Dale Shawn HAUSNER
A.K.A.: "The Serial Shooter"
Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Drive-by shootings targeting random pedestrians
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: May 2005 - July 2006
Date of arrest: August 3, 2006
Date of birth: February 4, 1973
Victims profile: David Estrada, 20 / Nathaniel Shoffner / Jose Ortis, 44 / Marco Carillo / Claudia Gutierrez-Cruz, 20 / Robin Blasnek, 22
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA
Status: Convicted of 6 first-degree murder charges, 18 attempted first-degree murder charges, 2 conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charges, 16 aggravated assault charges, 23 drive-by shooting charges, 9 animal cruelty charges, 3 counts of discharging a gun at a structure, one count of unlawfully discharging a gun and two counts of arson of an occupied structure. Sentenced to six death penalties on March 27, 2009. Committed suicide in his cell by overdosing on amitriptyline on June 19, 2013
Serial killer's autopsy: Suicide by anti-depressant overdose
By Phil Benson and Breann Bierman - Kpho.com
June 20, 2013
FLORENCE, AZ (CBS5) - The Pima County Medical Examiner's Office has ruled the death of serial killer Dale Hausner a suicide.
After a complete autopsy and a review of toxicology results, the medical examiner determined Dale S. Hausner, 40, took his life by overdosing on amitriptyline, a type of anti-depressant medication.
The Arizona death row inmate was found dead in his prison cell at the Eyman state prison in Florence just after 12 p.m. June 19, the Arizona Department of Corrections said.
On March 13, 2009, Dale Hausner was convicted of 80 crimes, including six counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, cruelty to animals and other charges.
The series of crimes occurred in the Phoenix area in 2005 and 2006. He was sentenced to death in Maricopa County.
Hausner came to ADC custody on March 30, 2009.
The Serial Shooter refers to what authorities now believe to be two men who committed multiple drive-by shootings targeting random pedestrians. The shootings occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, between May 2005 and August 2006, simultaneous to the search for the serial killer known as the Baseline Killer who was also committing random murders of brutality and sexual assault.
Investigators believe the Serial Shooter(s) were responsible for eight murders and at least 29 other shootings in the Phoenix area (some reports put the number as high as 38 incidents).
The Serial Shooters' most recent crime occurred July 30, 2006 in Mesa. According to police, Robin Blasnek, 22, was shot and killed at approximately 11:15 p.m. while walking from her parents' house to her boyfriend's house.
On August 3, Phoenix police released a statement linking Blasnek's murder to the Serial Shooter, citing forensic evidence and other similarities to the Serial Shooters' past crimes. Prior to that, they shot pedestrians, cyclists, dogs and horses.
Phoenix police originally believed that the Serial Shooter was a single individual responsible for 4 murders and 25 shootings beginning in May 2005, and that a series of 13 shootings in the same area were the work of another offender. However, on July 11, 2006, investigators revealed that they believed the two series of shootings were related.
Characteristics of Crimes
The Serial Shooter attacked from a vehicle without warning. The offender targeted victims who walked, biked or were otherwise alone outside, usually between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. Victims appear to have been targeted randomly.
In an audio recording that was presented at trial, a police wiretap records Hausner and Dieteman discussing the shootings in graphic detail.
According to reports, police first identified Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieteman as suspects on July 31, 2006, through tips received from the community, mainly from Ron Horton. On August 3, 2006, police arrested both suspects outside of their apartment in Mesa, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.
On the morning of August 4, 2006, Phoenix police announced two arrests had been made in connection with the Serial Shooter.
The suspects have been identified as Dale S. Hausner and Samuel John Dieteman. Authorities said they have also linked Hausner and Dieteman to two arson fires at Wal-Mart stores on June 8, started 45 minutes apart from each other that caused approximately $7 to $10 million in damage.
Dale S. Hausner, 33, had worked as a custodian at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport since 1999 as well as a boxing photojournalist for RingSports.
Samuel John Dieteman, 31, had a history of petty crimes such as shoplifting and drunk driving and had returned to Arizona a few years prior from Minnesota.
Hausner was convicted on 6 of 8 murders, and 80 out of 87 charges overall on March 13, 2009. Hausner was charged with 87 crimes attributed to the Serial Shooter investigation, including 8 murders, 19 attempted murders, numerous aggravated assaults, drive-by shootings, firearms charges, cruelty to animals and arson.
Hausner's former roommate, Samuel Dieteman, has pleaded guilty to two murders, plus conspiracy to commit some of the other related murders.
On March 27, 2009, Dale Hausner was sentenced to six death penalties. Hausner had previously ordered his lawyers not to argue against persuading jurors to deliver the death sentences, saying the jurors should put him to death to help the victims families heal. He fell short of confessing any guilt for the convicted crimes. Hausner is not expected to appeal.
