Police Search for Serial Slasher
A wreath of artificial flowers and a wooden cross mark the spot where the body of David Motley was found in May at Dexter and Leith streets.
Detroit Free Press via YellowBrix
August 06, 2010
FLINT — There’s still blood on the pavement and fear along South Saginaw Street. Folks are wary over on Miller Road, too.
In fact, there’s concern throughout Genesee County as police search for a knife-wielding man who has attacked 13 men since May, killing five.
Arnold Minor was killed Monday morning on South Saginaw near Barton on Flint’s south side in front of Deuces Wild Kustom motorcycle shop. The blood was there Thursday.
“We’re just trying to get the word out to our friends and family,” said Rashandia Jones, a clerk at Diamond Cleaners, next to the bike shop. “Watch where you’re at.”
All the victims have been black men, and the attacker is described as a younger white man with a muscular build. The victims have tended to be vulnerable — some with slighter builds, some older and each walking by himself.
Frank Kellybrew was a man who walked by himself and that’s how he died, on Miller Road on his way to his room at the Home Town Inn.
Officials are not assigning any racial motive at this point, but they said there is an apparent pattern. The attacker feigns distress or asks for directions before launching his assault, police said.
Michigan State Police are coordinating a task force. All of the victims were vulnerable, cops say
Kellybrew wasn’t the kind of guy looking for trouble.
“No sir,” said John Henson, manager of the Home Town Inn motel. “In fact, if he didn’t know you, he’d walk across the street to avoid you. Mainly, he’d drink coffee and come watch TV with me in the office.”
Trouble found him, though, on Miller Road on Friday in Flint Township.
Kellybrew, 60, died by himself, but he’s not alone.
He and four other men have been stabbed to death in Genesee County since May. Another eight men have survived whirlwind knife attacks. Ten of the assaults have been in Flint and the other three in nearby townships.
“From what I’ve heard, we’re having an epidemic,” Henson said.
“We think it’s one person doing all of them,” said Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
It’s a battering the region does not need.
“Flint was challenged even before this,” he said. “We’ve had police layoffs and an upsurge of violent crimes. This all adds up to a tough summer for Flint.”
A task force, headed by the Michigan State Police, has been put together to track down the killer.
So far, authorities are looking for a young, muscular white man who draws victims close by asking directions or claiming trouble with his truck.
Leyton said there are some leads, but nothing strong enough to support a warrant.
Chance has been on the killer’s side to some degree.
Arnold Minor was stabbed to death in front of Deuces Wild Kustom motorcycle shop on the city’s south side. The shop has a security camera, but the killing took place out of its range.
The victims have all been black men who are at some disadvantage in a struggle. They are older, or not so husky and fit, or just out by themselves.
Leyton and others are not putting a racial motivation on the attacks.
Kenna Quinet, a criminal justice professor from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis who has studied hundreds of serial killers, said geography and chance more likely outweigh race in the killings.
“Opportunity is what I’d think,” Quinet said in a telephone interview Thursday night. “The attacker lives or works nearby, and he has a vulnerable victim pool.”
Many of the victims can be targets of availability and opportunity.
“The goal is to kill as long as possible,” she said. “And these people are vulnerable.”
Emmanuel Muhammed, 59, could be seen riding his bike along the south-side streets.
He, too, was killed, in June.
“Why would somebody go do that?” said his mother, Geneva Dent.
Ike Brown, 44, Muhammed’s friend since childhood, said, “These people are going crazy out here. I don’t know what’s going on.”
Retired FBI agent Paul Lindsay, who worked serial killing cases in Detroit, said the attacks don’t fall into a neat format.
“It’s a pretty unusual pattern,” Lindsay said. “It breaks almost all the patterns for sexual killings. And with racial killings, it tends to be a gun rather than a knife.”
“It’s very unusual,” he said. “It’s almost like somebody’s trying to write a bad novel.”
Rage seems to be driving this spree, Lindsay said.
“It’s some angry guy who wants to kill people,” he said. “I think somebody will be calling in on him.”
David Motley, 31, was the first victim.
His buddy, Marcus Chapman, 34, said he tried to dissuade Motley from going out after an evening of drinks in May.
Motley, who walked with a limp as the result of a traffic accident, went out anyway.
He was found in the morning on a neighbor’s lawn that’s now marked by a wreath of artificial flowers and a wooden cross.
Chapman said he’s asked God to show him the killer.
“We obviously don’t know a motive at this point,” said Flint Police Sgt. J. Leigh Golden. “We don’t know if he’s targeting male blacks or that’s who he’s coming across walking late at night.”
“We don’t know if all of those are related, but those are all open stabbing cases,” State Police Detective Sgt. Jeff Bauermeister said Thursday. “We’re not ruling anything out at this point.”
State Police ask that anyone with information contact the Flint Post at 810-732-1111.