Summer of Fear

Publication: The Arizona Republic
Publication date: Sunday, September 4, 2016

Part 1: Summer of Fear: When smoke turns to fire

Michael Kiefer


Paul Patrick wanted a pack of cigarettes.

He knew there were two different serial killers crisscrossing the Phoenix area, one of them a sniper prowling Patrick's neighborhood at night, shooting people out of car windows. But the mini-mart was just blocks away, within sight of his house. He was craving a smoke.

So at 11:30 on that hot evening, June 8, 2006, the 45-year-old Army veteran who worked as a supermarket stocker ventured out on Indian School Road in west Phoenix.

He didn't hear the shotgun blast so much as feel it slam into him.

Before he fell to the ground, he stood for a moment, frantically trying to hold his entrails in his hands to keep them from spilling onto the street.

He screamed for help.

When he looked up, he saw a Hispanic man standing over him, holding a pistol. He expected the gunman to finish him off.

Patrick thought, "Please make it fast."

Instead, the man said, "No one's going to hurt you."

The man was Saúl Guerrero, an Army National Guardsman, a combat veteran of the Iraq War. He worked as an MP at the Phoenix Armory and lived in the neighborhood.

When he heard the shot, Guerrero thought, "It's Maryvale," a tough west Phoenix neighborhood where shots are heard frequently.

Then his mother asked him to come outside. A man was screaming on the sidewalk across the street.

Guerrero called 911.

But when he saw that people were only walking up to look at the screaming man, then walking away, he told the 911 operator, "You're going to have to talk to my mom. She only speaks Spanish."

Guerrero ran into his apartment, got his gun and a simple first-aid kit. Then he ran, barefoot and bare-chested, through the traffic on Indian School Road.

He identified himself to Patrick and used what he could from his first-aid kit. He held Patrick's guts in to stanch the bleeding until the ambulance and police showed up.

The police took Guerrero's gun from him until they were sure he was not a threat; then they took his name and told him they would contact him if they needed him.

They never did.

Dozens attacked, 17 people dead

Ten years later, another killer is stalking victims in Phoenix, several of them in the Maryvale area where Patrick was shot.

Police are baffled now, much as they were in the summer of 2006.

Two separate sets of serial killings had plagued the Valley for more than a year. Over 16 months in 2005 and 2006, at least 17 people were killed, and dozens more were assaulted and injured, before police arrested suspects in August and September.

One of the killers was referred to as the "Serial Shooter," though eventually, two men were convicted in the killings and a third was convicted of crimes related to the carnage. They were sniping out of cars at transients, prostitutes, immigrants or just regular people they mistook for any of the above.

The other was called the "Baseline Killer." He snatched women off the street, often in broad daylight. If they didn't give in to his sexual demands, he shot them in the head and left them tauntingly near where he had abducted them, then disappeared like a wraith.

Guerrero had never heard of the Serial Shooter, who cut down Patrick that summer night.

He learned only months later, when Patrick's family came looking for him to thank him.

By the end of the summer of 2006, nearly everyone in metro Phoenix knew about the murders.

It was a summer of fear.

I covered the killings as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, from the shootings to the eventual arrests, the murder trials and sentences, the appeals, even the death of one of the killers.

I knew the judges, the prosecutors, the defense attorneys, the police officers, the victims, the bad guys, the families of the victims and the families of the accused. I visited the sites where the crimes took place, searching for clues.

And now, a decade later, I still drive the streets of the Valley thinking, "Someone was shot on that bench, in front of that store," or "Someone was abducted at that ATM," or "They found a body there by that building."

There are stories about the victims and survivors I still cannot tell out loud without my voice cracking.

And this summer, I find the same reactions — in many cases stronger — from the police officers who cracked the cases, the judges who tried them, the lawyers who defended and prosecuted them.

And from the victims, whether the family members left behind or those who weren't killed, who all remain permanently scarred.

There was no reason why

Paul Patrick survived — barely.

The shooting took his legs and his livelihood from him. For years, he used a scooter wheelchair to get around.

He attended every day he could of the trials and waited patiently for the testimony of the man who shot him.

When he finally heard it, the realization came over him: There was no reason.

Near the end of the first trial, Patrick had a massive stroke that nearly killed him. Doctors could not measure the extent of the brain damage by MRI because the magnetic force would have pulled the buckshot pellets that remained in his body and sliced him to pieces.

I remember visiting him in the hospital then. A piece of his skull had been removed to ease the swelling. Just a flap of skin covered his brain.

He had several more strokes over the years and came so close to dying that his family was called to come see him for a last time before he died.

Each time, he pulled through.

Recently, I visited him in the nursing home where he is confined to a hospital bed, able to move only his left arm and leg.

I was surprised he remembered me; he smiled, and I realized I was part of the life he used to have.

We talked about the day he went out to buy a pack of cigarettes, against his better judgment.

He grinned.

"Smoking can kill you," he said.

The unspeakable violence begins

The first ominous signs were dogs, horses and other animals found shot to death in West Valley yards in mid-2005.

Then there were immigrants on bicycles, and transients sleeping on benches in west Phoenix or panhandling under an overpass in Tolleson, all of them shot dead with .22-caliber slugs.

In August 2005, the sexual assaults started along Baseline Road, from Tempe to Laveen. A group of teenagers. A mother assaulted in front of her daughter, then forced to drive while the daughter was molested.

The events seemed isolated at first. They spanned multiple jurisdictions, so police departments did not immediately see a pattern.

There was no Twitter, no Instagram, fewer Facebook users. Information — and fear — took longer to take hold in those days.

But the bodies added up.

Georgia Thompson was 19, an exotic dancer from Idaho. On Sept. 9, 2005, she was found on her back in the parking lot of a Tempe apartment complex, with a bullet in her head.

Her keys were still clutched in her hand. She wore an orange T-shirt that said, "Better luck next time."

Her pants were unbuttoned, but she had not been sexually assaulted. The only evidence found at the scene was a spent .380-caliber cartridge casing.

Ballistics experts needed months to link that casing to other murders.

At about 7:30 the evening of Dec. 29, 2005, someone started shooting from a car at a Tempe bartending school.

Over the next five hours, the car meandered through central Phoenix. The shooting continued: A dog was killed as it was being walked by its owner; then a man named Jose Ortis was murdered; then a second man, Marco Carillo, was shot to death.

A block and a moment later, Timmy Tordai had just gotten off the bus after working a shift at the post office. He was walking home when he felt a pop under his collarbone and fell to the ground, paralyzed.

"I thought I was having a heart attack," he said later, in court. "And then I saw the blood."

Before the night ended, three more dogs were shot dead in central Phoenix.

Sometime after 1 a.m, a woman was turning tricks on Van Buren Street.

She had just gotten out of one john's car and was scanning the street for her next when a light-blue, four-door car passed her and made a U-turn. She thought it might be her next john until she saw the gun barrel come out of the driver's-side window.

