One of 2 Charged in Serial Killings Proclaims His Innocence

Jeff Topping for The New York Times

Dale S. Hausner stating his innocence Monday. Mr. Hausner said he had kept newspaper clippings on the killings because they were interesting.

Published: August 8, 2006

PHOENIX, Aug. 7 — Handcuffed and in black-and-white striped prison clothes, one of two men charged in a series of killings in the Phoenix area shuffled into a jail break room Monday and told reporters that he was innocent and that his roommate may have taken his car and guns to commit the crimes.

Arizona Shootings Described as ‘Recreational’ (August 6, 2006)
2 Men Arrested in ‘Serial Shooter’ Killings in Phoenix (August 5, 2006)
Two Serial Killers Sought in Phoenix (July 29, 2006)
Two Serial Killers, Acting Independently, Terrorize Phoenix (July 18, 2006)“Absolutely not,” said the prisoner, Dale S. Hausner, 33, when asked if he had anything to do with the crimes, which, along with an unrelated series of sexual assaults, robberies and murders in the past year, have cast fear over this city.

Mr. Hausner, a janitor at the city’s international airport and an aspiring boxing photographer, said his two sons had died in a car accident more than a decade earlier and that his 2-year-old daughter was terminally ill, “so I know what it is like to suffer the loss of a child, and I would not want anybody to go through that.”

Mr. Hausner and his roommate, Samuel J. Dieteman, 30, were arrested Thursday and booked Friday on suspicion of first-degree murder and attempted murder in connection with two of the seven killings and 13 of 37 shootings of people and animals over more than a year that the police believe may be linked.

The police said on Monday that they had added the seventh murder to the list, that of a 39-year-old man killed while riding his bicycle in May 2005 in what may have been the first victim of the attacker the police call the Serial Shooter.

The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department said it had arranged the news conference after Mr. Hausner agreed to speak with reporters. Mr. Dieteman declined requests for interviews, and Mr. Hausner’s appearance was cut short when his public defender arrived and advised him to stop.

But for 15 minutes, Mr. Hausner calmly answered questions and tried to explain away incriminating evidence. The police said Mr. Hausner and Mr. Dieteman had driven around at night taking turns shooting in what the police termed “random recreational violence.’’

Mr. Hausner said he had not confessed to the crimes.

Mr. Hausner said he had kept rifles, ice picks, a blow-dart gun and other weapons in his apartment because “I am a gun collector and I have lots of weapons, as do most Americans.” He said he was disorganized and had left his car keys lying around, making them accessible to Mr. Dieteman.

“He was using my vehicle without my knowledge,” Mr. Hausner said, adding that Mr. Dieteman also had access to the weapons, though “I never saw him as a full-blooded killer.”

When it was pointed out that a video camera at a Wal-Mart showed the two together shortly before an arson there, Mr. Hausner denied any involvement in that crime and others.

Mr. Hausner said he had kept news clippings about the two series of killings because “it is kind of interesting, what is going on in Phoenix.”

An ex-wife’s statement in a divorce filing in 2001 that he had driven her to the desert and threatened to shoot her “is just ex-wife stuff,” he said. Mr. Hausner then attacked her for falling asleep at the wheel of a car in 1994, killing their two sons.

Mr. Hausner said that his brother had introduced him to Mr. Dieteman and that they all had socialized together. Mr. Hausner said he had taken Mr. Dieteman in because Mr. Dieteman had been “down on his luck” and working only now and then as an electrician.

“He is someone with a low-self-esteem problem,” Mr. Hausner said.

The interview was halted when a man who later identified himself as Mr. Hausner’s public defender entered, whispered in Mr. Hausner’s ear and then said, “This news conference is over.”

The man, Garrett Simpson, said that a supervisor in the public defender’s office had just handed him the case and that he had rushed to the jail after learning of the news conference.

“It’s real important to let the process work,” Mr. Simpson said afterward. “We have to remember he is presumed innocent.”

The Phoenix police, meanwhile, sought to remind the public about the other serial killings case, that of someone they call the Baseline Killer. They have linked 23 crimes, including eight killings and several rapes and robberies, to that attacker.

“We don’t want the public to relax in terms of heightened awareness,” Sgt. Andy Hill of the Phoenix police told reporters.

James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University in Boston who has studied serial killings, said that several other major cities had at times had two or more serial killers operating at once. Mr. Fox said the two in and around Phoenix, one of the nation’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas, were probably “one symptom of urban growth.”

“When you continue to grow, so do the chances of having had one or more than one serial killer,” he said.

That fwocker's guilty as hell & crazy as a loon!!!

He needs to keep his mouth shut in public...he pretty much just said "I'm crazy & I did it" by just sitting there.