Stockton is a city with just over 300,000 inhabitants and is located about 100 kilometers as the crow flies east of San Francisco in the picturesque wine-growing region of San Joaquin County. A few years ago, the city felt the consequences of the financial and real estate crisis. Most recently, things have tended to pick up again, partly due to the favorable location. Now, however, the Californian idyll is clouded: after a series of murders that initially appeared as isolated cases, the police now fear that a serial killer is up to mischief in Stockton.
According to American media, Stockton's chief of police, Stanley McFadden, said at a press conference on Friday that by definition the acts could be described as serial murders. In a statement on Facebook, the police chief said: "Based on our investigation and the reports we have received, we believe the following murders are related."
These cases are:
All of the victims were walking around the city at the time of the crime and were alone. According to the police, they were shot late in the evening, at night or early in the morning. According to McFadden, investigators are ruling out gang crime, robbery, or hate crimes. There is a lack of clarity about the motives of the suspected perpetrator. Whether there is already a suspicion was just as little known as other possible connections.
McFadden appealed to the population to be vigilant and attentive. Dark corners should be avoided, people should move in groups if possible.
The definition mentioned is probably that of the FBI: According to this, a serial murder is the killing of two or more people in different events, i.e. at different times in different places. In contrast, in a mass murder many people are killed at the same time in the same place. California has a sad experience with serial killers: Some of the most notorious American serial killers have raged in the Pacific state in the past, including the Zodiac Killer, the Night Stalker and the Golden State Killer.
Sources: Stockton PD (Facebook), Sky News, SFGate, FBI
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