The Stockton Serial Killer? Fears grow after police find pattern in murders of five men

The Stockton Serial Killer? Fears grow after police find pattern in murders of five men
The residents of Stockton are afraid that a serial killer may be on the loose (Photo credit Stockton Police Department/Facebook)

STOCKTON, CALIFORNIA: There have been concerns about a possible serial killer at large due to a string of recent unsolved homicides with similar characteristics. A total of five men were killed in a similar way, leading the Stockton Police to believe it was the work of either an individual or a group of killers. 

Although California authorities are still investigating, new CCTV image provided by the city of Stockton showed a person of interest. The unsolved crimes took place over summer. Police reported on Friday, September 30, that the five killings took place on July 8, August 11, August 30, September 21 and September 27. Male victims, between ages 21 to 54, were fatally shot. Investigators said the murders were occurring at night or early morning hours when the victims were alone, according to a statement on Facebook. A total of $85,000 in reward—$75,000 from the city of Stockton and $10,000 from Stockton Crime Stoppers—is being offered for information that results in an arrest of the suspected killer.

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Police has put together a team of detectives, task force members, camera room operators and crime analysts to nab the suspect. Police said that they were still not sure if it was an individual or a group behind these crimes. In a recent news conference, Police chief Stanley McFadden expressed his belief that the trend was serious enough to warrant alerting the public. The disturbing similarities between the two instances were further discussed by McFadden, according to Newsweek, who said, "We do see some similarity where it's really areas of darkness. It's really areas where the person is by themselves, maybe not even knowing it's coming, and that's kind of what [we're] looking into in some of the most recent ones. People are by themselves, they don't have that situational awareness that we would like for folks to have." All of the incidents took place when the victims were alone in locations without security cameras and none of the victims were robbed. Stockton has seen a total of 43 homicides so far this year, up by 33% over the same period in 2021.

There is no targeted demographic as the victims' ages were different. Moreover, according to 209 Times, a variety of unconnected sources said that several recent deaths in Stockton and elsewhere may have been done by the same assassin and were probably connected. McFadden stated that his detectives had no knowledge that there was a serial murderer in an attempt to allay concerns about a killer on the loose. However, he said that they "haven't ruled anything out." In addition, he cautioned people about traveling through remote areas at night or alone. "I know that's put a lot of folks on edge, hearing that out there. And I'm just here to say that we have no evidence of that. We are seeing some patterns and similarities in some of our more recent homicides where we're taking a closer look at. We don't know if it's one person, or if it's five or six people. We just don't have that information right now," McFadden said. 

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