Police search for Alexandria's possible serial killer

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- The Alexandria community is on alert tonight. That's where police have been searching for a killer who may be responsible for three unsolved murders.

A former FBI profiler, Mary Ellen O'Toole spoke to WUSA9's Peggy Fox and says that if this person turns out to be a serial killer, he is someone who has no guilt, he is not crazy, but a psychopath. He kills for the thrill of it. And the reason she says he kills in broad daylight, may be because the risk of getting caught gives him even more of a thrill.

The composite sketch has been out for a month, but has not led to an arrest. Police believe the killer lives in the community and the FBI profiler agrees. She says people have seen him, but do not realize it, because he has the trappings of normalcy and is hiding in plain view.

For some residents in the area, this incident reminds them of the DC sniper shootings.

"I am being careful and I am not going back into the neighborhood. I am just staying on the main street," says Gerri Swarm, who works in Delray, near all the crime scenes said.

"If I lived in that area, I'd be very scared. They happened in the middle of the day," said Alexandria resident Tommy Thompson.

Due to the similarities and unusual nature of all three shootings occurring in the Alexandria area, police are considering the possibility that all three cases are connected. Ruthanne Lodato, 59, was shot to death on her doorstep last month. Ron Kirby was killed in November 2013. Nancy Dunning, wife of the former Alexandria Sheriff, was killed in 2003. The three lived within two miles of each other.

COMMUNITY ALERT:Share this Sketch to find the Alexandria killer

The caretaker for Ruthanne Lodato's elderly mother was also shot. She was hospitalized but has since been released. She saw the suspect and has given police the description for the sketch, which depicts an older white man with a full beard.

The shootings all happened around noon and now we know they were all shot with a small weapon.

"I think when you think about the fact that they could be connected, it is scary," says Bill Campbell, an Alexandria School Board member.

STORY:911 call released in Alexandria murder

The Alexandria Mayor, Bill Euille says the city is safe. "Don't worry and think that there is a serial killer running around. I don't believe that's it at all," he said. "Police said there might be but reality of it is that, I am not an expert at this at all but most serial killers will usually continue to kill and do bad things."

Alexandria Police and WUSA9 are teaming up to share the sketch of the suspect as many times as possible throughout the city and the surrounding areas. Text the word ALEXANDRIA to 25543 for text alerts (standard text message rates apply) about the case and any developments in the investigation.

The Alexandria Police Department asks that anyone with information about a person with ties to any of these crimes or who may resemble the composite is asked to contact the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6864 or email crimetips@alexandriva.gov


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