Consultant says the public is key to catching killer - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Consultant says the public is key to catching killer

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Posted: Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:08 am | Updated: 3:45 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

A forensic psychiatrist who works as a consultant for Phoenix police said Friday that he expects the public will provide the key tip that leads to an arrest in a serial killer investigation.

Steven Pitt said psychiatric analysis might help investigators, but the case will be solved with a tip from a relative, neighbor, friend or coworker of the Baseline Killer.

‘‘I think the public at large has an idea that there are profilers as we speak hunkered down in some room that are developing a profile of someone who talks with a lisp, walks with a limp and drives a beat-up Volkswagen. It just doesn’t work that way,’’ Pitt said. ‘‘This case will be solved through the public, the assistance of the public.’’

The killer is suspected of slaying eight people and committing 11 sexual assaults and several robberies over the last year.

Effective serial criminals change their disguises, follow news accounts of the crimes and change their behavior to avoid arrest, Pitt said.

‘‘They are going to modify their method of operation,’’ Pitt said.

While authorities have circulated a sketch of a suspect with a wig of dreadlocks and a fisherman’s hat, police say the killer has altered his appearance to avoid arrest.

Police reports say the suspect has worn a costume mask in one attack, a baseball cap in another and had his face covered up with a hooded sweat shirt and a ski cap in a bus stop holdup.

Pitt helped Colorado authorities in the JonBenet Ramsey case for more than four years but is no longer involved in the case.

Police said tips from the public played a large part in another serial killer case in the Valley.

Earlier this month, police arrested Dale S. Hausner, 33, and Samuel John Dieteman, 30. They each face two counts of first-degree murder, 14 counts of attempted first-degree murder, 14 counts of aggravated assault and 16 counts of drive-by shooting.

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