Serial Shooter defendant Dale Hausner admitted in cross-examination this week to lying various times throughout his life.
He lied to federal agents investigating an arson fire. He lied to his girlfriend about his drug use. He lied to his employer about his whereabouts. He lied to police investigating a vandalism case. He lied to a Tribune reporter in an interview.
Hausner, who is charged with eight counts of first-degree murder in connection with a 14-month spree, said on the witness stand Wednesday that he was truthful with Phoenix officers investigating the series of crimes, however.
“As far as intentionally lying to them, as they had done to me, I never did,” Hausner said.
Hausner took the stand Monday, but on Wednesday, deputy Maricopa County attorney Vince Imbordino got his first whack at him.
Imbordino seemed to rattle Hausner almost immediately, and put him on the defensive by bringing up his sexual preferences.
Hausner had mentioned in previous testimony that co-defendant Sam Dieteman, who gave damning testimony against him last month, was bisexual. He also testified previously that Ron Horton, a deceased witness who first steered investigators toward Dieteman and Hausner, also was bisexual.
“Actually, it’s not Sam Dieteman who’s bisexual; it’s you,” Imbordino said.
Hausner glared at the prosecutor, sat back in his chair and replied, “I like women and I like a lot of them.”
Hausner said that his ex-wife’s claim that he told her he was bisexual was “slander during a divorce.”
Imbordino went on to ask Hausner whether he was sexually interested in Dieteman because he never let him out of his sight.
Hausner denied it.
Hausner has portrayed himself as a ladies man, saying he had to keep track in his day planner whom he had slept with so he wouldn’t be confused when he spoke with the various women he dated.
Hausner also said he was with Marianne Lescher, a principal in the Kyrene Elementary School District, on the nights of the first nine shootings, four of which were murders. He described her as a girlfriend.
Contacted by the Tribune on Wednesday, Lescher declined comment, saying she expected to testify next week.
Dieteman pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree murder and testified against Hausner last month, giving meticulous details about each of the 18 shootings he said he participated in with Hausner.
Hausner is charged with 87 crimes in connection with the 35 shootings, one stabbing and two arsons between May 2005 and July 2006 in Phoenix, the West Valley, Mesa and Scottsdale.
Dieteman said that he and Hausner would drive around late at night looking for pedestrians and bicyclists to gun down with a shotgun.
Hausner denied committing any crimes during questioning from his attorney and provided alibis for each one.
Imbordino took a swipe at Hausner’s testimony that he was an attentive and caring father who selflessly attended to his ill daughter. Imbordino played a videotape of Hausner’s police interview in which he complained about paying child support because he bought all the “crap,” such as medical supplies, special foods and other child care supplies she needed.
Imbordino also exposed inconsistencies between Hausner’s statements to police on Aug. 4, 2006 — when he was arrested — and his earlier testimony.
Hausner testified this week that a collection of news clippings of the Serial Shooter spree found in his Mesa apartment were Dieteman’s and that he was putting them in binders for him.
During his police interview, he said the clippings could be found in his apartment.
On Wednesday, he said he didn’t mention to police that they were Dieteman’s because police didn’t ask to whom they belonged.
Hausner also gave two different stories for a note found in his apartment after his arrest.
It read: “He who asks about the $5 bill is a homicidal maniac, arsonist, thief, destroyer of property, drug using god among mortals.”
In testimony, he said it was a pickup line Dieteman wanted inscribed on a T-shirt he planned to wear to bars. The plan was for Dieteman to pin a $5 bill to his shirt and then expose the inscription when someone asked about it.
In September 2006, Hausner told a Tribune reporter that he was shocked by the note. He also complained to the Tribune that the media was portraying him in a bad light. On Wednesday, he said he lied to the Tribune for strategic reasons and to improve his image.
“I absolutely lied to a reporter, yes I did,” Hausner said.