During Hausner's 1/2 hour ramble to jury right before sentencing, he apoligized to several people including his family. He stated that he ruined the family name as people would hear the Hausner name and think of Charles Manson.
He even compared himself to Charles Manson. "When you think of Manson, 50 years from now you'll think of Hausner," he said.
Hausner gets 6 death sentences
March 27, 2009
The main suspect in the Serial Shooter attacks received six death sentences Friday for a series of murders that put the Valley on edge for nearly two years.
Dale Shawn Hausner, a former janitor convicted two weeks ago of killing six people and attacking 19 others in random nighttime shootings, was expressionless as the decisions were announced. His kept his head down and flipped through papers in front of him. Before being led out of the courtroom, Hausner thanked the judge who presided over his trial.
"It's justice as much as it can be," said Rebecca Estrada, whose 20-year-old son, David Estrada, was shot to death in Tolleson in June 2005. "The death penalty is the limit and that's what he deserves."
Hausner's mother was whisked out through the courtroom's back door by one of her son's lawyers. Tim Agan, another Hausner lawyer, declined to comment on the death sentences.
Michael Anthony Scerbo, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, which prosecuted the case, declined to comment on the decisions.
The jury's decision came a day after Hausner told jurors they should put him to death because it would help the victims' families heal.
Prosecutors say Hausner preyed on pedestrians, bicyclists, dogs and horses during a 14-month conspiracy that occasionally included his brother and his former roommate, Sam Dieteman. Dale Hausner is scheduled to be sentenced Monday on 74 other convictions in the case.
Dieteman, who has pleaded guilty to two of the killings and is awaiting sentencing, testified against Hausner, saying he and his roommate cruised around late at night looking for strangers to shoot. Dieteman could also face the death penalty.
The Serial Shooter attacks and an unrelated serial killer case kept neighborhood watch groups on high alert in the summer of 2006. Families stayed inside as police searched for the killers, and authorities called meetings that drew hundreds of people who learned more about the attacks and were encouraged to provide tips.
Police said their big break in the Serial Shooter case came when one of Dieteman's drinking buddies, Ron Horton, called police to say that Dieteman had bragged about shooting people. "They called it 'RV'ing.' Random Recreational Violence," Horton told The Associated Press in a 2006 interview. Horton died last year.
Dieteman said Hausner professed a hatred for prostitutes and homeless people as they looked for victims in areas frequented by streetwalkers. Still, Dieteman said, Hausner never explained why he wanted to shoot people.
Even though Hausner has denied any involvement in the attacks since his arrest in August 2006, he took an odd turn during the penalty phase of his trial, telling jurors Thursday they should give him the death penalty because it would help the families of victims.
Hausner appeared resigned by that point. He declined the opportunity to call his own witnesses in a bid for leniency and instructed his attorneys not to plead for a life sentence.
"I'm not up here to point the finger at anybody else and say, 'Have mercy on my poor and withered soul,'" Hausner told the jury on Thursday. "I'm willing to accept my punishment like a man without blaming anybody."
Hausner had, in fact, suggested in the past that Dieteman may have carried out some of the attacks, saying his roommate could have taken his car while Hausner was sleeping.
Hausner offered alibis that included being at his girlfriends' houses, shopping at the grocery store, driving in another part of the Phoenix area or taking care of his daughter.
The punishments handed down Friday by the jury were only for the six murder convictions against Hausner. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle is scheduled to sentence Hausner on Monday on his remaining convictions for attempted murder, aggravated assault, drive-by shooting, animal cruelty and other charges.
Two weeks ago, when jurors found Hausner guilty in dozens of the attacks, they acquitted Hausner in two other killings and another attack that didn't result in an injury.
Dieteman, a drifter who slept in Hausner's living room for four months before their arrest, gave damning testimony against his former roommate.
Dieteman told jurors that he and Hausner found humor at the sight of one of their seriously injured victims, who held his stomach and appeared angry.
Hausner's lawyers told jurors that Dieteman gave authorities bad information in hopes of getting out of the death penalty.
Prosecutors said Hausner carried out the shootings for fame and kept news clippings of the crimes as trophies.
Dieteman told jurors that he and Hausner often followed news accounts of the killings because they wanted to see which leads investigators were pursuing. Hausner said there was nothing wrong with his collection of news clippings.
Hausner cast himself as busy divorced father of a sick daughter, a ladies' man and a go-getter with side jobs in standup comedy, bartending and boxing photography. He also made an appearance in a TV commercial for a personal injury law firm.
