08/12/2002

Baton Rouge Police Comparing Unsolved Cases to Look for Serial Killer

by Melinda Deslatte, Associated Press

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Scraps of information from unsolved cases of all sorts - rapes, attempted kidnappings and murders - are pouring in as police try to find some clue that fingers a serial killer.

Baton Rouge police said they are checking evidence from cases in neighboring parishes and across south Louisiana to determine if the murderer committed any crimes outside the city or any other crimes at all.

Linking another case to the killer could give police new angles to investigate or just the right piece to finish the puzzle as they try to capture the man who strangled Gina Wilson Green, stabbed Charlotte Murray Pace and cut Pam Kinamore's throat over the past 10 months.

"We have met with numerous other jurisdictions discussing some of the cases," said East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff's Lt. Darrell O'Neal. "We've had other agencies contact us about possible links, but so far only three (murders) have been linked."

When new crimes occur in the city of 230,000, questions immediately emerge about a possible tie to the serial killings.

"We're all working together, and we're not going to overlook anything," O'Neal said. "We're not going to disregard any of the other cases."

Police around the state checked their files to see if they have any unsolved cases they might want to review again considering the serial killer. Authorities surveyed in Lake Charles, Lafayette, Bossier City, Hammond, Kenner and several parish sheriff's offices said they didn't have any cases to send.

"We don't have too many unsolved cases pending involving women at all," said Kacee Hargrave, a spokeswoman for the Shreveport police.

But other police agencies, particularly in neighboring parishes, found some items they felt should be compared.

"We have one (murder) that occurred back in 1998 that we have submitted some information for comparison," said Gonzales Police Chief Bill Landry.

Gonzales, about 25 miles east of Baton Rouge, also sent over a list of arrests made for crimes like indecent exposure and obscenity.

Baton Rouge police haven't said Pace, Green and Kinamore were sexually assaulted, but Landry said people arrested for "perverted acts" need to be reviewed.

Some cases sent to Baton Rouge police were long shots, unlikely to offer any hint of information that could be helpful to tracking the murderer, but police were scavenging through them.

"If there's a link, we're trying to find it," O'Neal said.

Police in St. Tammany Parish, across Lake Pontchartrain from New Orleans and about 70 miles from Baton Rouge, sent over information about a recent unsolved rape at an Interstate 10 rest stop.

The rapist reportedly drove a white truck, and Baton Rouge police said they were looking for a 1996 or 1997 white Chevrolet pickup truck in connection with Kinamore's murder.

St. Tammany Parish officials don't necessarily believe there's a connection between the rapist and the serial killer, but Baton Rouge police asked for information, according to St. Tammany Parish sheriff's spokeswoman Tiffany Tate.

"There's nothing that suggests that they were perpetrated by the same person," Tate said. "The only similarity is the color of the truck we're looking for."

The truck is what piqued speculation the serial killer could be involved in two attempted kidnappings in neighboring Ascension and Livingston parishes.

The suspect was described as driving a black pickup truck in both cases. Investigators were checking auto shops to see if anyone recently had a white truck painted black.

The trouble in linking other cases to the murders is few similarities exist even among the three victims or their murders, besides the DNA evidence police said connects them.

A few overlaps: there were no signs of forced entry into any of their homes, and Pace and Green at one point lived on the same street near the LSU campus.

Green, a 41-year-old nurse, was found strangled in her home Sept. 24. At the time, Pace lived just three doors away.

Pace, 22, a recent graduate of Louisiana State University, was stabbed to death May 31, two days after she moved to a town house in another neighborhood.

Family members said it doesn't appear the two women knew each other, but that street connection got another murder victim's family interested in the serial killings.

Eugenie Boisfontaine, 34, lived on the same street as Pace and Green when she was murdered in 1997, and like the other three women, there was no sign of forced entry at Boisfontaine's home.

Boisfontaine's family has been meeting with family and friends of Green, Pace and Kinamore to swap bits of information and look for any overlaps among the women's habits and interests that could lead them to the serial killer - and prove Boisfontaine was one of his victims.

Boisfontaine's family wants to find "anything that could possibly link these women together," said Lynne Marino, Kinamore's mother.

Kinamore, 44, a decorator and antique store owner, had been abducted from her home July 12. The killer slit her throat and dumped her body at an exit off I-10, about 30 miles away from Baton Rouge.

Kinamore's family is offering a $75,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the murderer. Police have set up a hot line at 1-866-389-3310 for information about the more than three dozen unsolved murders in the city.

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