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Profiler: Edgecombe authorities likely looking for serial killer

Posted July 13, 2009

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— Authorities investigating the unsolved slayings of several women whose remains were found in the same remote area of Edgecombe County are likely chasing a serial killer.

That's according to Dr. Michael Teague, a forensic psychologist and former psychological profiler for the Raleigh Police Department and state Department of Crime Control and Public Safety.

In the past four years, authorities have recovered the remains of six bodies within a two-mile vicinity of Seven Bridges and Old Battleboro roads outside Rocky Mount.

Three of the women were found in the same field. Of the six, one has yet to be identified.

Of those confirmed, each were missing black women from Rocky Mount who had a reported history of either drugs or prostitution. Family members of the women have also said that many knew at least some of the other victims.

Three women who fit similar profiles remain missing.

A special task force consisting of Edgecombe County sheriff's investigators, Rocky Mount police officers and agents with the State Bureau of Investigation are now trying to determine if the cases are linked.

Teague is not involved in the case but, from the outside, said he sees elements of what he calls an organized serial killer.

"This fellow already knows what he's going to do with the dead body. It's like Step 1, 2, 3, 4, and Step 4 is the disposal of the body," he said. "I doubt they have much or any guilt about this."

Although Teague draws no specific conclusion on the Edgecombe cases, he does provide some insight into what investigators might be doing. Authorities have said little about the case to keep from jeopardizing their investigation.

Teague said that about 70 percent of serial killers focus on prostitutes, because their lifestyle makes them convenient targets.

"Part of that is (killers') justification that (prostitutes) are less than human or that they're bad people," he said. "It has a whole lot to do with how easy it is to pick up a prostitute and kill someone."

But Teague said he does not think that means prostitutes are the sole target of any killer in these cases. By no means should anyone in the area let down their guard, he said.

"I mean, I don't think he would say, 'Oh gosh, she's not a prostitute I'm not going to kill her,'" Teague said. "He'd kill anybody, I'd think, that is isolated."

The rural location of the case seems particularly unusual to Teague. He said most serial cases happen in large urban areas.

"That is his comfort zone, so he feels very comfortable there," Teague said of the Edgecombe County area in which the bodies were found. "He knows all the nooks and crannies."

Teague said the sudden focus of attention on a case, such as this one, could often have an impact on the killer's behavior.

"Sometimes, they'll totally stop for a while or go to some other rural area they're familiar with," he said. "If we're not able to apprehend him now, he could come back in a couple of years."

View Edgecombe County bodies in a larger map


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  • genie2u Jul 14, 2009

    There are 6 dead, not 5. 3 more that fit profile are also missing. NOT all of them were prostitutes, it says they had history's of drugs OR prostitution.
    But to some of you it makes it sound like it's ok. Especially the poster that doesn't want to give this media coverage because it makes NC look bad - Oh, intelligence was not handed out equally - comments like these prove it.
    If it were my family member I would want as much coverage as possible, hooker or not!

  • Professor Jul 14, 2009

    Ladies should never go out alone, tell someone where you are going and who with. It pays to be on the safe side. But some are hard-headed and never get the second chance. Be safe ladies no matter where you go.

  • SME2 Jul 14, 2009

    The man has killed 5 people in 4 years. He's not on a rampage. And apparently unless you’re living their lifestyle then you’re in no danger.

    Then go hang out in Rocky Mount.

  • Coach K is still GREAT Jul 14, 2009

    This is to awomnsptofview; it was incredibly difficult, but I believe I deciphered enough of your comment to get the point you were trying to make. It seems that you believe that the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office hired this profiler to decide whether or not a serial killer is on the loose. That is not at all the case. WRAL hired this profiler to get the opinion of the profiler. He even stated that he was in no way involved with the case. Did you even read the article?
    July 14, 2009 10:12 a.m.
    Ignore Report abuse


  • awomnsptofview Jul 14, 2009

    btw....ngprofile13...dont hide behind a fake profile plz

  • shoppingqueen Jul 14, 2009

    The man has killed 5 people in 4 years. He's not on a rampage. And apparently unless you’re living their lifestyle then you’re in no danger. Which is probably the reason why this story is not getting national coverage., and I am sorry do really want NC on the National News with linked to 3 serial killers in 2 weeks? Hey what a coincidence they have each killed 5 people!

  • imyourhuckleberryIII Jul 14, 2009

    Death- I would agree with that, I was thinking the same thing when reading the story. Seems very low-key and definitely not getting coverage to alert people that a person capable of killing, who has killed five women that they are aware of, is roaming around. Guess it takes someone other than a prostitute to constitute national coverage?

  • tarheelalum Jul 14, 2009

    Well...he certainly thinks it's a male

  • vote4changeASAP Jul 14, 2009

    Three murder victims, same race and sex, dumped in close proximity should have been enough to question the work of a serial killer.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Jul 14, 2009

    Throughout history, when serial killers have targeted women of this profession, it doesn't get the press coverage or attention it could have. If the serial killer had been randomly selecting women who were not of this profession, it would have already been one of the Top Stories on CNN, FOX News, MSNBC, etc. But with all of the women involved in drugs or the profession, it will just be a snippet.