As a murder defendant, Hausner took several unusual steps. Shortly after his arrest, he held a jailhouse news conference that ended when his newly appointed public defender entered the room and whispered that he should stop talking to reporters.
His decision to take the stand in his own defense exposed him to tough questioning from prosecutors. Hausner admitted that he misrepresented himself to investigators who were looking into two arsons allegedly tied to the case and lying to investigators about where he threw away one of his guns.
In talking to jurors about how the names of infamous serial killers arose during a police interview, Hausner said he was fascinated with serial killers Charles Starkweather and Jeffrey Dahmer, saying he wondered how Dahmer could eat the remains of some of his victims and then go to work the next day.
In a statement to jurors just before deliberations began in his trial's penalty phase, Hausner said the Hausner name would likely become as infamous as Charles Manson's.
Hausner's brother, Jeff Hausner, pleaded guilty in 2007 to a stabbing and is serving a 7 1/2-year prison term. He was indicted in another stabbing attack related to the Serial Shooter case last summer. He has pleaded not guilty in that case.
Phoenix shooter convicted of 6 murders, 19 attacks
March 13, 2009
PHOENIX - A former janitor was convicted Friday of murdering six people and attacking 19 others in dozens of random nighttime shootings of pedestrians, bicyclists and animals that terrorized this desert city over a 14-month period in 2005 and 2006.
The convictions bring to a close the first phase of the six-month trial of Dale Shawn Hausner, the main suspect in metropolitan Phoenix's Serial Shooter attacks. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against Hausner, whose penalty phase begins March 23.
Hausner scratched out notes and whispered to one of his attorneys as jurors delivered guilty verdicts on 80 of 86 charges against him. He also was acquitted in two killings.
"It was a good day because we took something bad off the street," said victim Tony Long, who still has 30 shotgun pellets in his body after he was shot while walking in June 2006.
Hausner's relatives didn't respond to questions from reporters as they were escorted out of the courtroom by court security. Tim Agan, an attorney for Hausner, declined to comment on the verdicts.
Hausner was convicted of six first-degree murder charges, 18 attempted first-degree murder charges, two conspiracy to commit first-degree murder charges, 16 aggravated assault charges, 23 drive-by shooting charges, nine animal cruelty charges, three counts of discharging a gun at a structure, one count of unlawfully discharging a gun and two counts of arson of an occupied structure.
He was acquitted in the May 2005 killings of Tony Mendez and Reginald Remillard, the July 2005 shooting of a horse and a December 2005 attack on a woman that didn't result in an injury.
"We're happy he's not going to be out in the public ever again," said Marci Matt, Remillard's sister. "Even though there was a not-guilty (verdict in Remillard's death), we still have a sense of closure today."
Authorities say Hausner preyed on people, dogs and horses in attacks that ended in August 2006 with the arrests of Hausner and his roommate at their apartment in Mesa. Inside, police found guns, news clippings of the killings and a city map marked with the locations of some of the shootings.
The Serial Shooter attacks and an unrelated serial killer case kept neighborhood watch groups on high alert in the summer of 2006. Families stayed inside as police searched for the killers, and authorities called meetings that drew hundreds of people who learned more about the attacks and were encouraged to provide tips.
Police investigating the Serial Shooter case said Hausner attacked people from his car in a conspiracy that occasionally included his brother, Jeff Hausner, and his former roommate, Samuel Dieteman.
Dieteman, the star prosecution witness, testified that he and Dale Hausner had cruised around late at night looking for strangers to shoot.
Taking the stand in his own defense, Hausner denied any involvement in the attacks, offered alibis and suggested that Dieteman may have carried out some of the attacks. Dieteman, who is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to two of the killings, could face the death penalty.
Dieteman said Hausner never explained why he wanted to shoot people, though Hausner professed a hatred for prostitutes and homeless people as they looked for victims in areas frequented by streetwalkers.
In one attack, Dieteman said he and Hausner found the sight of a victim wounded by Hausner to be funny, because they didn't think he was seriously injured, even though the victim was holding his stomach and appeared angry.
Later that night, Dieteman said he committed his first shooting after spotting a woman walking on a sidewalk in Scottsdale. " 'It's your turn, dude,' " Dieteman quoted Hausner as saying.
The victim, 20-year-old restaurant worker Claudia Gutierrez Cruz, was attacked after stepping off a bus on her way home from work and later died at a hospital.
Serial Shooter suspect Dale Hausner was convicted in six murders and attacks on 19 other people, seven dogs and two horses. He was acquitted in two killings, the shooting of a horse and an attack on a woman that didn't result in an injury. Here's a list of most of the crimes on which Hausner was convicted:
• June 29 — David Estrada, 20, who was shot to death in Tolleson.
