Reinking opened fire Saturday night, killing four. Naturally, I’ve paid extremely close attention to the hunt for Reinking. He was captured today by Metro Nashville Police. He was roaming in a semi-rural area a mile or two from the Waffle House. I’ll be writing more about this crime for Real Clear Life Wednesday, but had to say it’s been surreal hearing the name of the community where I lived from birth through age 19 mentioned so often on the news. When I was a kid, Antioch, Tennessee was Nashville’s forgotten outer rim. No one outside the city knew it was there, and Nashvillians, by and large, viewed it as a dangerous, redneck-filled no-go zone. It was where Nashville ended and the countryside began. Right now it’s home to a tragedy with a national profile. It’s very strange, and truly awful.
Before his execution, serial killer Anthony Shore told investigators from the Texas Rangers about crimes he’d committed when he was a teen living near Sacramento in the 1970s—crimes he said were inspired by the rapist and murderer now known as the Golden State Killer. The Houston Chronicle reports Shore “admitted to participating in another serial crime, as a copycat of the East Area Rapist, a Sacramento-area criminal active in the late 70s and early 80s.” He claimed he began with groping women on bike trails. The Rangers report indicated he progressed to truly terrifying assaults. Via the Chronicle, a quote from the Rangers gives some idea of the horrific acts to which Shore confessed. He said he bound a couple, then “made the man ‘watch’ as he sexually assaulted the woman.”
Shore was called the “Tourniquet Killer” and targeted women in and around Houston during the 80s and 90s. He was convicted of killing four. He was put to death on January 18, 2018.
For exactly one month in 1992, the I-70 serial killer calmly walked into businesses all along I-70—from Indiana to Kansas—and shot the lone workers there, often killing with a single shot to the head. He left almost no evidence behind. Read my latest here.
Seventeen-year-old Jeremy Sanchez was allegedly murdered by the friend who reported his disappearance. Stranger still, the so-called friend supposedly attempted to evade suspicion by helping search for the victim. He ended up finding Sanchez’s ‘s body and telling the victim’s dad. Sanchez’s absence from school was the first indication something was wrong. His parents looked to his friend–a still unnamed 16-year-old–for help. The suspect found Sanchez on the San Gabriel River Trail, reports the Washington Post. The teen was facedown by the river. The alleged killer’s odd behavior is reportedly what first drew police attention. Police say they believe it was a well-planned murder. [WaPo]