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Arizona Serial Killer Suspect Linked to 9 Killings in 3 Weeks

Arizona Serial Killer Suspect Linked to 9 Killings in 3 Weeks

By    |   Friday, 19 January 2018 08:35 AM

An Arizona serial killer suspect who has been in jail since mid-December has now been linked to at least nine killings over a three-week stretch, the Arizona Republic reported Thursday.

Cleophus Cooksey, Jr., 35, had been arrested on Dec. 17 in connection with a double shooting death of his mother and stepfather in Phoenix, the newspaper reported. Authorities said that over the next three weeks, with the help of new technology, they discovered that Cooksey had suspected additional links to seven other murders, the Republic continued.

Phoenix police Chief Jeri Williams told KNXV-TV that ballistic evidence collected from each homicide scene tied Cooksey to all homicides.

Sgt. Jonathan Howard, a Phoenix police spokesman, told the newspaper that police were looking into other murders to see if there might be links to Cooksey. The Republic said Cooksey has been talking with investigators and police have been working with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit.

Cooksey, who had spent his 20s in prison on a manslaughter conviction, had since been an aspiring rapper using the nickname "Playboy," the Republic said, noting that he had been in and out of jail since and was four months free before the first suspected killing.

In the suspected killing spree, Cooksey was accused of kidnapping a Glendale, Arizona, woman, sexually assaulting and killing her before dumping her body, the newspaper said. He also is a suspect in the shooting death of the brother of Cooksey's ex-girlfriend.

Police said the other deaths appeared to be random set up through meetings arranged on the Internet or text messages, The Republic said.

Authorities told the Republic in one case, Cooksey allegedly shot a man and stole his gun and gold-colored necklace. Cooksey posted a Facebook photo hours later allegedly showing him wearing the stolen jewelry.

The Maricopa County Attorney's Office will decide what Cooksey will be charged with during the investigation into the murders, Fox News reported.

Williams said that recently implemented technology as part of the National Crime Gun Intelligence Center helped break the case, the Repubic said. The tools made it possible for law enforcement across the Phoenix area to quickly review ballistic information from one crime scene and compare details with another, Williams added.

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A suspect in jail in connection with the double shooting of his mother and stepfather in Phoenix has now been linked to at least nine killings over a three-week period.
arizona, serial, killer, suspect
Friday, 19 January 2018 08:35 AM
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