She lived: A passer-by stopped his car and drove her to a hospital.

Just as police realized that the car-sniper incidents were linked to a serial shooter, the shootings stopped for five months.

Police had not yet connected any murders to the rapes along Baseline Road.

In February 2006, Romelia Vargas and Mirna Palma Roman were found dead in a lunch wagon in southwest Phoenix with gunshots to the head, their pants unbuttoned and pulled down slightly. At first, police thought it was a drug deal gone bad.

Then, in March, Chao Chou and Liliana Sanchez Cabrera were abducted at gunpoint as they got into a car behind the restaurant where they worked at 24th Street and Indian School Road. Both were found dead within a mile of each other.

Police now knew they had two serial killers on the streets and began sounding the alarm in the media. One killer was shooting out of cars. The other was on foot, appearing out of nowhere to assault women and shooting them in the head if they resisted.

"The police chief and the city manager asked to see me, and they closed the door," said Phil Gordon, who was mayor of Phoenix at the time.

"We made a public-policy decision," Gordon said. "Nothing was going to be spared."

More attacks, more bodies: A dead prostitute, Kristina Nicole Gibbons, was found stuffed between a building and a shed on 24th Street in Phoenix.

A woman was abducted at gunpoint at 32nd Street and Thomas Road by a black man wearing a fright mask and pushing a shopping cart.

She was forced to drive to a secluded area nearby and strip naked. When she refused to perform oral sex on her abductor, he put the gun to her head and told her that her parents would read about her in the newspaper the next day. He pulled the trigger, but the gun misfired.

As soon as she heard the click, she leaned on the door handle and fled, naked, to the nearest house.

Then the shootings from cars picked back up: in central Phoenix, in south Scottsdale, in Maryvale and near Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

But now, instead of a .22 rifle, the shooter was using a shotgun, which cannot be traced as easily as a rifle's bullets. Investigators wondered at first if it was yet another assailant.

The police came up with nicknames for the killers.

They named the car-window sniper the Serial Shooter. They had no descriptions of the driver or shooter. They only knew he drove a light-colored sedan.

The other suspect was first known as the "Baseline Rapist," because of his early victims near Baseline Road. Then, when police connected the rapes to the murders, they changed his handle to the Baseline Killer, even though many of his targets were in the square-mile area between Indian School and Thomas roads and 24th and 32nd streets.

Police circulated a sketch of a suspect: a light-skinned black man who wore a Gilligan-style fishing hat and a dreadlocks wig.

The phone went dead

On June 29, 2006, the Baseline Killer struck again, in a terrifying, lightning-quick attack that was caught on video and rocked the city of Phoenix.

At around 9:30 p.m., a woman named Carmen Miranda was talking on the phone to her boyfriend as she vacuumed her car at a car wash on Thomas Road at 29th Street. She told the boyfriend that a panhandler was approaching her. She screamed, and the phone went dead.

The boyfriend called police. He called Miranda's sons. They all raced to the car wash. Miranda was gone.

Hours later, Miranda was found dead in her car behind a building next door to the car wash — a bullet between her eyes, her pants unbuttoned.

But there was a surveillance camera at the car wash. Police woke the owner that night to get the footage. They shared the video with the media the next day.

In the blurry video, a man wearing a Gilligan hat and a dreadlocks wig shuffles up to Miranda. He abruptly grabs her and throws her into the back seat of the car. Then he gets in and drives off.

When TV stations broadcast the video, people realized the sudden ferocity of the attacks, and it fueled the city's terror.

Over the next days, I walked the streets of the neighborhood where Miranda had been snatched. I talked to women waiting for buses or tending shops along what should have been a peaceful neighborhood.

There had been robberies at the stores and restaurants and an ATM at 32nd Street and Thomas Road, murders up and down 24th Street, rapes along 32nd Street.

And the people I spoke to could recite every incident and every rumor that seemed to fit the pattern, but police could not or would not confirm the information.

That made them only more worried. The neighborhood was working class. The women, especially those who worked at night, were watching over their shoulders.

Meanwhile, the rest of the Valley wondered if that car coming down the street while they were walking the dog was going to slow down so someone could shoot. And, if so, where would they run?

Police held meetings to talk to neighborhoods affected by the killings.

"We were speaking to a community of people who were so fearful for their families that it felt like an epidemic," former Phoenix police Officer Paul Penzone said.

Police held regular press conferences to share information with the media.

Still, the public remained confused about the two killers.

"I spent months trying to explain the differences between the two cases," said Andy Hill, a retired Phoenix police sergeant who became the public face of the investigation.

Phoenix Detective Clark Schwartzkopf added, "You couldn't have two more different dynamics in these two murderers, but the public was mixed up."

Camille Kimball, who wrote the book "A Sudden Shot" about the Serial Shooter case, summed it up.

"That was part of the terror," she said. "We didn't know one from the other. The cops didn't know one from the other."

Hundreds work the cases

To keep the cases straight, law enforcement came together across the Valley and created not one, but two task forces.

"There were 375 people involved in the Serial Shooter case," Schwartzkopf said, and 100 on the street for the Baseline Killer.

Officers were working double shifts and overtime.

The Republic, like most media outlets, had its own task force. At least six reporters covered the cases full time. Others would be called in as things happened.

But neither the police nor the media knew enough. The public was terrified, because the killers struck in every kind of neighborhood, good and bad, rich and poor.

The Serial Shooters worked from Tolleson and Avondale to Mesa and Chandler. The Baseline Killer even assaulted people in a parking lot used by patrons of a wine bar in the tony Arcadia neighborhood of Phoenix.

And they struck without warning.

"There was an acknowledged crisis," Gordon recalled. "Should we take our children to school? Should we go out at night? Should we cancel the Fourth of July?"

Billboards bearing the police sketch of the Baseline Killer went up all over the metro area. A reward of $100,000 was offered for information leading to either suspect.

But he remained at large.

Miranda would be the last of the Baseline Killer's victims. After June 29, 2006, the killer went into hiding.

But the Serial Shooter amped up in July 2006, wounding eight more people and killing the last victim on July 30: a young woman talking on the phone while walking to a friend's house in Mesa. She felt so safe she was wearing pajamas.

By then, the Baseline Killer had forced himself on at least 33 victims over 13 attacks, and had killed eight women and one man.

The Serial Shooter case had eight dead — though police still suspect at least four more murders that they could never conclusively prove were related. Eighteen more had been wounded, and at least 10 animals had also been killed.

Police worked around the clock. The public waited fearfully.

By the end of the month, there had been no arrests.

A $100,000 gamble pays off

Five hundred to a thousand people a day called in to the Silent Witness hotline with tips on the Serial Shooter and the Baseline Killer.

"We got calls from every part of society, and we took it seriously," said Penzone, who ran Silent Witness at the time.

He called the $100,000 rewards for information leading to the arrest of either "two lottery tickets."

In the case of the Serial Shooter, the lottery paid out.

