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20060911: Police Say Man Wanted In Three Deaths Is A Serial Killer KY Lexington Serial Killer News
Lexington police said Thursday that they now believe that a man they say is responsible for at least three murders over the span of seven years in Lexington is a serial killer. Homicide detectives said last week that had determined through DNA that three homicide victims were killed by the same man, On Thursday, police held a press conference warning that a serial killer is loose in Lexington. "'What's important for us and for is to number one...understand we do have a person out there who can and will harm individuals," said Lexington police chief Anthany Beatty. The victims were identified as Doris Roberts, Sonora Allen and Erica Butler, all Lexington residents. The earliest slaying in the series by an unknown man was seven years ago, while the latest was in April this year. Police said Thursday that all three victims were killed in similar manners, but declined to elaborate on the methods. The bodies have been found in different areas including one on Fortune Drive, another on Fourth Street and, the most recent, on Kenton Street. Police have been able to develop a composite sketch of a possible suspect based on witness accounts from the most recent case. Lieutenant James Curless would not say if the man is believed to be a Lexington resident, but he pointed out that the man has only been linked to cases in the city. He said the DNA evidence has been entered into national databases and checked against other unsolved cases and known offenders, but no matches have been found.
 

20060907: Troubled lives, cruel end KY Lexington Serial Killer News
Their lives were stained with tears and tough times. Doris Roberts, Sonora Allen and Erica Butler are remembered as warm, kind-hearted women, those who knew them said yesterday. But low self-esteem coupled with life's troubles led them to alcohol or drugs and other risky choices. It was the "dangerous" lifestyles, police said at a press conference yesterday, that probably brought the three women to the same serial killer in a span of seven years. In 1999, Roberts was found dead in her apartment on East Fourth Street. In 2002, Allen was killed and then dumped in a shopping center parking lot on Fortune Drive. In April, Butler was found dead in her home on Kenton Street. All three women lived in north Lexington, near downtown. And, according to court records, they each had criminal backgrounds, a mixture of drug, alcohol and prostitution charges. Though there are other similarities in the killings that police wouldn't detail yesterday, DNA evidence announced last week linked the three deaths to one killer. Doris Roberts It's been seven years since police told Delsie Jenkins that Roberts, her older sister, had been killed. In December 1999, after no one had seen or heard from her for a week, a group of Roberts' neighbors broke down her apartment door. They found her dead. Jenkins said yesterday that she's never stopped praying for closure. "Doris had low self-esteem. She never gave herself a chance," Jenkins said. "She was not the type of person who would go out and start leading someone. She was one that would follow easily, and I think that got her into trouble." Roberts, one of five children, grew up poor in a tiny house in Wolfe County. The children worked hard alongside their mother, Florence Whitley, raising a garden and taking care of a small farm. Their father, Kelly Whitley, worked in the coal mines until he developed black lung disease. Then, he did odd jobs for money. Roberts turned to alcohol to cope, Jenkins said. She had three children -- a boy and two girls -- but one of the girls died of spinal meningitis when she was 8 months old. Roberts left her remaining two children -- ages 2 and 4 -- with her mother and came to Lexington. She never looked back. "We lost contact with her," Jenkins said. "I can't tell you what my sister was like in the last 20 years before she died." Jenkins said she couldn't even reach Roberts to tell her when her son, Eugene Combs, cut his wrist and committed suicide as a young adult. According to court records and interviews with neighbors, the last few years of Doris Ann Roberts' life were harsh and lonely. She was assaulted by two live-in boyfriends and arrested six times from 1997 to 1999 on charges of public intoxication, court records show. After her body was discovered, many of Roberts' neighbors said they weren't surprised she had died. They said police were called to the apartment on a regular basis, and late-night disorders were fairly common. It took the Fayette County coroner's office weeks to find Jenkins and a next of kin. No one in the neighborhood could name any of Roberts' friends except for Raymond Bean, the man who lived with her but died of a heart attack two weeks before Roberts died. Bean, 67, was found guilty of domestic violence in July 1997 for hitting Roberts. But it was probably the only kind of love she'd ever known, Jenkins