I have to wonder if he changed his time of when he shoots victims to be the exact time when LE changes their shifts?
"Tampa police say residents of the city's Seminole Heights neighborhood reported hearing shots just before 5 a.m. Tuesday."
If the killer changed his shooting time to be right around when graveyard shift ends and LE changes shifts then he may have felt it would give him a better chance to escape. I think some departments have turnover meetings for the next shift to help them get up to speed on any events that happened late at night as they begin their morning shift.
This could explain why the 4th victim was shot close to 5 a.m.
If so, then how did the perp know the time of LE shift changes. Scanner? Or just a guess he had?
The more I learn about this case the more convinced I am that this killer is very cunning and he is taking steps not to be caught. I hope his arrogance makes him slip up.
I would not be surprised at all if this perp is a cross dresser. I have always thought I see two small protusions under his jacket that look like small breasts and I dont think its just his pectorial muscles. It may be a bullet proof vest or something but something is showing two small bulges under his jacket.
The second Nov 14th video of the latest shooting shows it the best. You have to watch through to the Nov 14th one.
The two swelled areas seem to be a little more to the outside and not normally where breasts are so it kind of now makes me think he may have on a shoulder holster underneath his jacket or a bullet proof vest or something.
I had purchased a double shoulder holster for conceal carry and I got one that was symetrical on both sides to make it more comfortable and not feel like something is just hanging off of one shoulder.
It could be something like that he is using to carry his gun under the jacket. There is something making those small bulges so its either something like that or maybe he does dress in drag and could be why LE is having trouble catching him.
Below is link to what double shoulder holsters look like
Other ideas why the shoulder holster makes sense based on the videos:
1. Suspects upper back appeared stiff, possibly due to the straps keeping the shoulders back and chest out.
2. Re-holstering the gun is not easy, see video (https://youtu.be/iifIwDFMoqI?t=4m23s) This could be why when he ran away, his left arm is appeared to hold the gun on his left side.
3. He does look like a decent runner, but his right arm appeared to be flailing wide when running, possibly due to the holster clips.
On the night shift in Seminole Heights, Tampa police keep watch for a killer
Lt. Gary Neal with the Tampa Police Department responds to a crime scene in his district that involved a drive-by shooting on East Lake Avenue and North 22nd Street in Tampa on Saturday, November 18, 2017. OCTAVIO JONES | Times
It’s a Friday night ride-along with the Tampa Police Department that drags into the early morning, a nearly 12-hour shift for Neal that, lately, carries with it new, pressing stakes. The department and community is coping with four seemingly connected killings in southeast Seminole Heights.
Less than two miles from TPD district headquarters where Neal, 46, serves as shift commander, a neighborhood has been gripped by the fear of a possible serial killer roaming the streets.
It is against this backdrop of tension that the affable Neal oversees police activities in one of the city’s most challenging districts.
"We want this to stop," says Neal, whose family came to the U.S. from Jamaica when he was 12, and who still has a hint of Jamaican accent. "The citizens want this to stop. I would love to get this guy into custody."
Having worked the night shift for 14 of his 16 years on the force, the naturally gregarious Neal knows a lot of people who frequent the convenience store.
Customers smile and wave, and Neal asks again whether anyone wants to earn the six-figure reward.
Mike Hamdan, one of the store managers, steps outside and approaches Neal.
"I have something to tell you," says Hamdan, 20. "I work at our store in Seminole Heights, too. He shot three of my customers."
He motions for Neal to follow him back into the store.
Mitchell, Hoffa and Felton were frequent visitors to M&M Food and Meat, a convenience store just blocks where the first three killings took place, Hamdan tells Neal. Then he makes a dramatic pronouncement.
"I can lead you to who the killer is," says Hamdan. "I have surveillance cameras that recorded a pistol in his pocket when he walked into my store."
Frustrated, Hamdan wonders aloud why police just can’t pull the man in and search him.
"At this moment, it is not the time for a Constitutional rights thing," says Hamdan. "I am from Palestine. Where I am from, this would not be an issue."
Neal, who once served as a school resource officer at Franklin Middle School, explains.
"We have to abide by the constitution," says Neal. "The worst thing we can do is make an arrest and not be able to build a case. We are frustrated too, but I need to be able to prove things."
It is about 1:30 a.m. The area offers places for a cunning, opportunistic killer to hide and quickly strike.
A police cruiser idles every few intersections, and many more drive through the neighborhood under siege. But for the most part, Nebraska Avenue is empty, save for two men walking in tandem.
"I’m glad they are together," says Neal. "The message is getting out. We need a break from all the killings."
Any idea who they were talking about? Someone we were looking at?
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3000. If they take even take one minute to look at 3000........Think of it!
I wonder if there is a computer program where data can be entered and sorted according to some parameters.
I imagine some of the tips are about the same person.
Investigators in the sniper case are using an FBI computer program called Rapid Start to collect and catalog more 2,000 credible leads, culled from many thousands of tips. The high-tech tool, used in such complex investigations as the bombings at Oklahoma City's federal building in 1995 and at the World Trade Center in 1993, lets investigators quickly cross-reference information to find connections that otherwise might go unnoticed
In the days before computers, Coffey says investigators relied on filing cabinets, shoe boxes and luck to catch David Berkowitz, who was convicted of killing six New Yorkers and wounding seven others between July 1976 and August 1977. A neighbor and a co-worker had called in tips about Berkowitz, but it was a routine parking ticket that finally placed him near one of the crime scenes.