A man named Samuel Dieteman was a regular at a northwest Phoenix tavern called the Star Dust Inn. And once, when he was drunk — and he was always drunk — he became remorseful, and he confessed some of the shootings to his friend Ron Horton.

Then, that July 30, the young woman who was walking in her Mesa neighborhood, Robin Blasnek, was shot and killed. Horton felt responsible and realized her death might have been prevented.

Horton dropped a dime. He gave police Dieteman's cellphone number, which they traced. And he also provided them with the name of a man with whom Dieteman had once lived: Jeff Hausner. Police put Hausner's apartment under surveillance.

And they asked Horton to arrange to meet Dieteman for drinks.

On Aug. 1, 2006, the task force staked out the Star Dust Inn, with undercover officers inside and out. Schwartzkopf was sitting in an unmarked car in the parking lot when a light-blue Toyota Camry pulled in.

"That's our car," he recalled thinking. "It was an enormous relief. I've got the car. I've got the guys."

The officers ran the plates. The number came back to Dale Hausner.

They had already heard of Jeff Hausner, but it was the first police became aware of his younger brother, Dale.

In the car, with a gun

Dale Hausner dropped off Dieteman at the bar, then drove away. Officers followed Hausner as he drove to the Metrocenter mall. When Hausner went into the mall, the officers put a GPS device on his car.

Then Hausner drove to Mesa, where he and Dieteman shared an apartment, taking the long way down Van Buren Street, as if casing out future victims, Schwartzkopf said.

Horton stayed behind at the bar with Dieteman, calling police detectives when Dieteman went to the bathroom, according to Kimball's book.

Then Horton drove Dieteman to Wild Horse Pass Hotel and Casino on Interstate 10. Horton tactfully asked Dieteman if he could find another way home. Dieteman told him Dale Hausner was coming to pick him up. Horton left.

Undercover police were there to watch Dieteman and Dale Hausner as they talked in the casino. Then they left for Hausner's car in the parking lot, stopping to open the trunk and take out a bag that was about the length of a shotgun.

Instead of heading directly for the apartment in Mesa, the Camry wandered into Chandler.

Police were now following them on the road and in the air. They realized with shock that Hausner and Dieteman were on the hunt, looking for victims, slowing down when someone passed on a bike.

They would make U-turns and wander into neighborhoods that were not on the way to anywhere.

"For an hour and a half, we followed them as they cruised," Schwartzkopf said. "It was the worst night of my law-enforcement career."

Schwartzkopf and the other officers worried that the gun could come out of the window at any moment, and they would not be able to intervene.

Hausner and Dieteman could kill someone right in front of them.

The undercover cars passed one another, switching positions to avoid detection and to foil the shooters.

After the Camry would pass by, one of the officers would shout out the window at people on the street and tell them to go home and take cover, Schwartzkopf later told Kimball.

"We were hoping and praying to God they wouldn't shoot anybody," he said.

Dieteman and Hausner never got off a shot that night. The Camry drove back to the apartment in Mesa under the watchful eye of undercover officers.

The officers on the task force knew they needed to act fast.

Coming Monday: The race to get a warrant.



Publication: The Arizona Republic
Publication date: Monday, September 5, 2016

Part 2: Summer of Fear: 'What about the ... guy I shot on 27th Avenue?'

Michael Kiefer


On Aug. 2, 2006, with officers still staking out the apartment where the suspect "Serial Shooters" were living, Phoenix police investigators met with County Attorney Andrew Thomas and his executive staff to request an emergency wiretap.

Thomas approved their request through a process that allows law enforcement to begin surveillance before a judge has signed off.

"The sun was starting to go down, and I did not want to take that chance of another loss of life," Thomas later testified in court when the legality of the wiretap was challenged.

At 11 p.m., detectives drove to the home of Judge James Keppel to sign off on the emergency wiretap warrant. Then they bugged Samuel Dieteman and Dale Hausner through a next-door apartment and recorded their conversation.

The officers couldn't believe what they heard. On the recording, according to transcripts, Dieteman told Hausner, "On the 5 a.m. news, it was when they first said ... Phoenix and Mesa police have now officially linked the shooting death of a young Mesa woman to the serial killer, which now brings their total to six." Hausner said, "It's higher than that. What about the guy I (expletive) shot on 27th Avenue?"

Dieteman continued to tell Hausner that the police were working with the feds in other states, looking for similar crimes and evidence. Hausner: "So we're being copycatted, Sam? We're pioneers, Sam? We're leading the way for a better life for everybody, Sam?"

As police listened to the wiretap, Hausner talked about wanting to be the best serial killer ever. The two joked about the most recent murder, of Robin Blasnek, and Hausner made cartoonish, mocking voices as he described her reaction. Officers could hear the movie "The Jungle Book" in the background, playing for Hausner's toddler daughter.

Hausner said, "I love shooting people in the back. That's so much fun. That (expletive) old man I shot in the back."

Dieteman said, "My favorite thing is, you know, when somebody is walking away ... it gives me ... an extra couple seconds to aim. I don't have to worry about them looking."

That night, Aug. 3, police made their move. Dieteman and Hausner were inside the apartment. Because the child was there, police did not rush the building. They waited for an opportunity.

Finally, near midnight, Dieteman came outside to throw out the trash, carrying a garbage bag that contained a shotgun shell and a map of the shootings. SWAT team officers in helmets and body armor confronted him. When Dieteman saw the guns, he surrendered. He gave them a key to the apartment.

The police entered quietly. Hausner was preoccupied with something on the counter, and didn't notice. But when the police announced their presence, he was startled and shouted, "Jesus Christ!"

Then he fell to the floor.

Police bound his wrists with zip ties.

The first glimpse of the monsters

At 5 p.m. Aug. 4, 2006, I sat on a bench in the Initial Appearance Court in the Fourth Avenue Jail in downtown Phoenix, waiting for a first glimpse of the Serial Shooters.

Maricopa County sheriff's deputies led Hausner, short, blond and scruffy-bearded, into the courtroom.

He was wearing only a pair of green gym shorts and a pair of pink handcuffs. His hair was mussed. His love handles hung over the elastic waistband of his shorts as he shivered from the air-conditioned cold. His eyes were red-rimmed from weeping and sleeplessness and police questioning.

The hearing was short and sweet. Hausner was charged with murder.

An hour later, deputies led Dieteman in. He was tall and dark-haired, and he wore a rugby shirt and a worried expression. There was a large skull tattoo on his arm.

His attorney, Maria Schaffer, said he was "hungover out of his mind."

Hausner never admitted a thing, though he was clearly the mastermind.

But Dieteman let it all spill out the day he was arrested. He and Hausner, he told police, were engaged in what they called "random recreational violence."

There were muggings, stabbings, palm trees ignited, stores set on fire, tires slashed. And the shootings: Essentially, they were playing video games in real time while smoking meth.

