Detectives hunting for the Serial Shooter planted a bug in the Mesa apartment of suspects Dale Hausner and Sam Dieteman to build a case for an arrest.
Search warrants unsealed Monday, along with transcripts of interviews, revealed previously unknown details about the investigation into the shootings that spanned 14 months and killed seven people. Police tactics included the use of bugs to listen in on the pair.
Authorities were given approval by the county attorney’s office on Aug. 2 to plant listening devices in the suspects’ apartment and car, according to the documents. The next day, authorities heard the pair discussing whether to hide evidence in a fan or behind a washer. Investigators tailing the two men said they saw the them visit the laundry room of their apartment complex at 550 E. McKellips Road.
The warrants also revealed that police tried to arrange a meeting between an informant and Dieteman two hours before Robin Blasnek, 22, was gunned down in Mesa as she walked alone along Gilbert Road, but Dieteman said he couldn’t meet because he was too busy.
Two days later, Dieteman told the informant — his former roommate — that police were too stupid to link him to the shooting spree and that “they can’t pin the shooting of” Blasnek on him, the warrants state.
Previously, authorities had released redacted versions of the documents. However, the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office recently asked Judge Roland Steinle to unseal them completely because the need for confidentiality was gone, according to court documents.
Also on Monday, Phoenix police released heavily redacted transcripts of investigative interviews with the suspects. According to the records, Dieteman told police he and Hausner shot at several people, and that they would look for “somebody walking around alone” to shoot.
“I’d look around and, and say ‘Ey, you know there’s one’ or something,’” Dieteman told police. “You know, ‘Get ‘em’.”
But Hausner has denied killing anyone.
After a shooting, the men would watch local and national TV news and read the newspapers, gathering information on the crimes, the records state. Dieteman said Hausner would get excited. The men also recorded an episode of “America’s Most Wanted” and kept clippings about the shooting.
Dieteman told police that when news of Blasnek’s death was broadcast on television, Hausner awoke Dieteman. Hausner was “shakin’ my leg: ‘Ey! Ey! Wake up! The news!’ and he’s all happy,” Dieteman told police. “ ‘What’s-her-name in Mesa, whoever, just got shot and killed the other day.’ ”
Also according to the transcripts, Dieteman said he and Hausner took steps to remove evidence — taking casings with them after shootings and wearing latex gloves. The two also carried the gun in a duffel bag and never left it in the car. At one point, Dieteman told police he and Hausner thought about burying the gun or hiding it in an attic.
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.
The men are accused of 37 shootings that targeted people as they walked or rode bicycles late at night. They have been charged in two indictments on 81 counts of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, arson, drive-by shooting, and conspiracy to commit murder.