In order to catch a serial killer who has claimed the lives of at least 11 South L.A. prostitutes, police announced that they will release a recording of the mysterious phone call to the public; After murder of Barbara Ware, an informant called the police, telling them about the body.
It’s been over two decades since LA detectives were trying to solve the murders of at least 11 prostitutes, with no luck, as there were no clues to follow. One night in 1987, however, offered a tantalizing, agonizing clue. Shortly after midnight on Jan. 10, a man called police from a pay phone to report that he had seen someone dump a woman’s body out of the back of a van and leave it in an alley. He gave the address, a description of the van and its license plate number.
“Is that T like Tom?” the dispatcher asked, according to several Los Angeles Police Department detectives who have heard a recording of the call.
“No, P like puppy,” the man said, speaking in a raspy, deep voice.
The call lasted no more than 30 seconds. At the end, the dispatcher asked for the man’s name.
He chuckled nervously at the question. “I know too many people. OK, then, bye-bye,” he said, hanging up the phone.
Now, more than twenty years later, police believe that the call may still hold the key to identifying the elusive killer. “There has got to be something to this. There is just too much information here for there not to be something of value for us,” said Det. Dennis Kilcoyne, who heads a task force charged with catching the killer. “We’re hoping somebody out there will be able to help us make the connection between this body, the van and the caller.”
So far, police couldn’t find any vital information that would help them solve the case. They have the killer’s DNA profile but it failed to match any of the millions stored in state felon databases. They have even found a vain, that the mysterious caller had described – registration records showed that the van was owned by the nearby Cosmopolitan Church. It turned out that couldn’t help any in way, since the church did not keep close tabs on who drove the van, which was used to pick up elderly members from home.
In all, detectives have tracked down about 10 men associated with the now-defunct church, including one who worked as a driver, and taken DNA samples to test against the suspected killer’s, and got no results. With no blood or other physical evidence found in the van that proves it was actually used to dump Ware’s body, detectives are not dismissing the possibility that the caller that night was lying in an effort to mislead police. And Kilcoyne is the first to acknowledge that releasing the tape is a long shot, but with little else to go on, he’s hoping former church parishioners will hear the tape and come forward with clues.
-article from LA Times, rewritten and adapted by admin-