"Everything they did was about creating havoc," Phoenix police Detective Clark Schwartzkopf said.

Once, they even shot a man, then parked the car and went to look at the damage they had done. Police were already on the scene. They questioned Dieteman and Hausner, who gave their names and made up stories about what they had seen and heard.

Then the officers let them go.

Hausner was 'Jekyll and Hyde'

Hausner was glib. He was a janitor at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and had clearance to secure areas at the facility.

He was so arrogant and so certain he would not be caught that in April 2006, in the midst of the hunt for the Serial Shooter, he did an interview with The Arizona Republic about his job. In the interview, he gushed about the old Terminal 2 where he worked, saying he hoped to retire there.

Hausner also freelanced as a photographer and was involved in the Phoenix boxing scene as a promoter and a photographer. He had a public-access TV show and had done a TV commercial for a law firm that specialized in personal-injury cases.

And he ran a lucrative steal-to-order shoplifting service. He would take orders from fellow workers on the types of alcohol or music or movies they wanted, go out and steal it, and sell it to them at a discount.

"He was Jekyll and Hyde," said Roland Steinle, the Maricopa County Superior Court judge who presided over Hausner's trial. He noted that Hausner was dating a woman who holds a doctorate degree, then going out to kill people after seeing her.

And, unexpectedly, he was a ladies' man who kept journals about his dates with multiple women, as he said later in court, so that he could keep his stories straight.

He used many of them as alibis, saying he had been with them on nights he was supposed to have committed crimes. Those stories fell apart when the women took the stand.

"He was always pleasuring some lucky woman," or so he told his defense attorney, Tim Agan.

"He was easy to get along with," Agan added.

But Hausner had dark secrets and came from a troubled and abusive family background, which Agan could not share because Hausner had not allowed it to be used as mitigation during his trial.

He was also a doting father, but a heartbroken one. In 1994, Hausner was married and living in Texas with his wife and two young sons. One night, while the family was on a road trip, Hausner's wife fell asleep at the wheel and their car was catapulted into a river.

Hausner was sleeping in the passenger seat, but awoke and managed to get out of the sinking car. Then he repeatedly dived down to the submerged vehicle to try to rescue his sons, who were trapped in car seats in the back seat. Both died.

His wife survived, and the two divorced.

Hausner fathered another child, a girl, whom he also doted on. On the night police eventually bugged his apartment, they heard Hausner talking to the child, and then heard her telling Dieteman good night.

"Don't kill anybody," she said in a tiny voice.

"Oh, all right," Dieteman replied. "Since you asked."

Partners in crime

Dieteman was an electrician by trade, but unable to hold down a job because of his substance-abuse problems.

He grew up in Minnesota, married young, fathered a child and then drifted off into entropy, amassing a long record of petty criminal arrests.

He was unemployed and homeless and ended up living with Hausner's older brother Jeff in west Phoenix. The two would go out and shoplift bottles of booze so they could get drunk, testimony later revealed.

Jeff introduced Dieteman to Hausner, telling him that Dieteman was as good a shoplifter as Hausner was.

Dieteman and Dale Hausner became fast friends and partners in crime, shoplifting at first, earning hundreds of dollars from the enterprise.

But they also reveled in vandalism.

They drove to local casinos to gamble, and when they left the parking lots, they often slashed the tires of cars parked near them. They set fire to palm trees or garbage piles. And before they were caught, they were photographed on surveillance video as they set fires in two separate Walmarts. Dieteman was even arrested once for shoplifting at a Walmart.

"Sam was looking for a place to stay and booze to drink and drugs to take," Schaffer said, adding that he needed "someplace to lay his head after the drugs and booze."

They did meth all night, and then Dieteman would be dropped off at the bars that opened early in the morning so he could drink some more.

Most of what police and prosecutors know about the early stages of the Serial Shooters came from Dieteman. As he drank and did drugs with Jeff and Dale Hausner, they would regale him with their exploits. He later related those stories to police.

At first, he told them, Dale and Jeff Hausner drove together, shooting animals and people.

Once, for example, in November 2005, Dieteman said, Jeff was drawing a bead on a dog in an alley near 20th and Monroe streets when a transient cussed them out. His name was Nathaniel Schoffner. He threw a beer can to keep them from shooting and called Dale Hausner a "Bill-Clinton-looking motherf--ker."

Dale Hausner grabbed his .22 rifle and pulled the trigger, but it misfired. Then he grabbed a .410 shotgun and, according to Dieteman, he and Jeff argued over whether you could kill anyone with such a small gauge. Dale Hausner fired anyway, killing Schoffner.

But after an overnight shooting spree in late December 2005, they shut down.

Jeff Hausner got a job. And the brothers likely destroyed the .22 rifle.

Shootings start again

Five months later, on May 2, 2006, Dale Hausner was driving down Van Buren Street with his new bestie, Dieteman. He turned left onto 44th Street, powered down the passenger window and told Dieteman to lean back.

Then, Hausner pulled a sawed-off shotgun from between the car seats and pointed it across Dieteman's body, aiming out Dieteman's window.

A teenager named Kibili Tamadul was on his way to a convenience store to pick up milk for his mother. Hausner fired, striking him but not knocking him down. Tamadul jumped and shouted, and Dieteman and Hausner laughed like they were watching a Warner Bros. cartoon.

Fifteen minutes later, they turned onto Thomas Road. Hausner handed the shotgun to Dieteman and said, "Your turn."

A young woman named Claudia Gutierrez Cruz was walking on the sidewalk near 61st Street; she had just missed her bus connection as she tried to get home from work. Hausner did a U-turn to give Dieteman a good shot. He fired and blew her off the sidewalk.

They passed by again to see where she was. She was found by a passer-by; in the 911 call, Gutierrez Cruz could be heard pleading for someone to call her sister. She died at the hospital.

As Dieteman would later testify, the next day, Hausner put the morning newspaper on the kitchen table. "Hey, dude, you got the first murder of the year in Scottsdale," he said. "I'm jealous."

He probably was.

Hausner later told detectives about his fascination with Charles Starkweather, a teen from Hausner's native Nebraska who killed 11 people in 1958.

And after Hausner's arrest Aug. 3, police found scrapbooks filled with newspaper articles about the Serial Shooters and about the "Baseline Killer," and they realized that Hausner was actually competing with his rival murderer.

The Baseline Killer hadn't struck in nearly two months, but he was still on the loose.

Tuesday: Waiting for Goudeau


Publication: The Arizona Republic
Publication date: Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Part 3: Summer of Fear: Legwork leads to arrest of Goudeau

Michael Kiefer

The Serial Shooters were caught because one of them confessed to a friend and the friend had a guilty conscience.

There was no such tip to catch the Baseline Killer, so police had to depend on old-fashioned legwork.

Police had a video of him, a composite sketch and they were canvassing the neighborhoods where he had struck. They had suspects under surveillance. They were searching for DNA matches. Though they had calls to Silent Witness — and a $100,000 reward for information leading to his capture — none was enough to make an arrest.

