At night, people in Stockton and the neighboring communities hardly dared to go out on the streets. A murderer was on the way - the fear of being shot at random in the dark accompanied the people in the 320,000-inhabitant city in California for months.
This weekend, the citizens of the region can probably breathe a sigh of relief. Because the police caught a man they believe to be the wanted serial killer. The suspect was arrested in Stockton on Saturday night while he was "hunting" for another victim. "We are confident that we prevented another murder," said Police Commissioner Stanley McFadden.
The "Stockton Killer", as the press called him, spread fear and terror: between July 8 and September 27, five men were shot dead in the north of the city. At first, the police made no connection between the murders. But then ballistic tests brought the investigators on the track that this could be a series of murders. However, the individual acts appeared completely arbitrary, which only increased the fear in the population.
The suspect was arrested without a fight around 2 a.m. early Saturday morning, Police Chief McFadden said. The investigators would have helped countless tips from the population. This made it possible to track down the suspect. A surveillance team followed the man when he was driving his car. "We observed his movement pattern and concluded early in the morning that he was on an assassination mission. The suspect was wearing dark clothing, had a mask around his neck and was armed. Then the investigators took action.
The police declined to comment on the possible motive. When the person you are looking for is the notorious "Stockton Killer", one of the most spectacular series of murders in California history comes to an end. The reward in this case had grown to $125,000.
Sources: "The New York Times", archive of the star