Milwaukee’s latest serial killer?

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting Milwaukeeans may have a serial killer in their midst:

Milwaukee police are looking for a serial killer suspected in the homicides of at least six Milwaukee women murdered over 21 years, the most recent in 2007, the police chief and district attorney said Monday.

The same DNA was found on two women in 1986, two in 1995, one in 1997 and one in April 2007, police said. Advanced DNA testing has allowed the cases to be linked.

Five of the victims were prostitutes and a sixth was involved in drug use and drug sales, Milwaukee Police Chief Ed Flynn said at a news conference.

The person whose DNA was found on all six victims is not in any known law enforcement database, Flynn said.

What strikes me about this case are the long periods of time that passed between the victims – nine years between the first two victims and the third and fourth victims, followed by two years until victim number five, and then ten more years until victim six. That’s a long time for a serial killer to go between kills, leaving me to wonder if there are yet more victims that have not been identified – or located – by law enforcement.


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16 thoughts on “Milwaukee’s latest serial killer?

  1. WTH?? We are talking a span of over 22 years and they are now getting serious about it?? DNA has been around since when…early 90’s or before??

  2. “With the exception of Payne, all the victims are African-American women who worked as street prostitutes, Flynn said. Payne was a white drug user.”

    They are seen as a “throw away population”….when Dahmer was doing his murders, it took years for the general public/law enforcement to care, because the victims were black gay/bi men, who sometimes sold sex. Some of these men were missing for years before anyone took seriously that there was a pattern; even after a naked, altered-state teen was found on the street.

    Sad, it seems the same area of town is the target zone again. But perhaps if the State Crime Lab (who processes DNA evidence) were fully funded, the killer’s pattern would have been found earlier, sparing some of the victims.


    1. when Dahmer was doing his murders, it took years for the general public/law enforcement to care, because the victims were black gay/bi men, who sometimes sold sex. Some of these men were missing for years before anyone took seriously that there was a pattern; even after a naked, altered-state teen was found on the street.

      I just couldn’t read that and resist the urge to post a further exposition on this:

      In the early morning hours of May 30, 1991, 14-year-old Konerak Sinthasomphone (by chance, the younger brother of the boy whom Dahmer had molested) was discovered on the street, wandering naked, heavily under the influence of drugs and bleeding from his rectum. Two young women from the neighborhood found the dazed boy and called 911. Dahmer chased his victim down and tried to take him away, but the women stopped him.[29] Dahmer told police that Sinthasomphone was his 19-year-old boyfriend, and that they had an argument while drinking. Against the protests of the two women who had called 911, police turned him over to Dahmer. They later reported smelling a strange scent while inside Dahmer’s apartment, but did not investigate it. The smell was the body of Tony Hughes, Dahmer’s previous victim, decomposing in the bedroom. The two policemen failed to run a background check that would have revealed that Dahmer was a convicted sex offender and child molester still under probation.[30] The officers laughed about the incident, one joking that his partner was “going to get deloused.”[31] Later that night, Dahmer killed and dismembered Sinthasomphone, keeping his skull as a souvenir.

      John Balcerzak and Joseph Gabrish, two of the three police officers who returned Sinthasomphone to Dahmer, were fired from the Milwaukee Police Department after their actions were widely publicized, including an audiotape of the officers making homophobic statements to their dispatcher and cracking jokes about having reunited the “lovers”. The two officers appealed their termination and were reinstated with back pay. They were named officers of the year by the police union for fighting a “righteous” battle to regain their jobs. Balcerzak was later elected president of the Milwaukee Police Association in May 2005
      source: wikipedia

  3. Anon, Laurie touched on part of the problem, namely the fact that many of the victims were prostitutes, and because of their transience it might not have been as easy to tie these together. Additionally, I’m willing to bet these cases wouldn’t have been tied together if not for the new DNA testing that exonerated Chaunte Ott in Jessica Payne’s murder, because cold cases typically aren’t given any priority for DNA testing due to the state crime lab’s backlog of DNA cases.

  4. I was a student of criminal justice here in Milwaukee, one day in class I was speaking to my instructor, he is a former dective who worked on the Jeff Dahmer case. I said you know we have a serial killer prowling in Milwaukee right now, he said what? I said yes every once and awhile you hear a tid bit on the news, I said they do not make a big deal because its a crime against African Americans, he said you are listening to a urban legend its just not true, trust me I would know about this so called serial killer.So even this seasoned dective of Milwaukee was unaware of this.Could you imagine if this was white females in the burbs? this would have been on the news day in and out.

  5. Also, just some more guessing The media keeps saying this Seraial Killer has never been convicted of a felony. Well we just started in the past few years taking DNA samples from convicted felons.I would imagine he could have been convicted before this law change.I also think the gaps in the murders does not mean he was laying low, what it means is we just have not found the victims for the time frame yet. Plus I would bet he has been in custody on and off over the years. Whats even more surprising I think the killer is black usualy serial killers are white men.Why are they not doing the extensive DNA where we can tell the persons race, eye color etc..? At least help narrow it down more.My own rookie profile of this serial killer is.. A black male aged between 45-50 Hes divorced with adult daughters, worked menial jobs, has drug and alchol problems, worked in something like house keeping at a hospital and lives around 10-15 in Chambers ST.He will be a loner and his Mother was a drug addict. He will be abused as a child and have possible military experience.He also does not have a car or drive due to suspended dl.

  6. Kris, there’s no way of saying with absolute certainty that the killer is African-American. After all, serial killers don’t always stay within their own ethnic background for their victims; Jeffrey Dahmer was a perfect example of that.

  7. Anon, I believe so, and if I’m not mistaken, the state started collecting DNA from some sex offenders in 1994.

  8. Hi Zach, my guess that this guy is black is because of the area these crimes happened. I just think people would have noticed him more, back those years it was not as common for inter-racial dating. When some of these murders happened, there seemed to be no witness or people who could recall anything unusal.I guess its like police asking people who knew one of the victims, well who was she with last. Most people would recall that she was with a guy of a differant race.

  9. Kris, I see your point about the race of the perpetrator, but remember, he wasn’t “dating” the victims; he was likely soliciting their services. It’s likely he picked them up in a vehicle and took them to where he ultimately killed them. I’m willing to bet much of his activity took place at night – when prostitutes are much more active – and that factor would make it hard for anyone to get a good ID on the perpetrator.

  10. Yes you are right I keep thinking that this centered around drugs not sex.I view the victims as lured to him for resources, like money etc.. Just like they said on the news, we need support from the city and if everyone puts their heads together we will get this solved.

  11. I keep thinking of the BTK serial killer. I think he was a cop or something. I remember seeing him on news footage wearing some sort of uniform. He was also active his in church (had some sort of leadership role)…the religious man that he was. I really think people shouldn’t assume the serial killer is black or a drug user or anything else just because of the neighborhoods the victims were found in.

  12. Currently having my sister’s 30 year old murder case re-opened. This DNA debacle might get this case off the shelves. In this era of advanced technology I am shocked that 12,000 felon’s DNA has been lost. Where is the national media who should be exposing this potentially lethal mistake. Someone MUST be held accountable. Shocked in Minnesota and armed with plenty of research.

    1. dana, good luck with your sister’s case. I hope you get some closure.

      As for the DNA that’s been lost, be sure to contact the Wisconsin Department of Justice to voice your concern, because the DNA database falls under their purview.

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