One woman, who is still afraid to give her name, remembers an encounter in her print shop on Thomas Road near 24th Street.

A man who fit the killer's description walked into the shop and started to come over the counter toward her.

He had a very strange voice, she said. He was wearing a black, long-sleeved T-shirt and khaki pants. The rubber edge of his sneakers was so white that it looked bleached.

"He was so clean. There was no wrinkle in his clothes," she said, "and although it was a hot day in Phoenix, there was no smell to him and not a trace of sweat."

"I was terrified," she said. "This is 10 years later, and I am shivering just bringing it up."

She was able to scare the man away when the phone rang and she pretended it was workmen in the back of the shop.

The man ran out the door and disappeared. She called police, but the information was of little use.

A suspect: An ex-con convicted of rape

The sexual attacks began in August 2005, and the first of the murders that September. They were attempted rapes that turned fatal if the women refused to comply.

Even if the women did comply, the Baseline Killer never completed sexual intercourse with any of his victims, which made it more difficult for police to track him with DNA.

None of the women he murdered had been raped. Instead, they were posed, as retired Phoenix police Detective Benny Piña told The Arizona Republic. Their pants were pulled down slightly, the zippers undone.

"It's not about the act," Piña said. "It's about remembering the act later with mementos in quiet time back home."

Among the suspects was an ex-con construction worker named Mark Goudeau, who lived with his wife in a house on Pinchot Avenue near 28th Street in Phoenix, at the epicenter of one of the neighborhoods that was preyed on.

Goudeau had a past: He had been accused of rape as a teenager, but the woman refused to press charges.

In 1989, Goudeau was arrested in the same neighborhood for raping and beating a woman senseless with a shotgun and a barbell, then chasing two witnesses and threatening them with the gun.

He entered into a plea agreement, but a year after the assault, before he was even sentenced, he robbed a supermarket at Thomas Road and 30th Street to get money to buy crack cocaine. He was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

But in 2004, after 13 years, he was granted clemency and released. Among the people testifying on his behalf was Wendy Carr, who had married him while he was in prison.

Goudeau went home to live an outwardly quiet and lawful life.

When he came under suspicion in 2006, police put him under surveillance, Piña said. They watched him meet with women in the park. But as the police moved in, he would disappear, perhaps up a tree, maybe down an alley.

"That whole surveillance was a nightmare for us," Piña said.

He ordered her to beg for her life and her baby's

Detectives finally broke the case with DNA, though not from semen.

In September 2005, a man matching the description of the Baseline Killer jumped two sisters in their 20s as they walked from a water-play fountain in a city park near Baseline Road in south Phoenix. They were forced into the bushes at gunpoint, ordered to the ground and forced to disrobe. One of thesisters was six months pregnant.

The assailant tried several times to have intercourse with the younger sister, who was not pregnant, but he could not stay erect. He fumbled with a condom.

He told the women not to look at his face. One sister noticed that he had put the gun down. She grabbed it and tried to shoot but could not figure out how to fire it. The attacker wrestled with her and the other sister seized the gun. She could not figure out how to shoot it either.

The attacker got the gun back and touched it between the pregnant sister's legs. He ordered her to beg for her own life and the life of her unborn baby, according to testimony.

Then he decided to let them live.

But first, he made both women spit into his hand. Then he stirred in mud and rubbed the mess on the breasts of the sister he tried to rape in an attempt to cover the DNA he had left there in saliva.

The ploy almost worked.

Technicians at the Phoenix police lab were unable to pull a DNA profile out of the gumbo. Detectives then sent the remaining sample swabs to the state Department of Public Safety lab for a new DNA test that isolated the Y chromosome, or male hereditary genes.

It took nearly a year but they came back with a hit: Goudeau.

Police wasted no time. On Sept. 6, 2006, they arrested him in front of his house as he got out of his pickup truck on the way home from work.

It was his 42nd birthday.

Only DNA from a single incident

Sept. 6 was my daughter's birthday, too, and we had celebrated at a restaurant in Scottsdale. I had only been asleep for a half hour when the phone rang.

It was my editor, and she asked if I could go down to 28th Street and Thomas Road because the police had just arrested a man they thought was the Baseline Killer.

It was about 11 p.m. I took a shower and went to work for the next straight 48 hours.

My colleague Judi Villa was already there, in front of a little house in a neighborhood that would have been quiet, if not for the TV trucks and the police evidence vans and squad cars.

We quickly figured out the name of the suspect.

The neighbors were shocked. At least one of them recounted that Goudeau had told him he was under police suspicion. The next afternoon, I was back in the Initial Appearance Court at the jail when they led him in.

He wore a black long-sleeve T-shirt and khaki pants, the same blend-in-with-the-background outfit that his surviving victims described, except that it was flecked with cement dust.

He bore a strong resemblance to the composite sketch police had circulated, a light-skinned and muscular black man with a mustache, except he was not wearing the dreadlocks wig or the fishing hat he wore during some of his attacks.

Goudeau gave his name and address and no more. He was charged with two counts of aggravated assault, two counts each of sexual abuse and sexual assault, and two counts of kidnapping, stemming from the sexual attack on the two sisters walking home from the water park near Baseline Road the year before.

Police suspected Goudeau of all the Baseline Killer crimes, but at the time, they had DNA from only that single incident. They didn't have enough evidence to charge him with any of the murders.

But the sexual-assault charges would make sure Goudeau stayed in jail as police continued to work the case.

They did not seem frightening

What was perhaps most frightening about Dale Hausner, the mastermind of the Serial Shooters, and Goudeau, the Baseline Killer, was that they did not seem frightening.

If either one sat down next to you at a bar or coffee shop, you might end up in conversation with him, even buy him a drink.

"That's how psychopaths live among us," said Phoenix police Detective Clark Schwartzkopf, who first identified Hausner as a killer.

By coincidence, Schwartzkopf had arrested Goudeau 13 years earlier after he committed the 1989 assault and robbery that sent him to prison for 13 years.

Goudeau was handsome, with an athlete's figure and an upright carriage.

At the time of his arrest in 2006, his neighbors called him "sweet" and "hard-working." They saw him with his wife, or out tending his yard on the little house they shared.

Goudeau's wife, Carr, still professes her husband's innocence. She said over and over that her husband wasn't evil or violent, that he was kind and funny and hardworking.

"The guy I saw, he never came off as a jackass," said one of his defense attorneys, Corwin Townsend. "He always was cordial to everyone on our team."

Goudeau worked as a concrete finisher for a company that set foundations, and it took him to construction sites all over the Valley — including several near to where his attacks took place, the two women killed in the lunch truck, for instance.

Detectives remember that Goudeau would go there to buy breakfast for his crew, and that in itself points out the yin and yang of his being.

When police finally searched Goudeau's home, they found mementos of his crimes, like jewelry taken from his dead victims. And they found traces of blood.

