Friday, August 04, 2006

Phoenix Snipers Caught

Phoenix police have arrested two men for a spree of serial sniper killings in metropolitan Phoenix. Some of the murders took place near where I used to live, in Scottsdale, but the pair made all of the Valley their target, an area that is far larger than most people imagine.

Samuel J. Dieteman, 31, and Dale S. Hausner, 33, were taken into custody Thursday night after a raid at an apartment building in Mesa, Ariz., a Phoenix suburb. The men will face charges of murder and aggravated assault but have not been formally charged, authorities said.

The AP describes the apartment building as gated, perhaps to make it all sound more decadent. But lots of apartment complexes in Phoenix are gated, and it's really nothing special.

The two men were roommates, and some weird relationship between them is no doubt at the heart of the crime: Leopold and Loeb brought forward to the hot, sprawling 21st century southwest. From the AP:
Jill O'Donnell, 20, who lives in the complex near Hausner's apartment, said she spent considerable time chatting with Hausner, but added that during the last month, he wouldn't say hello or wave when she passed by.

He "seemed like a really nice person, but he gave off a vibe of someone you didn't want to be too social with," O'Donnell said.

Hausner appears to have been the stronger of the two, functioning in the world while Dietman brooded silently. Hausner was a janitor at Sky Harbor (he was fired when arrested), but also dabbled in sports photography.

Jawa Report has tracked down some of the traces the pair have left on the internet, as well as some of Hausner's photos. AZCentral tells the story of one of the victims, and has many links to further details about the crimes.

The trouble for Phoenix is that it still has a killer left on the loose. The Baseline Killer is still at large. Like the snipers, he strikes in areas where I used to live, both in Scottsdale and in Tempe.

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