Prosecutor: Serial Shooter suspect sought fame - East Valley Tribune: News

Prosecutor: Serial Shooter suspect sought fame

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Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2009 2:01 pm | Updated: 3:45 pm, Wed Jun 19, 2013.

A prosecutor in metro Phoenix’s Serial Shooter case said in closing arguments Tuesday that the main suspect carried out the shootings for fame and kept news clippings of the crimes as “trophies.”

A prosecutor in metro Phoenix’s Serial Shooter case said in closing arguments Tuesday that the main suspect carried out the shootings for fame and kept news clippings of the crimes as “trophies.”

Prosecutor Laura Reckart told jurors that Dale Hausner had an elaborate plan to “kill, maim, destroy and terrify.”

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The 36-year-old is on trial on charges of killing eight people and attacking 20 others in a series of random nighttime shootings in 2005 and 2006.

Reckart said everything about Hausner points to his desire for notoriety — a job in boxing photography, a hosting gig for a cable TV show, and a role in a local commercial for a law group. She said articles of the shootings and a videotape of “America’s Most Wanted” about the killings found in Hausner’s apartment were trophies, “his celebrity-status symbols.”

“The articles show the motive behind the plan — fame, notoriety,” she said. “He wanted to be renowned, a legend, a pioneer.”

Prosecutors allege that Hausner attacked people and animals from his car in a conspiracy that occasionally included his roommate, Samuel Dieteman, and his brother, Jeff Hausner. Prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty against Dale Hausner if he is convicted.

Dieteman, who pleaded guilty in two of the killings and could face the death penalty when he is sentenced, testified against Hausner last month, saying the two of them had driven around metro Phoenix shooting people from a car.

Hausner has denied any involvement in the attacks and testified in his own defense for several days during the nearly six-month long trial. He offered alibis in a bid to refute the charges against him, saying he couldn’t have carried out the crimes because he was at his girlfriends’ houses, shopping at the grocery store, driving in another part of the metro area or taking care of his sick daughter. Hausner also suggested that Dieteman may have carried out some of the killings and testified that news clippings about the attacks that were found in his apartment reflected his interest in the shootings and nothing more.

In court on Tuesday, Reckart meticulously went over evidence found in Hausner’s and Dieteman’s apartment, a garbage bin and in Hausner’s car, including guns and spent shells.

She said a map marking the locations of some of the killings found in Hausner’s apartment “revealed his favorite hunting ground.”

“It is not happenstance the defendant’s fingerprints were found on this map nor is it an accident that this map was found in the trash with mail belonging to the defendant,” she said. “It is not coincidence, because ladies and gentlemen, the defendant committed these crimes.”

Reckart said police wiretaps that recorded conversations between Hausner and Dieteman also prove that Hausner carried out the killings.

“The defendant has revealed to you in these statements that indeed, it is his plan, his modus operandi, to circle around looking for victims, just like a shark circling its prey,” she said. “It is no accident he says these things. He knew the plan, he knew the method, he knew the modus operandi of the Serial Shooter, because Dale Hausner is the Serial Shooter.”

Defense attorneys have said during Hausner’s trial that the real killer is Dieteman and that he testified against Hausner to avoid the death penalty.

The Serial Shooters case was one of two serial murder investigations that put the Phoenix area on edge for months during the summer of 2006. Police attributed another 23 attacks, including nine slayings, to an assailant dubbed the Baseline Killer.

A month after Hausner and Dieteman’s August 2006 arrests, police arrested Mark Goudeau and eventually accused him of being the Baseline Killer. Goudeau was convicted of two sexual assaults authorities link to the Baseline Killer. He was sentenced to 438 years in prison in that case and still faces trial on the murder counts.

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