Serial Shooter suspect Dale Hausner never seemed depressed to those who knew him. But on Monday, guards at Maricopa County’s Fourth Avenue Jail found Hausner unconscious in a pool of vomit from what authorities believe was a suicide attempt with over-the-counter antihistamine tablets.
Despite four months of solitary confinement in jail, the 33-year-old Mesa man stays “energetic” and “upbeat,” his spokesman David Hans Schmidt said Wednesday at a news conference.
Hausner was released Wednesday from Maricopa Medical Center’s county inmate hospital ward, where he was treated, and placed into the jail’s psychiatric ward for treatment and observation.
“This may have been a serious suicide attempt, or he may have been trying to get high or it may have been a sympathy ploy cooked up by Hausner,” Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said in a statement.
Officials said Hausner ingested up to 48 pills before he was discovered.
Guards searched Hausner’s cell and found notes with the names and phone numbers of laywers and family, along with orders to give all personal property to his brother, Randy Hausner.
Schmidt said the notes weren’t necessarily in reference to suicide. He said Hausner’s brother spoke with him Wednesday, but Dale Hausner “was all drugged up and made no sense whatsover.”
Schmidt said Hausner’s family was quite shaken.
In the psychiatric ward, Hausner will rest in a cell where he will be prevented from harming himself and can be supervised.
Arpaio ordered a jail-wide ban on the canteen sales of antihistamines and decongestant pills after reviewing the jailhouse protocol of selling the medication to inmates. Inmates have sometimes abused the drug to achieve a high, Arpaio said.
Prior to Hausner’s hospitalization, inmates bought an average of 700 bottles of 24 antihistamines each month, plus 1,500 two-tablet packets of decongestants. Now, only Advil will be available for purchase.
Schmidt said Hausner was suffering from a cold in recent days, and he does not know if his client attempted suicide.
In a letter to the Tribune post-marked Aug. 28 from Maricopa County’s Fourth Avenue Jail, Dale Hausner wrote that, “Being alone gives me time to think.”
“I think a lot about my family, but mostly I think about my daughter,” Hausner wrote. “I get no social interaction...other than the guards bringing me food, or tossing my cell. I don’t see any people.”
In the letter, he complained of “awful” food, a shortage of toilet paper and of missing his daughter.
“I am in my 8 foot by 12 foot cell (for) 22 hours each day,” he wrote. “I’ve been here almost a month and have only had one change of clothes and bedding.”
To get out and walk around, Hausner is given one hour of recreation in an empty room, he wrote. He also gets an hour to use the phone.
“I get a lot of mail from my family and friends,” Hausner wrote. “I even get fan mail, which is bizzarre.”
Every once in a while, guards walk into the man’s cell and check for contraband, the letter said.
“They strip me to my boxers and put me in the rec room and rifle through my stuff,” he wrote.
On November 12, 1994, Hausner’s sons Donovan, 3, and Jeremiah, 2, died when the family’s car crashed off a guard rail in Texas and fell into a stream.
Hausner said he suffered “extreme heartache” and “unrelenting anguish,” following the crash.
Hausner was arrested along with roommate Sam Dieteman at their Mesa apartment on Aug. 4 after Dieteman bragged about the crimes to a confidential informant in mid-July. The men are accused of 37 shootings that targeted people as they walked or rode bicycles late at night.
The two men were arrested at their Mesa apartment on Aug. 4, after Dieteman bragged about the crimes to the confidential informant in mid-July, warrants state.
Dieteman has confessed to some of the crimes, but Hausner maintains he is innocent.