Serial Killer Gear

Pity poor Chillicothe, Ohio.  (Chill-ah-koth-ee Ah-hia.)  Never a big city, it has seen better days nonetheless.  Except for an historical drama play that has been held in an outdoor theater there since 1973, there is very little to recommend the town itself.

chillicothe ohio

It is a very pretty patch of ground, however, with some interesting hiking to be had up and down the hilly landscape.  I’ve walked over most of the area myself, and can recommend it for the extremely well preserved mounds built by native American cultures that vanished close to two thousand years ago.

All that is well and good, but there is trouble to be found in this small slice of Americana.    In law enforcement circles, the unofficial word is that the place is a hotbed of marijuana smuggling and prostitution.

That is small potatoes compared to what has been going on in Chillicothe these past twelve months.  Seems a serial killer came to town in order to sample the ladies of the evening.

prostitute on street corner

Six women disappeared from their usual street corners.  Four eventually turned up again, but things weren’t taking the usual turn.  They were all disposed of in different ways.

Detective shows and novels like to discuss a criminal’s modus operandi, or method of operation.  Seems that committing a crime is usually a rather stressful time, so the criminal tends to lean on old familiar ways.  If they get away with the crime, they usually find comfort in routine.  The specific methods used can give an insight into who is doing the deed.

Didn’t happen this time, though.  One body was dumped in the Scioto River, which runs through the town.  Another was placed in Paint Creek, a smaller waterway nearby.  A third was found in a drainage ditch, and the fourth was discovered in a shallow grave.

Same man?  Maybe.  Police didn’t think so, mainly because of the differing methods of disposal.  But the number of bodies piling up meant someone had a taste for such a hobby.

The police actually had a point, as it is extremely rare to come across a single person who varied their routine so much.  If it was a single perp, then he must be both rather intelligent and experienced.

The local cops were forced into action when a big city newspaper in Columbus got wind of the story.  With public scrutiny ramping up, they started an outreach program for the local working girls.  Cops on patrol started to drop by where the prostitutes hung around, which couldn’t have been good for business, and they also started to get the street walkers to start memorizing license plate numbers and descriptions of clients.  Seemed to have worked, as the bodies of dead sex workers stopped popping up.

All that came to a head when police announced that they had caught the bad guy.  Well, sort of.

Seems a guy named Neal Falls was shot by his own gun in West Virginia while trying to choke another prostitute into unconsciousness.  The police found some interesting items when they searched the dead man’s car.

the gear found in the back of neal falls car

(Click any pic for larger.)

Looks kind of messy, doesn’t it?  Well, the cops tidied everything up for the news conference.

numbered and sorted items found in neal falls car

Missing from this pic is the roll of industrial trash bags found, as well as bleach and other cleaning solutions.  Hey, if this Falls guy was such a cleanliness freak, why are his boots so muddy?

Okay, so it is a rather illuminating collection of tools he has tucked away in his car.  What did Falls have on him when he went to meet the prostitute?

what neal falls had on his person when killed

He didn’t have any money on him to pay her for her services, so I doubt he was a stand up guy who just had a sweet tooth for bondage games.

The gun is a Ruger LC9S, which means it is a small and lightweight gun chambered for the 9mm Parabellum cartridge, and it is specifically designed for concealed carry.  Not a bad choice for self defense.  Certainly did a number on an alleged serial killer, after all.

ruger lc9s handgun

So how did the prostitute manage to turn the tables on her attacker?  Seems she grabbed a rake in order to defend herself during the choking phase of the assault, and Falls dropped his gun in order to wrestle the garden tool from his victim.  The woman looked at this as an offer to trade, so she snatched up the handgun and fired a single shot.

The FBI is working to gather evidence from the corpse and car in order to see if there is any link.  My own experience is that the crime labs always have a waiting list, and there is certainly no hurry now that the suspect decided to try and stop a bullet with his forehead.  It looks like it will be some time before anything definitive is heard from the Feds.

12 Responses to “Serial Killer Gear”

  1. I don’t admire her choice of profession, but damn that’s good shooting.

  2. Is it just the lighting? Or are most of those tools covers with gold paint?

    • James Rummel says:

      I think the light is being reflected off of a yellow surface, like brightly colored wall or something.

      Or it could be he was a sparkly serial killer, like those wimpy vampires from the movies.

  3. knirirr says:

    Nicely done by the victim, indeed.

    This reminded me that I’ve heard that some hoplophobes think that arming oneself for defence runs the risk of being disarmed and killed by one’s own weapon in the assailant’s hands. Are there actually any stats for how often that might have happened?

    • Jeff Gauch says:

      There are stats, and the people keeping them have just incremented the “killed by own gun” counter.

      I never said they were good stats.

    • James Rummel says:

      The main justification for the trope that your own gun will be used against the owner comes from a 1984 article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, and written by emergency room doctor Arthur Kellerman. It famously stated that one was 43 times more likely to be harmed when a gun was in the home than a criminal.

      The study has been very thoroughly debunked. The methodology used was so flawed that the author, Dr. Kellerman, refuted it and even admitted that firearms play a vital role in self defense.

      http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/elder090105.asp

      Another tactic used by those who advocate gun control laws is that they point to police officers who have their own guns used against them. The fact that law enforcement officers carry their gun sin plain view, and that they are forced by their job to approach and interact with unsavory characters, is ignored. Also conveniently passed over is just how rare such an event occurs.

      http://www.policeone.com/close-quarters-combat/articles/100228-Cases-of-Officers-Killed-by-Their-Own-Guns-Likely-Will-Not-Change-R-I-Policies/

      • knirirr says:

        Thanks for the links!

        An under-reporting of successful defensive use of guns, particularly when no-one is shot, would not surprise me at all.

  4. Fruitbat44 says:

    Well hopefully one serial killers career has come to complete stop.

    Well done to the Lady-of-the-evening.

    Slightly OT but I do wonder if prostitutes would be less of a target if their profession was completely legal.

    OTOH . . .

    “That will a hundred and twelve dollars fifty-seven cents, darling.”
    “That’s a kinda funny charge.”
    “I know lover, but I’m just charging you a hundred. The twelve dollars fifty-seven cents is the sales tax.”

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