April 19, 1995 in City

Top Expert Enlisted In Murder Probe Criminal Investigator Worked On Bundy, Green River Cases

Associated Press
 

Douglas County detectives flew to Seattle on Tuesday to meet with an attorney general’s expert on sexual psychopaths to help them compile a profile of the killer of two women.

The detectives met with Bob Keppel, the attorney general’s chief criminal investigator, who helped solve the Ted Bundy serial murder case. They are seeking his help in entering data in a nationwide crime computer network and drawing up a profile, Douglas County Sheriff Dan LaRoche said.

Keppel took Bundy’s confession just before his execution in Florida and helped put together a nationwide crime-pattern computer network. He also spent two years working on the Green River serial killer investigation.

“Keppel just has done so much study of these types of individuals,” LaRoche said.

Police believe the slayings were the work of a sexual psychopath.

Authorities say Rita Huffman, 48, and her daughter, Mandy, 15, were stabbed and sexually mutilated in their home late last Wednesday or early Thursday.

Authorities have said the deaths were caused by “homicidal trauma,” but have refused to release more information. Douglas County Prosecutor Steve Clem said more details on the deaths may be released in the next few days, pending results of laboratory tests.

Chelan County Coroner Dr. Jerry Rappe, who performed the autopsies, said Monday that walking into the Huffman’s home remains a vivid memory.

“I had a feeling I was in a house where the devil himself had been,” Rappe said. “I thought, ‘My God, I’m in an area where there has been pure evil.

“Most everything that guy did, he did to horrify us. He was so methodical.”

Rappe said he was left feeling the killer must have a very deep need for attention.

LaRoche said the Chelan County Sheriff’s Office, Wenatchee police and East Wenatchee police have all loaned detectives to help in the investigation. In addition, a Douglas County deputy has been temporarily upgraded to detective.

“There’s a lot of legwork that has to be done, finding out more about the victims,” LaRoche said. “We’re just hunting all these leads down.”

Investigators still have no solid leads into who killed the mother and daughter.

Meanwhile, news of the doublehomicide had residents scurrying to stores that sell self-defense devices.

At Rocky’s House of Guns, 200 to 300 containers of pepper spray and about 70 handguns have been sold since the murders were discovered, owner Rocky Crocker said. That’s well above the normal rate of sales, he said.

“There was no question that immediately, the next day, we had a strong flow of females, especially, into the store,” Crocker said. “A lot of them were interested in some sort of pepper spray.”

“Quite a few” women wanted small handguns they could carry in their purse or vehicle, he said.

“A lot of them are just scared to death,” Crocker said. “A lot of these women were still trembling when they came in.”

The Keyhole Security Center has had more calls from people wanting better locks or a security system, general manager Jeanne Lodge said.

“I have my own security system and even myself, I didn’t sleep all night,” after the murders, Lodge said. “The heightened sense of awareness does cause some panic.”

© Copyright 1995 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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