• June 29 — A horse that was found shot to death in Tolleson.
• July 20 — A horse that was shot and wounded in Tolleson.
• July 20 — A dog that was shot to death.
• Nov. 11 — A dog that was shot and wounded.
• Nov. 11 — A dog that was shot and wounded.
• Nov. 11 — Nathaniel Shoffner, who was killed.
• Dec. 29 — A dog that was shot to death.
• Dec. 29 — A man who was wounded.
• Dec. 29 — Jose Ortis, 44, who was fatally shot.
• Dec. 29 — Marco Carillo, who was fatally shot.
• Dec. 30 — Three dogs that were shot.
• Dec. 30 — A woman, who was wounded.
• May 2 — A victim who was shot in the back while walking.
• May 2 — Claudia Gutierrez-Cruz, 20, who was fatally shot while walking in Scottsdale.
• May 17 — A man stabbed in an attack in a parking lot.
• May 30 — A man who was wounded.
• May 31 — A man who was shot in the side while walking.
• May 31 — A man shot in the left side.
• June 8 — A man who was shot in the right side while walking.
• June 8 — Arsons at two Wal-Mart stores.
• June 11 — A woman who was shot in the left hip while riding her bicycle.
• June 20 — A man who was shot while sitting in a parking lot.
• June 20 — A man who was shot in the torso while walking.
• July 1 — A woman who was shot while walking.
• July 1 — A man who was shot while standing behind a strip mall.
• July 3 — A man who was shot while pushing his bicycle on the sidewalk.
• July 8 — A victim who was shot in the back of the head while walking.
• July 8 — A man who was shot in the torso while walking.
• July 22 — A man who was shot.
• July 30 — Robin Blasnek, 22, who was fatally shot while walking in Mesa.
Baseline Killer suspect gets new neighbor in jail
January 12, 2007
Baseline Killer suspect Mark Goudeau was moved to a new jail cell Friday, following a Tribune report that he had been housed in an adjacent cell to Serial Shooter suspect Dale Hausner. “They’ve already been moved,” jail spokeswoman Lisa Allen McPherson said Friday afternoon. She said Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio made the decision because he did not like the misleading implication in the Tribune article that the suspects had a “growing friendship.”
A news release from the sheriff’s office acknowledges that Goudeau and Hausner had been housed in adjacent cells until Friday in the Special Management Unit at Maricopa County’s Fourth Avenue Jail.
Arpaio said the unit is where the most dangerous suspects are housed, and each inmate is separated by several feet of concrete and steel and no one is within view or earshot of one another. “Hausner would appear to have quite an imagination,” Arpaio said in the statement. “My detention staff says there has not been any direct contact between these men and that Hausner misled the reporter in order to get more publicity for himself.”
Hausner and Samuel Dieteman were arrested Aug. 4 at their Mesa apartment and charged with 37 random shootings linked to the “Serial Shooters.” The case spanned 14 months and included seven slayings in Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Hausner said in a telephone interview Wednesday that he had been moved to the cell next to Goudeau after he attempted suicide in December. “I see him every day and we talk,” Hausner said. “He seems to be a very nice person.” Goudeau, apparently, did not return the sentiment.
Arpaio’s news release said Goudeau told jail officials Friday morning that he has never spoken to Hausner and “would not want to affiliate himself in any way ‘with a mass murderer.’” Phoenix police have named Goudeau a suspect in 19 incidents linked to the “Baseline Killer.” That case includes rapes, robberies and slayings across the Valley from August 2005 to June 2006 and overlapped the Serial Shooter investigation.
The sheriff’s statement did not address one question: If Hausner and Goudeau had no contact with each other, how did Hausner know the identity of his next-door neighbor? “People talk,” Allen McPherson explained. But she emphasized that this did not include the possibility that Hausner and Goudeau had talked to each other.
Judge Bans Photos in Serial Killer Case
January 3, 2007
A judge on Wednesday barred news media from photographing or filming two serial killing suspects in court, saying the publicity could prevent a fair trial.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle said photographers and cameramen could still attend court hearings regarding Samuel John Dieteman and Dale S. Hausner. "The court was concerned that continuing publicity would affect whether the defendants would receive a fair trial," Steinle said during a court hearing. He did not restrict photos of the men in other situations.
Hausner, 33, and Dieteman, 31, are accused of randomly shooting numerous people with shotguns as they cruised Phoenix area neighborhoods late at night. Hausner has been charged with seven counts of murder and Dieteman has been charged with two counts. The two are to be tried separately, and prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty if they are convicted. Both men have pleaded not guilty.