But they didn't have enough to charge him with murder.

A son views a tragic scene

The break came accidentally from a murder that seemed unrelated to the Baseline Killer attacks.

On April 10, 2006, Sophia Nuñez was found dead in the bath tub of her west Phoenix home by her 7-year-old son. She had taken the day off from work, and she and her family attended a giant march through downtown Phoenix, which was part of a national day of protest in favor of immigration reform.

When she failed to pick up her son at school, he walked home and crawled under the garage door, which had been left open about a foot.

The water was running in his mother's bathroom, so he assumed she was in the shower. But she didn't come out, and he saw that water was running under the bathroom door and soaking the bedroom carpet.

He walked in and found her half-dressed and under the water, with a bullet in her cheek under one eye, which was open.

The boy valiantly tried to administer CPR, and then ran to a neighbor's house to call police.

At first, police suspected Nuñez's ex-husband, but they cleared him. They took DNA swabs, collected the bullet, but had no leads.

The connection came when they went through Goudeau's phone records and checked a number he had called repeatedly: Nuñez's.

Nuñez's aunt and best friend, Alicia Bell, said Nuñez and Goudeau met at a bar in northwest Phoenix.

He told her he was a professional baseball player on the disabled list, but she didn't believe him, partly because of the old truck he drove. He called her repeatedly, then apparently gave up on her.

"She just thought he was weird and married," Bell told me some months after Nuñez's death.

He called her over and over, but she was not interested.

One afternoon, Nuñez was with her teenage daughter, Unique Martinez, at Arizona Mills mall, and they ran into Goudeau at an arcade.

"He seemed like a friendly guy," Martinez remembers. "I wasn't skeptical of him."

They all chatted and Nuñez remembered that Goudeau said he did odd jobs, so she asked if he could install a security door at her house.

When he came to the house, she didn't want to be there with him to hit on her, but she didn't think he was a threat, and left her children as he worked. He never finished the job.

On April 10, 2006, he came back to the house uninvited and killed her.

'Hey, that's my mom's friend'

After Goudeau was arrested for the rape of the two sisters in south Phoenix, Martinez saw him on TV. "Hey, that's my mom's friend," she thought.

She called the detective on her mother's case.

Investigators realized they had lifted Goudeau's DNA from saliva on her breast. The bullet in her head matched the ballistics of the other murders.

On Jan. 16, 2007, Phoenix police called Nuñez's mother, Maria, and asked her to come to police headquarters on East Washington Street, and they broke the news. Families of other victims were there too.

Goudeau was already charged with 19 counts including sexual assault, sexual abuse, kidnapping and aggravated assault for the attack on the two sisters, and one charge of possessing cocaine when he was arrested.

Now, he was indicted on 74 more counts including nine murders, which would go forward as a second case.

Maria Nuñez came out of police headquarters and handed a photo of Sophia to a television cameraman, who taped it to the side of a TV live truck to photograph it.

I took my cellphone out of my pocket and snapped a photograph of Sophia's image and emailed it to the newspaper's photo editor.

It ran on the front page of The Republic the next day.

Wednesday: The police had their suspects, but would juries convict them?


Publication: The Arizona Republic
Publication date: Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Part 4: Summer of Fear: 'Evil doesn't have a face'

Michael Kiefer


How does a jury respond in a case where a rapist presses a gun to a pregnant woman's private parts and asks her to beg for the life of her unborn baby?

Predictably, with horror.

Mark Goudeau was the first of the suspected serial killers to go to trial.

But initially, he was charged in the only attack for which police and prosecutors had sufficient evidence, the sexual assaults on two sisters in south Phoenix in September 2005.

They had been playing with friends and family at a water feature in a public park just north of Baseline Road. Because it was a nice evening and a good neighborhood, they decided to walk home instead of drive with their companions.

Goudeau dragged them into the bushes and repeatedly assaulted them sexually, then uncharacteristically let them go free.

But investigators were able to lift Goudeau's DNA from saliva on one woman's breast. He was charged with 19 counts including sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

He was charged with the murders under a different case number that would be tried separately.

The rape case went to trial on July 23, 2007, a little more than 10 months after Goudeau was arrested. The jurors knew nothing about the murders. The words "Baseline Killer" were never mentioned, so as not to prejudice them.

Corwin Townsend and his co-counsel, Cary Lackey, fought with prosecutors Suzanne Cohen and Bill Clayton over how the DNA was obtained and whether it was a true match.

Goudeau had made the women spit in his hand and rubbed it on the woman's breast in an attempt to foil DNA testing. And it almost worked. Phoenix police, however, sent the sample out for a new sort of testing that was able to isolate a profile they said matched Goudeau.

The defense attorneys objected.

For one thing, the police labs had consumed all of the sample swabs, leaving nothing for the defense to test independently. For another, Townsend and Lackey argued that because the experimental DNA testing focused only on the Y chromosome, which is passed genetically among males in a family, the DNA could have been from any one of Goudeau's male relatives

But the sisters bravely took the stand. The testimony was horrid.

On the day the guilty verdict came in, my story was posted online before the jury had even left the courtroom to gather their thoughts in the jury room before coming back out to talk to the media.

While in the jury room, one juror took out his phone, called up and learned for the first time that Goudeau was also suspected of being the Baseline Killer.

On Dec. 14, 2007, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Andrew Klein sentenced Goudeau to 438 years in on the numerous accounts of sexual assault.

And he still had to stand trial for the nine murders.

Letters from the killers

One week earlier, Dale Hausner, the accused mastermind of the "Serial Shooters," attempted suicide in jail by hoarding over-the-counter medications and taking them all at once. He was revived so that the authorities could try to get a death sentence against him and kill him with different drugs.

His attorneys, Tim Agan and Ken Everett, tried to exclude the damning tapes from police wiretaps, in which they were overheard bragging about their prowess as serial killers. They lost the bid, and the case lumbered on toward trial.

In April 2008, Samuel Dieteman, who had already confessed everything, pleaded straight up to the two murders he took part in. He killed Claudia Gutierrez Cruz on his first night shooting with Hausner. And he was in the car when Hausner shot and killed Robin Blasnek.

Dieteman testified that he deliberately missed other times he was handed the shotgun. But he still needed to stand trial so that a jury could decide whether to sentence him to death or to life in prison.

The next month, Jeff Hausner, Dale's older brother, was finally publicly identified as a participant in the Serial Shooter crimes. He was indicted for two incidents that occurred while all three were joy-riding in Dale's car. Dale Hausner would create a distraction and Jeff would sneak up behind the victim and stab him. He pleaded guilty to one stabbing and faced trial for the second.

By then, I had received the first letter from Dale Hausner, though it came signed, "A Loyal Reader; (Name withheld for fear of ridicule by co-workers and family members for not jumping on the 'guilty' bandwagon.)"

