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Detroit Suspects Serial Killer in Sex Worker Deaths

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After three slayings of women, Detroit police said the cases may be linked and warned that investigators may be dealing with a serial killer, the Detroit Free Press reports. “We’re not trying to create alarm,” Detroit Police Chief James Craig said. “But we want to get this information out.” The killer — a man — appears to be targeting sex workers in their 50s. Social media rumors had been developing since mid-May that there was a serial killer in downtown Detroit. At the time, the police department repudiated them, saying, “there is false information circulating” and “this is not true.”

Instead, police said a suspect had been identified with incidents involving the death of women. On Wednesday, Craig reiterated the denial, saying that these deaths are different and have “no connection to that.” Craig said the department decided to warn of a possible serial killer on Wednesday after a woman’s body was found naked in a vacant home. Craig urged anyone with information to report it by calling 1-800-SPEAK-UP. The killer, Craig said, appears to be luring women into vacant buildings, raping and killing them. The chief urged women to be vigilant and avoid going into homes with anyone.  “It appears that there is a trend and a pattern,” he said, adding that police “wanted to make the sex worker community aware of this very dangerous suspect.” Night Angels, a nonprofit group that seeks to end human trafficking, said the deaths terrify women forced to work in unsafe conditions in the sex trade. “There are a lot of homicides that don’t make it into the newspaper,” said Mel Baggett of Night Angels, adding that violence “happens all the time.”

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