said. Roberts' neighbors said she always wanted conversation, but people didn't pay her too much attention because she was always drunk. "I know that my sister had some troubles, but there's no reason for anyone to go out and kill someone else," Jenkins said. "I would love to see him pay his price." Sonora Allen Sonora Allen, born and raised in Lexington, had a difficult life because of her drug addiction, but she wanted to get clean, her mother, Vanita Allen, said yesterday. Sonora Allen, 29, was found dead at 7:30 a.m., Aug. 15, 2002, in the Fortune Plaza parking lot on Fortune Drive, 2 miles from her home. A passerby had discovered her body. She left behind four daughters and two sons, who are being raised by her mother Vanita Allen. "This has all been nerve-racking for my grandchildren," Vanita Allen said yesterday. She said the oldest is 18 and the youngest is 7. Vanita Allen said yesterday her daughter suffered from low self-esteem, in part because of a lifelong stutter that frustrated and alienated her. When she got upset, she couldn't get any words out at all, Vanita Allen said. She said other children picked on her daughter. She became pregnant when she was 16 and dropped out of school. In the years afterwards, she became involved in drugs. In 2000, Lexington police raided Vanita and Sonora Allen's home in Bluegrass-Aspendale, a public housing project near downtown. Police reported finding 15 rocks of crack cocaine on a table. Sonora Allen's six children, ages 8 months to 12 years then, were inside, police wrote in their report: "The children slept several to a bed and defecated in a bucket." Mother and daughter, and four other people, were indicted on charges of drug trafficking. Sonora Allen also was charged with endangering the welfare of minors. Sonora Allen was sentenced to probation and counseling but was arrested again months later with three crack pipes on her. She spent the next year in prison. Vanita Allen said her daughter earned a high school equivalency while incarcerated and wanted to avoid drugs after her release. "She just started turning her life around," Vanita Allen said yesterday. "When she got her GED it brightened her up some." Family members last saw Sonora Allen on Fourth Street a few days before she was killed, but nobody in the family knows what happened to her after that, Vanita Allen said. Vanita Allen says she can't imagine what happened to her baby girl. "I hoped we would all be a family again soon," Vanita Allen said. "That's what we all hoped." Erica Butler Erica Butler's friends cried together on the sidewalk outside her home when she was found dead in April of this year. They described her as a kind woman who had made some poor choices. According to Fayette County court records, Butler had a criminal history, including convictions for prostitution and possession of drug paraphernalia, cocaine and marijuana. Her mother was helping her raise her two children. But Butler had vowed to change her life for the better. She was going to do it this time, they said. "She was easygoing, loving and funny," her mother Valerie Butler said yesterday. "In spite of her situation, she was there for her children, her family and anybody else who needed her. You just don't know the reasons why people make the choices that they do and why they go down the paths that they do." Task force formed Police Chief Anthany Beatty said yesterday the department has formed a task force of about 20 people to find the serial killer. He said the FBI is assisting in the investigation. Police did not connect the slayings until recently, when the Kentucky State Police Forensic Lab matched DNA from the three cases using the Combined DNA Index System, a national database of blood and saliva. KSP lab workers, who received a grant to look at DNA from unsolved homicide cases throughout Kentucky, discovered the connection. Although police know one man is responsible for the deaths, they don't know who that man is or where he lives. Last week officers began going door-to-door in Lexington neighborhoods, talking to residents and handing out composite sketches from a witness's descriptions in the latest killing. Beatty said yesterday a series of homicides linked like these is unprecedented in Lexington. Valerie Butler said an arrest in her daughter's death would "take a burden off." "It would be a load off the mind and the heart and stop the wondering of who, where and why," she said.
 

20060907: Police Search For Serial Killer After DNA Links Victims To Same Man KY Lexington Serial Killer News
Homicide detectives in Lexington have connected three murder victims over a span of seven years to the same man. Police released a composite sketch of the possible suspect in the deaths of Doris Roberts, Sonora Allen and Erica Butler, all from Lexington. Investigators determined through DNA that the three women were killed by the same man. DNA evidence has been entered into national databases and checked against other unsolved cases and known offenders, but no matches have been found.
 

