Apartment complex neighbors react to arrests - East Valley Tribune: Mesa

Apartment complex neighbors react to arrests

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Posted: Friday, August 4, 2006 8:02 pm | Updated: 3:46 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

Residents of Windscape Apartments on McKellips Road and Mesa Drive describe the community as quiet and safe — the last place they would expect a couple of serial killers to live.

They like the manicured lawns, large playgrounds, crystal-clear pools and crime-free housing signs posted next to the gates meant to control access to the complex's parking lots.

"This is a nice place, the neighbors are nice," said resident Duke Allen. "You feel protected in the courtyards here."

But that comfort was shaken early Friday morning as police officers flooded those courtyards and investigators arrested two roommates now accused of a 14-month killing spree. One suspect, Dale Hausner, 33, was known as a friendly, outgoing neighbor who seemed a little goofy while his roommate, Samuel Dieteman, 31, was quiet, even standoffish. But those who knew them were surprised to hear that the men could be responsible for 36 shootings, as police allege.

"It's just crazy, they looked perfectly normal," said neighbor Adrian Thompson. "They didn't look like people that'd be shooting people to me."

Cindy McGillivray lives next door to the men's apartment. Hausner photographed her family for Easter two years ago and she remembers warning them about his unusual behavior.

On Friday, she was struck by the fact that Hausner, she said, asked her just last week if she'd heard anything about the serial killers.

Dieteman, who neighbors said moved in only recently, rarely had much to say.

Neighbor Jill O'Donnell said she and a former roommate hung out with Hausner and Dietman a handful of times in the past month and a half.

"We were there about 45 minutes and he didn't say a word," O'Donnell said of the last time she and her roommate met Hausner and Dieteman for drinks.

McGillivray said she woke up about 2 a.m. Friday to find nearly 50 police officers in the courtyard in front of her building. One of the officers told her: "We're doing an investigation, you're in safe hands."

Police searched her home and took her husband's rifles and investigators returned several times looking for bullet casings from Hausner's guns, McGillivray said.

She and other neighbors were ordered to stay inside their apartments until at least 7 a.m., O'Donnell said.

And it wasn't until after 1 p.m., when police began leaving the scene, that residents began venturing outside their homes.

"Is that the apartment?" asked resident John Shuman. "It's just eerie that it's this close."

O'Donnell, who moved into her apartment with her fiance five and a half months ago, said she's thinking twice before renewing her lease later this month.

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