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20050808: Texas Serial Killer Suspect Believed to Have Killed Local Woman LA Port Arthur Serial Killer News
Authorities say a man arrested on murder charges in a neighboring state may have also killed a New Iberia businesswoman. Sheriff Sid Hebert says Texas serial killer suspect Gary Sinegal may be responsible for the beating death of Carrie Billeaud. Investigators in Port Arthur believe Sinegal may have killed three elderly women and stuffed their bodies into their closets. Sheriff Sid Hebert says the fact that Sinegal was identified and profiled elderly Caucasian females seemed to be a pretty strong link. Sheriff Hebert says when law enforcement started to realize the particulars with the crimes and Sinegal identified the victim's wallets, one of the primary goals in the beatings and murder tuned them in. Hebert says Sinegal had unidentified DNA on his clothing when he was arrested, indicating there could be more victims. The Acadiana Crime Lab is submitting DNA samples to a lab in Texas. Results should come back in four to six weeks.

20050807: Louisiana Investigators Trying to Determine if Port Arthur Serial Killer Murdered One of Their Own LA Port Arthur Serial Killer News
Investigators in Louisiana are trying to determine whether a serial murder suspect in Port Arthur is linked to the unsolved murder of a New Iberia business owner The Daily Iberian reports 62-year-old Carrie Billeaud was found beaten to death last December. Iberia Parish Sheriff Sid Hebert told The Daily Iberian detectives are investigating whether 40-year-old Gary Sinegal might be responsible. "It`s an interesting possibility," Hebert said. "I think it`s about 50-50 right now." Sinegal is accused of killing three elderly Port Arthur women and stuffing their bodies in their closets last April. Prosecutors have formally charged Sinegal with only two of the killings after Port Arthur Police Department could not find enough physical evidence to positively link him to the first of three murders. Hebert said there were several aspects of the murders in Port Arthur that are "strikingly similar" to Billeaud`s. All of the victims were elderly white females, and all were beaten to death. In each case, Hebert told The Daily Iberian, the only thing taken was the victim`s wallet. All of the victims` shoes were found in a room other than where their body was found. Hebert says detectives are working with the Acadiana Crime Lab as well as officials here to compare DNA samples taken at the Billeaud crime scene to Sinegal. Hebert said detectives are also trying to determine whether Sinegal was in Louisiana at the time of the killing. He said Sinegal has family members in the state, but none in the Teche Area. Sinegal`s criminal record shows he has been in and out of custody since 1977. He served two years in prison for an attack on a 77-year-old woman when he was 16. After serving a 21-year sentence for the armed robberies of two other women, Sinegal was released on parole in November, about a month before Billeaud was killed. New Iberia is located about 150 miles east of Port Arthur.

20050423: Serial killer's first victim laid to rest TX Orange Serial Killer News
Laid to rest on the same day the Port Arthur Police Department announced the arrest of Gary Sinegal, the suspect in her murder, Dorothy Barrett's family gathered to celebrate the life of their mother, grandmother and best friend.

Family, friends and neighbors congregated at the Community Church in Orange for Barrett's funeral Friday afternoon. Barrett was found earlier in week murdered in her Port Arthur home.

Jerry McNeil, reverend of the Cross Mountain Church in San Antonio, presided over the services and in his words, described Barrett as a virtuous woman with faith in her God.

"We cannot begin to find understanding in this death," McNeil said. "But we can be comforted that this woman, so full of grace and beauty, is now dancing around the Throne of God."

Praised for her pie-baking skills and her kindness to all those in need, Barett's family members and neighbors took a moment each to share their fondest memories of their beloved Dot.

"My mother is my best friend," Valda Simon, Barrett's only child, told the mourners. "She is a precious person. I thank you, God, for my mother."

Following her emotional rendition of "How Great Thou Art," dedicated in honor of her mother, Simon turned the microphone over to members of the audience.

A series of mourners rose to share their tales of Barrett's strength, quest for independence and her tendency to be stubborn.

"She was stubborn like an old Missouri mule," McNeil said. "She was going to have things her way. Recently Dot went to Missouri to take care of a family member. She jumped on a plane, took her wheelchair with her, and set out to do what she did well, taking care of others."

Barrett, 82, was found dead in her home in the 3600 block of Sixth Street on Monday. PAPD Criminal Investigations Division Commander Major Raymond Clark said autopsy results have shown that Barrett died from massive trauma to her chest and facial area.

"She had either been kicked or punched to death," Clark said.

Appearing to be an isolated incident at the time of her death, by the end of the week Barrett's murder would be linked with two other Port Arthur women's deaths and another's attack.

Barrett's neighbors have all commented on how kind and sweet the elderly woman was, Clark said, and those characteristics may have made her attractive to a violent assailant.

"This is the kind of person a violent person would prey on," Clark noted. "That kind of meek person is what they are looking for. They are not looking for a fight or a struggle. I suppose you could say they are looking for the path of least resistance."

Copyright 1995-2006 by Elisabeth Wetsch
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