Serial Killer Steven Hobbs
Former security guard a 40 years old Steven Hobbs, married Texas father of two, charged with killing and assaulting prostitutes for the past decade, may be linked to several other unsolved murders in Harris County, investigators say.
Hobbs, 6-foot-4 former security guard, has now been in jail for about two weeks, accused of murdering two women in Harris County and assaulting four others, dating back to 2002. He was apprehended after a motorcycle officer in Pasadena stopped to set up a routine traffic radar site. That’s where he discovered what Bernstein (Harris County sheriff’s spokesman) described as “the key to everything” – a badly decomposed body of Wanda Trombley, 57, who had been missing since July. The body was about 30ft from the entrance to where Hobbs was working.
They began questioning prostitutes in that area. One of them, caliming to be a victim of rape, described him as “large white man with reddish-blond hair and thick eyeglasses” Two other prostitutes also told detectives they were assaulted by a man fitting Hobbs’ description wearing a security uniform. When detectives showed photos to the first victim they found, she identified Hobbs’ picture, saying she was “absolutely certain” that he was the man who had assaulted her.
Hobbs was charged with kidnapping and sexual assault, and also charged with the aggravated assault of 28-year-old prostitute Danielle Perfitt in June. He was then charged over the 2010 aggravated assault of 33-year-old prostitute Sandra Gunter.
This week, the Harris County District Attorney’s office charged Hobbs with strangling prostitute and mother of five Patricia Pyatt, 38, in 2002, and sexually assaulting a woman, whose identity is being protected. He was also charged with murdering prostitute Sarah Sanford, 48, who was found nude and bound with handcuffs in a wooded area about five miles from Hobbs’ home. She had been sexually assaulted and shot in the head. DNA from the handcuffs used to bind her, and from her mouth, matched that of Hobbs.
Investigators said today they are using DNA evidence to probe at least 15 past killings and believe Hobbs may be the culprit in some of them. Tracking down all of the alleged victims will be tricky. “There’s no way to put a count on the number of unsolved murders of women who may have been involved in drugs or prostitution, or both,” said Bernstein.
Hobbs will appear in court again on Dec. 6, but the case probably won’t go to trial for another year while detectives continue to examine old cases for any connections to Hobbs, who may now face the death penalty. For now, detectives are asking other women who may have been assaulted to speak up. “The more we publicize this, the greater the chance that someone who would have not have come forward because of their illegal activities will come forward now,” said Bernstein.