20060906: Police task force formed to catch killer of 3 Lexington women KY Lexington Serial Killer News
Lexington police have formed a task force to find the man linked to the brutal killings of three Lexington women. The women � Doris Ann Roberts, Sonora Lynn Allen and Erica C. Butler � were killed over a span of seven years, beginning in 1999. The latest slaying was in April. DNA found on their bodies and at the crime scenes all point to the same man, Police Chief Anthany Beatty said at a news conference today. But police don�t know who that man is. Police were able to develop a composite sketch of a possible suspect based on witness accounts from the most recent case. The sketch is not a picture of the suspect, Lexington police Lt. James Curless said. He said the public should contact police if the drawing looks familiar or reminds people of a person they know. Police would not say whether they think the killer might live in Lexington, but they said the man has been linked to cases only in the city. The DNA evidence has been entered into national databases and checked against other unsolved cases and known offenders, but no matches have been found. Curless also would not elaborate on similarities among the cases, other than to say the three female victims lived a �dangerous� and �high-risk� lifestyle. According to court records, the women each had criminal backgrounds, a mixture of drug, alcohol and prostitution charges. Butler, 33, was found dead about 7:30 a.m. April 4 at her home at 460 Kenton Street, just off Fifth Street on Lexington�s north side. According to Fayette County court records, Butler had a criminal history including convictions for prostitution and possession of drug paraphernalia, cocaine and marijuana. Allen, 29, the mother of six children, was killed and then dumped in northeast Lexington on Aug. 15, 2002. Allen�s body showed no obvious wounds, police said. A passerby called police to report finding her body, which was lying face-down in the parking lot of Fortune Plaza in an area dominated by retail strip malls, office complexes and industrial parks. Allen�s denim shorts were pulled down to her thighs, and her tank top was partially pulled up over her breasts. Curless would not elaborate on details of the cause of death. According to Fayette County court records, Allen had a history of cocaine use and drug-related arrests. Roberts, 48, was found dead in her apartment about 2:30 p.m. Dec. 22, 1999, by her landlord. Roberts lived alone at 270 East Fourth Street, No. 5. Curless would not elaborate on details of the cause of death. According to Fayette County court records, Roberts was assaulted by two live-in boyfriends and arrested six times from 1997 to 1999 on charges of public intoxication. Anyone with information is asked to contact Bluegrass Crime Stoppers at (859) 253-2020 or to call police at (859) 285-0060 or (859) 285-0070.
 

20060905: New Information Expected to be Released in Suspected Serial Killer Case KY Lexington Serial Killer News
More information is expected to be released soon in the search for a possible serial killer in the Lexington area, where three women were murdered over the past seven years. Now police say one man may be responsible. The last killing happened back in April, when someone found 33 year old Erica Butler in a Kenton Street duplex. Valerie and Jaleesa Butler are still coming to terms with Erica Butler's murder. It has been five months since Butler's murder and still no arrest, but police have made a lead in the case. Police have released a composite sketch of the man they believe killed Butler and two other women. Police say DNA evidence links the same man to the 1999 murder of Doris Roberts and the 2002 murder of Sonora Allen. Police say all the women were brutally murdered, and all had criminal backgrounds for drugs, alcohol and prostitution charges. Police expect to release more information about the suspected serial killer on Wednesday.
 

20060831: Police Search For Serial Killer After DNA Links Victims To Same Man KY Lexington Serial Killer News

Homicide detectives in Lexington have connected three murder victims over a span of seven years to the same man.

Police released a composite sketch of the possible suspect in the deaths of Doris Roberts, Sonora Allen and Erica Butler, all from Lexington.

Investigators determined through DNA that the three women were killed by the same man.

DNA evidence has been entered into national databases and checked against other unsolved cases and known offenders, but no matches have been found.

 


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