Back in the 1970s, Florida witnessed one of the world’s most notorious serial killers, Ted Bundy, who confessed to murdering at least 30 young women and girls across the United States. He was executed in 1989. Now, one of Tampa’s neighbourhoods might be witness to yet another serial killer – though not comparable with Bundy – who is being held responsible for three murders already.
Within a span of a few days in October, three people were shot dead in Tampa’s Seminole Heights neighbourhood. The victims – Benjamin Mitchell, 22, Monica Hoffe, 32, and Anthony Naiboa, 20 – were all fatally shot, within a one-mile radius. On the face of it, none of them knew any of the others, and nobody was killed during a robbery.
The police released an eerie video (above) of surveillance footage compiled from the neighbourhood, which shows a “person of interest” wearing a long jacket with a hood calmly walking through the same neighbourhood. Walking with a “strange gait” as some have pointed out on YouTube, the suspect is seen repeatedly flipping open a cell phone, before running away from a spot near where Mitchell, the first victim, was shot, around the same time.
The police are still uncertain whether the killings are related or not and, if so, whether the person behind them is indeed a serial killer, or a “spree killer”. However, they released the video above and another video (below) to get help in ascertaining the identity of the person in the clips, who could either be involved in the shooting, or may have witnessed something that could be valuable. They stressed that even the inconsequential habit of flipping a cell phone may be a pointer towards the pointer’s identity, since neither age nor gender can be determined from the videos.
Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan speculated over the video, reported Chicago Tribune: “I’ve come up with four reasons why this person is running. One: They may be late for dinner. Two: They’re out exercising. Three: They heard gunshots. And number 4: They just murdered Benjamin Mitchell.”