Bryan Patrick Miller: 'Zombie Hunter' on trial 30 years after killing two women near Phoenix canal

Bryan Patrick Miller: 'Zombie Hunter' on trial 30 years after killing two women near Phoenix canal
Bryan Patrick Miller aka ‘The Zombie Hunter’ faces trial for two murders he committed in the 90s (Screenshot/AZFamily video)

PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Bryan Patrick Miller, often referred to as ‘The Zombie Hunter’ by Phoenix science fiction aficionados, will go on trial starting on Monday, October 3. However, authorities think Miller was involved in more assaults than just the two that happened decades ago and could put him on a death sentence

More than 20 years after the killings were committed, the DNA found at the murder scenes of Angela Brasso and Melanie Bernas in 1992 and 1993 was essential in pointing investigators to Miller. The term 'Phoenix Canal Murders' was given to those slayings. Police thought there were still more victims, though, even then. In 2015, Sgt Trent Crump stated that it was "unlikely" for someone to have killed in that manner without committing additional offenses. In the moments before their deaths, Brasso and Bernas were cycling along bike lanes. Brasso was beheaded, and both were stabbed to death. Police investigated the idea that the murderer might have been a surgeon or a member of special forces because of the accuracy with which they carried out their killings. Investigators found that the reality was far stranger than they had anticipated.

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For aficionados of cosplay, science fiction, and horror conventions in the Phoenix region, Miller was somewhat of a celebrity. He was well known for riding about in a vintage police cruiser that had the words ‘Zombie Hunter’ painted on the trunk and a mannequin zombie in the back seat. According to his friends, he took pictures with everybody who asked, even with police officials as stated by AZ Family. The disappearance of Brandy Myers in May 1992 as she was out on a stroll in her Sunnyslope neighborhood led Phoenix Police to suspect and urge that Miller be charged with her murder. The murder of Brasso happened six months prior. Miller resided two blocks away from the victim. “Her case is considered solved, but not resolved. We know who killed her. We know every detail. We know why we didn’t get her body back. We know the color of the trash bag,” said Kristin Dennis, sister of Brandy Myers, in an interview with AZ Family Investigates.

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Angela Brasso and Melanie Bernas were allegedly murdered by Bryan Miller (Photo credit screenshot AZFamilyvideo/Website)
Angela Brasso and Melanie Bernas were allegedly murdered by Bryan Miller (Screenshot/AZFamily video)

According to the Myers police report, after Miller was arrested for the Canal Murders, his wife told police that Miller had once told her he murdered a girl who matched Brandy Myers’ description. The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office rejected the case, stating there was no reasonable likelihood of conviction, according to the police report. “I don’t understand how one branch of the government which is the Phoenix police department they can solve a crime.. conclude it.. and then there are no official charges,” said Dennis. Miller moved to Everett in the mid-1990s where he allegedly confessed to his wife about another assault on a juvenile in the newly moved location.

Later, a freshman in high school named Victorial Mikelsen was stabbed in October 2000 as she walked along a bike route before school. In an interview with AZ Family Investigates near the location of the attack, Mikelsen claimed, "I remember hearing the bang right when I was on the curve." She was inflicted with fatal wounds and her attacker went unidentified by the neighborhood cops. However, Phoenix Police got in touch with Mikelsen more than 15 years later and informed her that they thought Miller was the person who attacked her. It turned out that he shared an apartment building with Mikelsen at the time of the assault. “I know his face and I just don’t understand why they couldn’t f*****g find him. And he was right f*****g here,” said Mikelsen. When asked if she was certain Miller was her attacker, Mikelsen responded, “Not a single doubt.”

Even if authorities believe Miller was responsible for the attack on Mikelsen, he will not be held accountable due to Washington's statute of limitations. Miller is only accused of the killings of Brasso and Bernas at this time, while Maricopa County prosecutors could still charge him in the Brandy Myers case.

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