A former lawyer for Hausner previously failed to change the court venue because of the intense media attention. His current lawyer, Ken Everett, did not return a phone message Wednesday. Dieteman's lawyer, Maria Schaffer, said she didn't plan to ask the judge to move the case. No trial date has been set. The next hearing for Dieteman is scheduled for May 21, while Hausner has a court hearing set for Jan. 8.
Serial Killer suspects charged with arson
August 30, 2006
The two men accused of shooting 16 people in a string of late night attacks now face even more criminal charges.
Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieteman were indicted in federal court today on two counts of arson.
The U-S Attorney's Office says the two men torched two Wal-Marts in Glendale over the summer.
But federal prosecutors say they'll stand by while Hausner and Dieteman face murder and attempted murder charges in state court.
The Maricopa County Attorney's Office hasn't said whether it will seek the death penalty against the pair.
Authorities say the federal investigation into the Wal-Mart fires was key to identifying and catching Hausner and Dieteman.
Tipsters from the arson first led federal agents to Dieteman and Hausner.
Later, the two men became suspects in the Serial Shooter investigation.
Police bring brother of serial killer suspect in for questioning
August 29, 2006
Phoenix police have questioned the older brother of Serial Shooter suspect Dale Hausner. A police spokesman says Jeff Hausner is not a suspect in the case. Jeff Hausner tells The Associated Press that he was brought into the police station in handcuffs. He said he agreed to a DNA test and allowed police to search his vehicle and his home.
Jeff Hausner said police also asked him for a polygraph test, but he declined. Dale Hausner and his roommate Samuel Dieteman both face murder and attempted-murder charges in connection with 16 shootings in the past year. In a jailhouse interview earlier this month, Dale Hausner said he met Dieteman through his brother Jeff. Dale Hausner said Dieteman was at one time roommates with Jeff and that the three men would hang out from time to time.
Serial killer suspect wants case moved out of Phoenix area
August 10, 2006
A man accused of shooting 16 people in a string of late night attacks wants his murder trial moved outside of Maricopa County because of the ‘‘carnival atmosphere'' surrounding the investigation.
Defense lawyer Garrett Simpson said in a motion filed Thursday in Maricopa County Superior Court that Dale S. Hausner, 33, won't get a fair trial in Phoenix, where news coverage has been ‘‘beyond extensive.'' ‘‘The change of venue is appropriate because of the uncommon and overheated publicity in the matter,'' Simpson told The Associated Press. ‘‘I'm afraid it's only going to get more overheated.''
Simpson also asked Superior Court Judge James Keppel for a gag order preventing authorities from giving out information about the investigation. In the nine-page motion, Simpson said thousands of news stories already have circulated on the Internet about Hausner and his alleged accomplice Samuel John Dieteman.
One in The Arizona Republic included a banner headline where Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon called them ‘‘monsters.'' ‘‘Respected local medical doctors - who have never seen the defendant - have gone on-camera to give televised opinions about Mr. Hausner's mental state,'' Simpson wrote in the motion. ‘‘One declared him to be a sociopath and a liar.'' An Aug. 18 hearing is scheduled for Simpson's motion.
Barnett Lotstein, special assistant county attorney, said prosecutors would fight the gag order request and the motion to change venue. Lotstein said Superior Court in Arizona's most populous county hasn't had problems selecting impartial juries in other high profile cases such as the AzScam political-corruption trial in the early 1990s and Bishop Thomas O'Brien's fatal hit-and-run case in 2003. ‘‘We're confident in the fourth largest county in the United States that there will be an impartial jury,'' Lotstein said. Hausner and Dieteman are in jail on two counts of first degree murder, 14 counts of attempted first degree murder and 16 counts of drive-by shooting. Neither has entered a formal plea to the charges.
Their arrests are part of the so-called ‘‘Serial Shooter'' investigation that includes seven fatal shootings since May 2005. Authorities continue to investigate those other shootings as well as a rash of attacks by another serial predator known as the ‘‘Baseline Rapist.'' Dieteman's lawyer, Maria Schaffer, wouldn't comment Thursday about Hausner's request to move the case.
Hausner, a janitor who moonlighted as a radio talk-show host and boxing ring announcer, already has spoken with reporters on two occasions about his arrest. During his second news conference, Simpson rushed in and told him to stop talking. ‘‘I found out I was appointed to that case minutes before I walked into that room,'' Simpson wrote.
In his motion, Simpson said he expected the County Attorney Andrew Thomas to pursue the death penalty against Hausner. Given the stakes, Simpson said the judge had to move the case. ‘‘There is no reason to think the avid interest in the case will abate locally, even as the case might fade in the public mind the further away from Phoenix one goes,'' Simpson said.