In it, he accused Dieteman and his brother of the crimes. The letter painted Dieteman as a violent criminal with a long rap sheet. It ridiculed County Attorney Andrew Thomas' assertion that the shootings had stopped since Dieteman and Hausner had been arrested.

In the letter, Hausner tried to say that police had misunderstood his statement on the wiretap tapes — "It feels good doesn't it?" — as referring to scratching an itch. The writer knew all this because, he wrote, he had written to Hausner, who told him he was being framed.

The next letter was dated May 22, 2008. Hausner continued to place blame on Dieteman. It was signed only with the letter "D," but he wrote about inaccuracies in my coverage.

"Last, could you possibly put a worse photo of me in the paper?" he wrote. "Maybe you should photo-shop one of me with devil horns. That would sell a lot of papers!!"

A day later, I received a letter from Dieteman to clear up the general perception that he had been present at all of the Serial Shooter crimes, which most media outlets assumed, not yet knowing precisely how the attacks had played out.

"I am in no way trying to play 'Mr. Innocent,' as Dale Hausner is," Dieteman wrote. "I have taken responsibility for my crimes. I signed a plea agreement to where I'm still going to death row, the only benefits I get out of that deal are avoiding an unnecessary trial and being able to put Hausner away."

'A long, painful, bloody road'

Dale Hausner's trial started in September 2008 in front of Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle.

By the time the case came to trial, the charges had been winnowed to eight counts of first-degree murder, 25 counts of drive-by shooting, 17 counts of aggravated assault, 18 counts of attempted murder, nine counts of cruelty to animals, three firearms violations, two conspiracy charges and one for arson.

The trial lasted seven months.

"This is going to be a long, painful, bloody road," Deputy County Attorney Vince Imbordino told the jury as he showed them photographs of the victims. "This is not a crime show. People were actually killed. The bullets were real, the blood was real."

Much of the case was built on Dieteman's statements, but he was present with Hausner only after April 2006; many of the crimes were committed before that time. So investigators had to establish Hausner's presence, using cellphone records to show he was in the area of a crime, surveillance cameras, shell casings found in his car., etc.

The trial droned on. At Christmastime, I received a Christmas card from Hausner. He wrote a message inside: "My wishes for you is that the lord bless you in all you do."

He signed it "Dale."

'Evil doesn't have a face'

In February 2009, Hausner took the witness stand and denied any involvement in the shootings. But he said enough on the stand to "open doors," that is, to bring up issues that had been judged off-limits to prosecutors. His girlfriends and an ex-wife were all brought to testify to refute his alibis.

In his closing statement, Vince Imbordino, the lead prosecutor, drew in the jury in a soft voice.

"He doesn't look like much," Imbordino said as he pointed at Hausner. "You might have passed him on the street and not noticed him. He doesn't look like a killer. Evil doesn't have a face."

Imbordino asked the jury the same question Paul Patrick, one the victims, had asked over and over: What could be the reason for the shooting spree?

"Unfortunately, there's not always a reason," the prosecutor said.

He held up the box of newspaper clippings that Hausner kept of the crimes.

Imbordino recalled his own childhood growing up on a ranch in Texas and wondered who could ever shoot a horse or a dog.

"Ever have a puppy lick your face?" he asked. "You couldn't kill one."

Then he pointed to a stack of pink folders, one for each of the victims.

"This is what their lives have been reduced to," he said.

The jury found Hausner guilty — but not of everything he was charged with. The jurors felt there was not enough evidence to find beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of two of the murders and five of the other crimes.

Two weeks after the conviction, the families of the victims made their statements. Adriana Gutierrez Cruz, whose sister Claudia had been killed by Dieteman, read an impassioned speech about having to call her parents in Mexico to tell them Claudia was dead.

Then Adriana raised her voice and her eyes to the ceiling and said, "I wonder if I will ever again be able to tell her that I love her and I need her. If you can hear me, please forgive me for not being able to defend you."

The entire courtroom was in tears.

Comparing himself to Manson

Hausner also addressed the jury, and compared himself to 1960s cult leader and murderer Charles Manson.

"When you think of Manson, 50 years from now you'll think of Hausner," he said.

But he did not try to talk anyone out of a death sentence.

"I died Nov. 12, 1994, when my children died," he said, referring to the traffic accident that killed his two sons.

"I've been waiting to die since then, so if you want to kill me, go ahead," he said.

He got his wish: After the jury foreman read the death verdicts, Hausner gave a thumbs up to the media in the back of the court room. And he said "thank you" to the jurors as he walked past them on the way to death row.

"You're welcome," a juror answered.

Thursday: 'Never forget them.'






Publication: The Arizona Republic
Publication date: Thursday, September 8, 2016


Part 4, Summer of Fear: A decade later, still haunted by the memories of tragedy

Michael Kiefer


"Years of suffering still lay ahead for the victims and the families."

Andy Hill

Former Phoenix Police Sergeant

Dale Hausner's trial was drawn out and exhausting. The rest of the "Serial Shooter" trials were short and anti-climactic by comparison.

Jeff Hausner, Dale's older brother, went on trial next, and in June 2009, he was found guilty of attempted murder and aggravated assault for one of the stabbings. He was given 11- and 18-year sentences to be served simultaneously, and he was already serving 71/2 years for the other stabbing. He was never charged in any of the shootings.

Samuel Dieteman had his sentencing trial a month later. The jury considered his testimony against Dale Hausner and spared his life. He was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of release.

The final and most dramatic trial from the summer of fear did not start until June 2011, nearly five years after Mark Goudeau was arrested.

Goudeau had been cordial and seemed sincere in the first trial; in his second, he was a simmering ex-con already facing five lifetimes in prison.

Suzanne Cohen, one of the prosecutors who had tried him in his rape trial, invoked the Bible in her opening statements.

"Beware of the predator who comes to you dressed in sheep's clothing but inside is a ravenous wolf with an appetite to rape," she paraphrased from the Book of Matthew. "You shall know him by his deeds."

She showed photos of the raped women to the jurors. Then she showed photos of those who died, smiling and alive — then dead and bleeding on the ground or in cars. Sophia Nuñez was shown where her son found her, blood dripping down the side of the bathtub.

"He took what he wanted," Cohen said.

'Stuck in my head'

The trial lasted four months. Cohen and her co-prosecutor, Patricia Stevens, organized the case into 13 chapters, each on a scene or murder.

A woman testified as to how she and her 12-year-old daughter were taken in her car at gunpoint from the parking lot of a taco stand in south Phoenix. Goudeau made her strip naked and sexually assaulted her, then made her drive while he assaulted her daughter. Then he jumped out of the car and ran.

"His voice always stuck in my head," the mother said on the witness stand. "It's something I hear over and over. That's been my nightmare."

Goudeau does have a distinctive voice, creaky, almost twangy, in a pitch that defies description as high or low, but is sort of modulated in between.

The woman who had been ordered to strip naked but refused to perform oral sex on Goudeau took the stand. She told of the terror of having a gun pushed to her head and being told she would die, then hearing the click of a misfire and bolting from the car to safety.

