NM: Expert suspects work of serial killer

APD still mum on theories
Updated: Tuesday, 24 Feb 2009, 12:25 AM MST
Published : Tuesday, 24 Feb 2009, 12:24 AM MST

Reporter: Tim Maestas
Web Producer: Bill Diven

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – The skeletal remains found buried on Albuquerque’s West Mesa over the last two weeks appear to be the work of a serial killer, according to a university professor who has studied that class of criminal for years.

Albuquerque police found the remains of four more people on Saturday and Monday, bringing the total number of potential victims to 10. One of the dead includes an unborn child.

“This has all the trappings of a serial murder case,” Dr. Dirk Gibson of the University of New Mexico told KRQE News 13.

Gibson has studied more than 1,000 serial killers and written three books on the subject.

“We don’t know the cause of death yet, but we would assume it’s not accidental,” Gibson said.

Albuquerque police said it is possible the buried people were murdered but has insisted it’s too early to tell.

“A big part of it will be determined by the Office of the Medical Investigator to determine if these are homicides and if they can tell how these people may have died,” Commander Paul Feist of the Albuquerque Police Department Crime Lab said Monday.

The one person identified from the remains by investigators is Victoria Chavez who was 32. Police identified her as a prostitute who was last seen in 2003.

“The fact (Chavez) was a prostitute doesn’t mean she was killed for that reason,” Gibson said. “There could have been an angry boyfriend.

“There could have been other reasons, but usually prostitute-related killings are because they are victims of opportunity.”

Police have acknowledged the buried remains could be on a list of 24 missing women from Albuquerque, many of whom are identified as prostitutes.

Whoever killed them made it clear the killings were supposed to be secret, according to Gibson.

“Their purpose was to keep something concealed and clandestine and out of the public eye,” Gibson said.

(Gibson also discussed his work and theories during a live interview Monday on KRQE News 13 at 4 p.m. To watch the interview, click here .)

Link to original on KRQE

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