Accused killer was struggling before arrest, friend says
August 7, 2006
Before he was accused of being a serial killer, Samuel John Dieteman was already grappling with a difficult life. Dieteman, a drifter who was wanted in Minnesota on several criminal charges, had been surviving in Arizona for the past few years with the help of friends, said Kelly Hottowe, a bartender who has known him since 2002. Then, last summer, the bottom fell out. Dieteman's mother kicked him out of her house in Glendale, and he lost his job as an electrician, Hottowe said. "He started drinking a lot," she said. "He'd be at the bar as soon as it opened." It was during this year, police said, that Dieteman started preying on pedestrians and bicyclists with another friend, Dale Hausner.
According to court documents, Dieteman said the two would drive around at night and randomly shoot people on the street. The two were arrested last week on two counts each of first-degree murder and 13 counts each of attempted first-degree murder. Phoenix police said the two men are the serial shooters who have terrorized residents in a string of attacks for more than a year.
They are being investigated in about three dozen incidents in all, including seven killings and the wounding of 17 people. "Hopefully these arrests in the serial shooter cases will bring some closure for the families," Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Andy Hill said. A sheriff's spokesman said Monday that Dieteman was declining interview requests.
Authorities had been searching for Dieteman for more than a month as part of an investigation into arsons at two Glendale Wal-Marts. They found him early last week, according to a federal affidavit. The affidavit said a witness told federal agents that Dieteman was drinking that night at the Stardust bar, a pool hall at the corner of a strip mall in Glendale. Hottowe said she was working in the bar that day. She said Dieteman was playing a game of 3-ball pool when police closed in. "There was an undercover detective sitting right at the bar," she said. Police followed Dieteman as he left in a light colored four-door sedan. They kept him under tight surveillance for four days before capturing the two men at their gated apartment complex in Mesa last Thursday.
At the Stardust on Monday, Hottowe shook her head in disbelief at what has played out on the news. "He was my brother - at least that's what I used to call him," Hottowe said. "We were really good friends for four years. He'd do anything for me." "He was very playful. He loves my kids. He took my 15-year-old to some concerts. He went to his Pop Warner games." Hottowe said the two remained friends until last summer, when Dieteman seemed to snap. "When all that (stuff) happened, I just backed off and left him alone."
Dale Hausner told reporters Monday he was innocent and had no idea that Dieteman could be involved in the serial shootings. It's possible, Hausner said, that his new roommate might have been sneaking out of the apartment and shooting people on his own. Hausner said he knows Dieteman through his brother, Jeff, who may have hired the electrician to do handiwork at his home. They started to hang out when Jeff wouldn't go out, Hausner said.
Hausner said that he let Dieteman into his apartment five weeks ago. Dieteman seemed down on his luck, Hausner said, and he let his new friends stay without paying rent. Dieteman had a low self-esteem, Hausner said. If Dieteman did shoot people, it probably was for attention. "If he did this stuff, it would be for recognition," Hausner said. "Or if he didn't and he is confessing that he did, it would be for the recognition."
Friends of accused serial killer are shocked
August 6, 2006
He was always polite to friends, never rude. A lover of boxing who decorated his room with drawings of his favorite athletes. A father to a 2-year-old girl, and two young sons who died in a car accident. To people who know him, Dale S. Hausner simply is too sweet, too timid, to have terrorized city residents in a rash of late-night shootings as police alleged on Friday. "He doesn't even look like he would know which end of the [gun] barrel the bullet would come out of," said Mary Ann Owen, a Las Vegas photographer who has known Hausner since 1999. Hausner and his alleged accomplice, Samuel John Dieteman, have each been booked on two counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of attempted first-degree murder for a series of attacks since May 2005.
Police arrested Hausner, 33, and Dieteman, 30, on Thursday after keeping both under tight surveillance for four days. Outlining the evidence they said helped them track the suspects, authorities said the two are clearly the men sought in the city's so-called Serial Shooter case. "We are confident these are the individuals involved," Assistant Police Chief Kevin Robinson said. The men are being investigated in 36 shootings, including some involving animals. They're also suspected of committing two arsons. A preliminary hearing is scheduled Aug. 14.
An unidentified person tipped off police that Dieteman would drive through cities selecting random targets that he called "RV" -- Random Recreational Violence. Investigators later searched the Mesa apartment that the men shared, finding shotgun cartridges, shotguns, and long rifles. The two men also apparently kept close tabs on what people were saying about the shootings, which included the killing of six people.
Police searching through their trash found a map with red and blue dots representing the locations of the attacks. The bag also contained an America's Most Wanted video and news clippings of the shootings and other attacks linked to another serial assailant dubbed the Baseline Killer. Hausner's daughter was in the apartment when he and Dieteman were arrested outside, police said. She was returned to her mother, police said. Friends remembered Hausner having sad moments, recalling the loss of his sons. "He told me he lost a whole family to a car accident," Owen said.