The two sisters from Goudeau's first trial also testified. So did another rape victim who said she was hysterical and called her brother instead of police. The brother told her to calm down and he came to her, and together they called police. Then, as she told the court, when the reporting officer arrived he told her, "You don't look like you just got raped."

At that moment in testimony, the case agent, Alex Femenia, a former Phoenix police detective who helped spearhead the Baseline investigation, sat up in his chair at the prosecutors' table.

His eyes got big and he started dialing he phone as he stormed out of the courtroom to find out who that officer was.

Sharing their grief

In August 2011, a dairy worker told how he found the bodies of Romelia Vargas and Mirna Palma Roman in the lunch wagon where they cooked and sold breakfast burritos to workers at a west Phoenix housing development under construction.

He had arrived before dawn and saw that the lights were on in the truck, but he didn't see the ladies who worked in it. When he finally went in and found them dead, he tried to administer CPR, but it was too late. They had been posed like the other female murder victims, their pants unbuttoned and pulled down slightly; they had bullets in their heads.

When the dairy worker finished and left the court room, I saw Vargas's husband, Alvin Hogue, get up and follow him out. I followed Hogue.

Outside, the two men stood in the courthouse hallway. They were both enormous. Hogue extended a hand and said, "I want to thank you for what you tried to do for my wife."

Hogue's voice cracked as he explained he had been told that someone had tried to save her, but he didn't know who it was.

"I wish I could have done more," the dairyman said. The two giant men embraced.

His final say

At the end of October 2011, the jury found Goudeau guilty of 67 crimes, including nine murders.

He refused to cooperate with his lead attorney, Randall Craig, and when a mitigation expert began testifying about Goudeau's impotence during the sentencing phase of the trial, Goudeau pulled the plug and would go no further.

Still, he asked the jury to spare his life. "The only reason I'm standing here in front of you is because of my past," Goudeau said, referring to his 1989 convictions.

"People can change," he said. "I changed. ... I got out of prison and never looked back."

He criticized his attorneys for not representing him adequately.

"You know I can't talk about the crimes you found me guilty of," he said. Defendants aren't allowed to claim innocence after being convicted.

"But I can look you in the eyes and say, 'Mark Goudeau is no wolf in sheep's clothing.' And I can't blame you for the decision you made," he continued. "But I pray that one day you learn the truth about this case and the crimes I have been accused of. They assassinated my character. They painted me as a monster. I am no monster. Mark Goudeau is no monster. I am no monster."

The families of his victims got to speak, too.

Liliana Sanchez Cabrera's mother, Juana, who had attended every day of the trial, spoke to the jurors in Spanish, her words translated: "For a moment, I thought that if I could pull out my heart with my hand, I could show you my pain."

On Nov. 30, 2011, they sentenced Goudeau to death nine times.

In late July 2012, Hausner wrote me a letter from death row.

The Arizona Supreme Court had just upheld his death sentences, and he wanted to give up and die. He had asked the high court to waive further appeals and speed up his execution. Ironically, such requests make authorities question the sanity of the prisoner asking to die, so Hausner was assigned an attorney to represent him against himself.

"Now that I want to get executed, suddenly my mental state is in question. ... I am not insane," he wrote. "... I mean really, what's a guy got to do to get snuffed out?"

He figured it out.

Nearly a year later, on June 19, 2013, Hausner was found unresponsive in his cell at the Eyman Prison in Florence. He had overdosed on the antidepressant amitriptyline, also known by the brand name Elavil, obtained from another prisoner.

Arizona Department of Corrections officials said Hausner died at a hospital in Florence.

A video, released under the Arizona Public Records Act, shows correctional officers putting Hausner's inert body, blood dripping from a corner of his mouth, on a gurney and administering CPR as they wheeled him to a first-aid room where paramedics took over. Then they rolled him out to an ambulance.

One of Hausner's cell-block neighbors wrote me saying he had tried for hours to get someone to investigate the noises from Hausner's cell.

Dieteman and Jeff Hausner are both serving their sentences. Neither would agree to be interviewed. Nor would Goudeau, whose nine death sentences were affirmed by the Arizona Supreme Court on June 17 this year.

Even after 10 years, the emotion has not subsided.

When reached by phone, Goudeau's wife, Wendy Carr, said she did not want to talk about "the summer they railroaded my husband."

Those we lost

Demetris Coachman, who was a juror during Goudeau's death-sentence trial, told The Republic, "I think about it on a day-to-day basis."

When he goes by a car wash, he thinks of Carmen Miranda. When he goes by a charity donation box, he thinks of a woman taken at 32nd Street and Indian School Road. When he goes by bushes, he thinks of the two sisters in south Phoenix.

"I think about the girl in the Volkswagen who heard the gun click and ran; she testified and could hardly talk," Coachman said.

Paul Patrick, who was going to buy a pack of cigarettes when he was shot by Dieteman, waits out the days in his hospital bed in west Phoenix.

Saúl Guerrero, the combat veteran who saved Patrick's life by holding in his guts after he was shot, was inspired to become a paramedic.

I honestly still start crying every time I try to repeat aloud Adriana Gutierrez Cruz's plaint to her sister Claudia, who was killed by Dieteman, calling to her in heaven to please forgive for not being there to protect her.

Sophia Nuñez's daughter, Unique Martinez, posted a rap video called "Last Words" on YouTube to commemorate her mother.

Sophia's mother, Maria, lives in a house in south Phoenix. Inside the living room, the walls are covered with framed photographs of Sophia.

"The life sentence isn't just for Mark," she said. "All of us, our lives changed."

'Don't forget them'

Former Phoenix police Sgt. Andy Hill, the public face of both investigations, handed me a copy of an email he sent out about the two cases in 2011.

The last words of this tale are his:

"A city, a metropolitan area in fear. Two serial-killer cases at the same time in the same city; one a lone predator and the other with two suspects arrested and possible third investigated.

"Seventeen murder victims ...

"A child raped.

"Women raped, sodomized, shot and killed; men shot and killed or paralyzed or permanently injured.

"A child came home to find his mother brutally raped and murdered, a mother watched her daughter raped, a woman forced to undress and when she refused her attacker's attempted rape, had the gun pointed to her head and the trigger pulled. It clicked and she ran.

"Finally arrests.

"But years of suffering still lay ahead for the victims and the families. One child raped still remains institutionalized. ... Many other children of victims have endured years of loneliness, without help, trying to grow up, live, provide for themselves. ...

"Then the trials: rehashing the horrible events, hoping for justice, knowing nothing can change what happened. ...

"Except for a few, the media has long forgotten the victims. ...

"Surely the victims who survived and all the family members and loved ones don't forget. Even a conviction will not stem the tide of the torture of the memories of the evil acts. But a loving and caring community can help comfort.

"Don't forget them, don't forget them, don't forget them."