March 28, 1998 in City

Serial Killer Task Force Still Seeking Leads Detectives Have Received 920 Tips Since November; No Solid Leads On Killer Of Six Women

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A task force chasing Spokane’s serial killer has received 920 tips on the case, and it’s asking for more.

On Friday, commanders of the joint city-county task force renewed their request for fresh leads.

“We’re still in the business of putting together vast quantities of information,” sheriff’s Capt. Doug Silver said. “We want as much information as we can get. Someone out there has the information that will help solve this.”

Authorities are investigating the unsolved homicides of 20 women since 1984. They believe six of the victims - five in Spokane and one in Tacoma - were killed by the same person.

Many worked as prostitutes or used illegal drugs. Some did both.

The task force formed last November and immediately was showered with tips. It is made up of four full-time detectives being supported on a part-time basis by other investigators. More full-time people may be added soon, Silver said.

Tips have ranged from “uncomfortable feelings” some people have about acquaintances to specific allegations against friends or relatives.

No arrests have been made, and detectives have no strong suspects, Silver said. “We have not in any capacity started to narrow it down at this point.”

A task force sergeant is responsible for sifting through the information and prioritizing the tips, Silver said.

He then assigns them to individual detectives for follow-up. More than 240 tips have been assigned so far, Silver said.

Information on possible suspects, body dump sites, witnesses and other information also is being fed into a computer data bank for analysis, said police Capt. Steve Braun, who joined the task force this week.

“It’s an overwhelming task, but it’s not one that we want to slow down,” Braun said.

Silver asked for understanding from people who have called in tips. Many are upset because detectives have not updated them on the case or immediately investigated the information, he said.

Authorities don’t have time to call everyone back, Silver said.

The task force is still looking for Linda Maybin. The 34-year-old woman, who matches the profile of the other victims, hasn’t been seen since Nov. 22.

“That’s still a very great concern to us,” Silver said.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story:

SUBMIT A TIP

The task force asks anyone who knows of Linda Maybin’s whereabouts, or has information that may help the serial killer investigation, to call Crime Check at 456-2233 or Secret Witness at 327-5111.

Secret Witness is offering a $2,000 cash reward for information that solves any of the murders.

This sidebar appeared with the story: SUBMIT A TIP The task force asks anyone who knows of Linda Maybin’s whereabouts, or has information that may help the serial killer investigation, to call Crime Check at 456-2233 or Secret Witness at 327-5111. Secret Witness is offering a $2,000 cash reward for information that solves any of the murders.


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