According to a 1994 report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Hausner's sons, ages 2 and 3, drowned in a creek after a car crash. The story said Hausner's then-wife, Karen, was driving the car and fell asleep. At the gated complex where Hausner and Dieteman shared an apartment, the news of Hausner's arrest came as a shock to Jill O'Donnell. "It makes me wonder what kind of background checks they do," she said. O'Donnell, 20, said she spent a lot of time chatting with Hausner, and he was always "really nice." Still, O'Donnell said, during the past month Hausner "gave off a vibe of someone you didn't want to be too social with." "He wouldn't say `Hi.' " she said. "He wouldn't wave when I passed him. Little things like that."
Another friend, Clement Vierra, agreed that something had changed with Hausner. Vierra, owner of the Hard Knocks Gym in Phoenix, said he met Hausner about two years ago and would talk to him at boxing events, where Hausner would take pictures. But about a year ago, Hausner stopped showing up at the fights. "It was pretty strange because he was really involved with the boxing," Vierra said. "He just stopped. Nobody knew where he was. He wouldn't return any calls that we left for him," Vierra said.
Arizona serial killer suspect from area
August 5, 2006
A man police say is responsible for a string of apparently random late-night killings that have terrorized residents of Phoenix was from the St. Peter and Mankato area. Samuel John Dieteman, 30, reportedly attended St. Peter High School, had dozens of run-ins with local police and left the area in 1999.
He was arrested along with Dale S. Hausner on Thursday in an apartment complex in Mesa, Ariz. Phoenix police say they are confident the two are the serial shooters who’ve terrorized the city since 2005, killing six and wounding dozens more in 36 shootings. Dieteman has a half-sister in the Mankato area as well as his father and other relatives.
Records show that from 1992 to 1999, Mankato police had nearly 40 contacts with Dieteman, including DWIs, thefts, and assaults. Nicollet County court records show he had failed to pay child support to his ex-wife. Their last recorded contact with him was in early 1999 when he failed to appear in court for possession of stolen property and theft. It was about that time that Dieteman moved to Arizona according to a reporter covering the case for the East Valley Tribune in Arizona. Mankato Police Comdr.
Dan Schisel said his department had not yet been contacted by Arizona police, but he expected they would be soon. “We’ve had some public involvements with him, but I don’t personally remember him,” Schisel said. Dieteman had lived at some five different addresses in St. Peter and one in Mankato. Neighbors at several of those homes said they did not recall Dieteman. Most of the addresses were rental homes.
Arizona police arrest two in serial shooter case
August 4, 2006
Arizona police have arrested two suspected serial killers blamed for a string of fatal shootings that terrified Phoenix-area residents, officials said on Friday. Officers arrested Dale Hausner and Samuel Dieteman at an apartment complex in Mesa, Arizona, 15 miles east of Phoenix, late on Thursday following a tip, Phoenix Police Chief Jack Harris told a news conference.
Investigators say the men shot and killed six people in a crime spree that began in May 2005. Eighteen others were wounded in the apparently random attacks carried out at night and in the early morning, which targeted walkers and cyclists. "These are the two monsters that we have been hunting," Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon said. Harris said police had weapons and incriminating statements linking the two men to the shootings. He did not speculate on motives for the attacks.
The gunmen last struck on Sunday, when a woman was shot and killed as she walked near her home in the city. Harris said Hausner, 33, and Dieteman, 30, also shot several dogs and horses in the area. The Arizona Republic and local television stations reported that Hausner worked as a custodian at the city's Sky Harbor International Airport, and took photographs for a boxing Web site.
Dieteman had a history of petty crimes and only recently returned to the Phoenix area after living in Minnesota, the media reports added. Residents across the sprawling metropolitan area of 3.7 million people, who had lived in fear since the attacks, expressed relief on Friday. "It's been a worry for months," said coffee shop worker Francis Charfauros as he served customers at a busy cafe. "Let's just hope that they got the right guys so it doesn't continue."
Police said they had kept a round-the-clock watch on the two suspects since they identified them four days ago. The investigation also linked Hausner and Dieteman to arson attacks on two Wal-Mart stores in early June, which were carried out within 45 minutes of each other.
