- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 5, 2006

PHOENIX (AP) — Police said yesterday that two men captured at a gated apartment complex are responsible for a string of apparently random late-night killings that have terrorized residents across this sprawling city for months.

Authorities gave no details about why they think Dale S. Hausner and Samuel John Dieteman are responsible for the three dozen shootings investigators had labeled as the work of the “Serial Shooter,” or whether they thought both men or just one pulled the trigger.

The attacks, which began in May 2005, left six dead and were all the more frightening because another, apparently unrelated, serial killer has been preying on Phoenix-area victims at the same time.

At a press conference yesterday, authorities said they were confident they had the right suspects.

“These are the two monsters we have been hunting, and I promise you and our colleagues promise you, we are not finished,” Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said.

Mr. Hausner, 33, and Mr. Dieteman, 30, were arrested late Thursday in an apartment complex in nearby Mesa. Neighbors said the men shared an apartment.

Mr. Hausner and Mr. Dieteman were each booked yesterday afternoon for investigation of two counts of first-degree murder in the killing Sunday of Robin Blasnek and the May 2 killing of Claudia Gutierrez-Cruz, and for investigation of 13 counts of attempted first-degree murder. Police said other charges are possible.

Mr. Hausner’s brother, Randy, told the Associated Press his family is devastated by his arrest.

“I mean, who would do something like that? That’s harming innocent people,” Randy Hausner said. “I’ve been getting sick all day about it.”

Police said yesterday morning that they knew nothing about the suspects’ occupations, but the city said Mr. Hausner worked as a janitor at the Phoenix airport and neighbors said he also worked as a freelance photographer.

The Serial Shooter targeted pedestrians and bicyclists on empty streets throughout the Phoenix area. Twenty-three persons were shot, six fatally, and even horses and dogs were among the victims.

Assistant Police Chief Kevin Robinson said the crimes appear unrelated to the still-unsolved “Baseline Killer” cases: Eight slayings and 11 rapes since August 2005. Investigators are scouring the city’s trove of unsolved crimes for links to that serial predator.

The two serial-killer cases doubled the fear and paranoia gripping Phoenix neighborhoods in recent months, and prompted law-enforcement agencies to devote more than 200 investigators to track down the killers. Authorities said they will move investigators from the Serial Shooter to the Baseline Killer case.

Chief Robinson described Mr. Hausner and Mr. Dieteman as friends who had no obvious connections to any of the victims.

“The best we could tell, they were just random victims. These individuals just picked victims out and that was it,” Chief Robinson said.

Authorities said they tracked the pair closely after identifying them as suspects Monday evening, but would not discuss the evidence against them.

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