When a sniper struck in July 1994 on Long Island, N.Y., killing one person and wounding two others over 13 days, the Suffolk County Police Department ultimately combed through more than 200,000 tips.
Assistant Chief John McElhone, who helped coordinate the manhunt, said investigators built a computer database to handle the flood of leads generated by the some 300 officers who worked the case, knocking on 2,650 doors and questioning 4,100 people.
They fed the database with the name of every owner of every weapon confiscated in an arrest; the names of speeders, parking violators and parolees; and any patient recently released from a mental hospital. Then they added in every phone tip.
"You hope that each one is going to be the one," McElhone said. "People are dying and you want to stop it."
Inevitably, police wasted time on bad leads, he said. In the end, though, police linked a gun used by the killer to an auto-body deliveryman, Peter Sylvester, whose name had been entered into the computer a few months earlier after a routine arrest on a parole violation.
"Having too much evidence is a common problem in any serial murder investigation," said Jack Levin, director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University. "How do you organize the hundreds of tips you get from the public? And by offering a large reward, you increase the chances of every pathological liar coming out of the woodwork."
A lot of tips are about people who may illegally own guns, for example. "There obviously are a lot of people in this country who own firearms," said Michael R. Bouchard, special agent in charge of the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms in Baltimore. But that doesn't make someone a suspect in the deadly shootings.
"Eyewitness observation, which is central to this investigation, is notoriously unreliable," Jack Levin said. "But it's the only way to go here."
Sometimes no amount of labor, high-tech tools or public interest guarantees results.
"As dopey as some of these people appear to be, they're so dopey they don't leave anything behind," said Joseph J. Maginnis, a retired New York police inspector who headed the Penn Station task force.
Local resident here.
One of the biggest things that stood out to me was when the city had Code Enforcement boarding up abandoned houses last month. They obviously felt those gave him an advantage. Was he using them as a hideout or a place to sit and watch targets? If so, in my opinion, that points to someone living in the community because he'd have much better knowledge of which homes were truly abandoned and unattended.
There's also been talk locally about him potentially utilizing the sewer system. I would like to learn more about this. It's interesting that the movie It debuted in September and was still in theaters when the shootings began. For those that don't know, the killer clown in the film uses the sewer system to move around the community he's terrorizing. Was the perp inspired? Seems like a stretch, but who knows.
Considering that so much overgrowth has been chopped away, lighting increased, abandoned homes boarded up, security cameras activated, fewer people on the streets, and cops on every corner, it would seem the chances of him getting away with another one in the same area are pretty slim. I feel like he almost has to consider other communities if he wants to continue at the same pace.
Interesting point with the "It" movie. You never know what could inspire these people to act on whatever impulses they have been dealing with, very well may have played a role. As far as whether the perp will change communities, I think a lot of that is dictated by the means he/she posses. If this indeed is the work of one person and that person is local to this community then I would think changing communities could be more of a risk. If they are acting alone and traveling by foot, leaving and then re entering the area with all the police presence would be difficult to pull off without being stopped due to fitting the description, and the potential for getting caught with the murder weapon would be high. That same presence and community being on high alert is what shocked me about the 4th murder. I didn't think they would be able to pull it off, however it does seem the killer did make some changes. This was the first one not committed late at night. I also wonder how they are able to vanish so quickly. The sewer proposition is an interesting one. It's scary if the police did arrive at the scene within a minute of the last murder , and they were already gone with little trace. Thank you for sharing your observations from a local perspective, and please stay safe until LE catches this vicious punk!Welcome to Ws samfe, thanks for joining us and sharing from a local perspective!
Interesting point with the "It" movie. You never know what could inspire these people to act on whatever impulses they have been dealing with, very well may have played a role. As far as whether the perp will change communities, I think a lot of that is dictated by the means he/she posses. If this indeed is the work of one person and that person is local to this community then I would think changing communities could be more of a risk. If they are acting alone and traveling by foot, leaving and then re entering the area with all the police presence would be difficult to pull off without being stopped due to fitting the description, and the potential for getting caught with the murder weapon would be high. That same presence and community being on high alert is what shocked me about the 4th murder. I didn't think they would be able to pull it off, however it does seem the killer did make some changes. This was the first one not committed late at night. I also wonder how they are able to vanish so quickly. The sewer proposition is an interesting one. It's scary if the police did arrive at the scene within a minute of the last murder , and they were already gone with little trace. Thank you for sharing your observations from a local perspective, and please stay safe until LE catches this vicious punk!
I apologize, as this was meant to be in response to Samfe post prior to this!
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Flip phones now a days are most commonly found with the pay as you go phones. These are also known as "burner" phones and may very well be exactly why they possess this type of phone. Burner phones are popular amongst drug dealing community or for anyone who does not want their interactions on that phone to be traced back to them. LE cannot, or it is very difficult, to trace these burner phones.Are flip phones still on the market?
If not, when was the last year they were made? Anyone know? Or, can you still get new ones?
Why do say that?