SECOND SERIAL KILLER SOUGHT
Police are also searching for a man wanted in connection with a series of murders, armed robberies and sexual assaults in the Baseline Road area of the city. The "Baseline Killer" is believed to have shot eight people and sexually assaulted 11 women since August 2005. Investigators believe the man responsible for the crimes is black or Hispanic, aged 25 to 40. Some witnesses have described the attacker as a bald man, while others say he wears dreadlocks. Police have set up a tip hot line and are offering a reward of up to $100,000 in both the Serial Shooter and Baseline Killer cases. It was not immediately clear if anyone would receive a reward following the arrests in the Serial Shooter case.
Police: Valley shootings may be work of serial killer
January 27, 2006
A series of 16 random shootings has left people and animals dead and wounded from Tolleson to east Phoenix, and police now suspect the shootings may be connected, possibly to a serial killer.
Since June 29, three people have been killed, and two others wounded in the shootings. The death toll also includes three horses and four dogs.
Four of the shootings already have been linked by physical evidence, Phoenix police said Friday. Time, proximity and other details could link the other 12. But police aren't sure if the shootings are the rampage of one gunman or if more people are involved.
"Indications are that we could have an individual or a group of individuals randomly driving around shooting at animals and occasionally people," said Assistant Phoenix Police Chief Kevin Robinson.
"When we look at the pattern of behavior, clearly it gives us cause for concern."
The shots come in the dark of night in areas where virtually nobody is around. Fourteen of the shootings were with a small-caliber weapon; the other two, a shotgun.
The targets appear randomly picked: People outside alone; dogs on corner lots surrounded by chain-link fences; horses. Usually, there are several targets clustered in one area.
"I couldn't believe when the cops told me. All these shootings by the same person or people," said Timmy Tordai, 40, who was shot Dec. 29 in Phoenix. "It freaks me out. I hope they don't come back. There's no reason for it."
Tordai had to miss three weeks of work after his shooting. The same gunman also may have killed two homeless men just blocks from where he was shot. At the time, police said Tordai, Marco Carillo, 28, and Jose Ortis, 44, were shot with the same caliber weapon.
"They might get their jollies off shooting people," Tordai said, "but they have to be sick in the head."
The shootings have occurred in Phoenix, Tolleson and Avondale. The four that have been positively linked stretch from the earliest shootings in the spree to the latest:
• A horse shot to death at 8:50 a.m. on June 29 in Tolleson.
• A dog shot to death at 12:08 a.m. on July 20 in Phoenix.
• The shooting of Tordai at 11:39 p.m. on Dec. 29.
• Two dogs shot, one fatally, at 12:10 a.m. on Dec. 30.
"It's just pure meanness, I guess," said Ron Travis of Phoenix, the owner of the dogs shot on Dec. 30. The dogs were outside in a fenced yard doing their business before bedtime when Travis heard one cry out in pain. His son heard two pops. Payton, an 8-year-old Labrador mix, had to be put to sleep. Martin, a 3-year-old Transylvania Hound, survived but has a bullet lodged in its chest.
"It's senseless," Travis said. "I don't know what's the matter with them when they do things like that. I think it was just somebody driving around, and they were looking for something to shoot."
The 12 shootings police still are trying to definitively link include the killing of David Estrada, 20, in Tolleson on June 29,as he stood on a roadway, and the wounding of Clarissa Stevens, 21, as she walked alone on Van Buren Street at 2 a.m. Dec. 30.
All the shootings appear to have occurred in groups, beginning June 29 then continuing in July and August. In addition to Estrada's murder, five horses and two family dogs were shot, all within a few miles of each other.
The second cluster of shootings began Dec. 29 when Ortis, Carillo and Tordai were shot. Stevens was shot a couple hours later. Two dogs also were killed during that time frame.
Police said Friday they have no witnesses and essentially no clue as to who is doing this.
"We're not sure if we've got two people out there or three people or a group of people or if it's just one," said Phoenix police Cmdr. Kim Humphrey.
Officials declined to disclose what evidence specifically linked the four shootings or why they couldn't definitively connect the others.
The only clue appears to be the description of a vehicle seen near shootings in Tolleson and Phoenix. The vehicle is believed to be a 1995 or newer Honda-type sedan, dark green or gray with tinted windows.
All Phoenix police officers were advised Friday to pay special attention to small-caliber weapons and animal issues. Police said it's likely the shooter or shooters has bragged about what they've done, and they're asking the public to step forward with tips. A $5,000 reward is being offered through Silent Witness, 1-800-343-TIPS.
"We're certainly not trying to frighten the community," Humphrey said. "We're angry this is going on."
Friday afternoon, Tordai walked to the bus stop to catch his usual ride to work. Days, he's fine but at night he worries. Someone now drives him home when his shift in a cafeteria ends.
"No one is safe," Tordai said. He pointed to the spot on the sidewalk where he was shot. His blood still colors the pavement.
"You want to shoot people," he said, "join the Army."