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Suspected Baseline Killer 1/2

Mark Goudeau is currently awaiting trial for the Baseline Killings.
Background information
Killings
Number of victims: 9
Span of killings: 2005–2006
Country: USA
State(s): Phoenix, Arizona
Date apprehended: 9-04-2006

The Baseline Killer (or Baseline Rapist) was one of the two simultaneously occurring serial killer cases (the other being the "Serial Shooter") which terrorized the Phoenix metro area, between August 2005 and June 2006.

The crimes were referred to as the Baseline Killer since the first crimes began around Baseline Road in South Phoenix, Arizona. The crimes later spread north, primarily in the North Central area of Phoenix.

The Baseline Killer is believed to have committed nine counts of first degree murder (8 women, 1 man), in addition to 15 sexual assaults on women and young girls, 11 counts of kidnapping, plus a number of armed robberies.[1]

Although not initially linked, the crimes were distinguished by having no apparent motive, and the murders were particularly brutal, with the killer often shooting the victims in the head. The criminal was often described wearing various disguises such as a Halloween mask as well as attempting to impersonate a homeless man or drug addict.

Police say that the shell casings found at each of the crime scenes all come from the same gun.[2]

Phoenix police spent thousands of hours patrolling and following up on hundreds of tips during the summer of 2006. As residents of Phoenix became increasingly alarmed by the random nature of the violent crimes, community meetings were called by the police to distribute a sketch based on the description given by the surviving victims. Frustration and fear blanketed the city as posters and billboards displayed the sketch of the Baseline Killer, offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. It took the police over a year to finally come up with a viable suspect.

On September 4, 2006, Mark Goudeau was arrested in connection to the sexual assault of two Phoenix sisters, an attack which was tied to the Baseline Killer investigation. The sisters, one of which was visibly pregnant, were assaulted in a Phoenix city park on September 20, 2005. Goudeau was linked to the attack by DNA evidence collected shortly following the time of the crime.

On September 7, 2007, Goudeau was tried and convicted of all 19 charges relating to the attack on the two sisters. He was sentenced on December 14, 2007 to 438 years in prison for the sexual assault charges. Currently he is still awaiting trial for the 74 other criminal charges attributed to the Baseline Killer.

Contents

Timeline [3][4]

  • On August 6, 2005, sexual assault, 9:45 pm, 7202 S. 48th Street, Phoenix. Police say Goudeau forced three teenagers behind a church near Baseline Road, and molested two of the girls.[5]
  • August 14, 2005 combined sexual assault and robbery, 4:10 am, 2425 E. Thomas Rd, Phoenix.
  • September 8, 2005, homicide, 1:00 am, 3730 S. Mill Ave, Tempe.
  • September 15, 2005, sexual assault, 9:40 am, 4512 N. 40th St, Phoenix.
  • September 20, 2005, sexual assault, 10:30 pm, 3100 W. Vineyard Rd, Phoenix. While walking home from a Phoenix city park at night, two sisters (one of whom was clearly pregnant), were approached by Goudeau who was armed with a gun. He sexually assaulted one of the sisters while pushing the gun into the other sister's pregnant belly. He was arrested, one year later, when DNA evidence found on the women matched his profile. This was the breakthrough that led to the arrest in the Baseline Killer investigation.
  • September 28, 2005, robbery, 1425 W. Baseline Rd, Tempe.
  • November 3, 2005, separate robbery at 8:01 pm, 4019 N. 32nd St, Phoenix, then sexual assault at 8:10 pm, 3131 E. Indian School (across street of robbery), Phoenix. A robbery occurred on North 32nd Street. A man with dreadlocks and a fisherman's hat walked into a shop and robbed it at gunpoint for $720. Less than 10 minutes later, he abducted a woman placing items in a parking lot donation receptacle, across the street. He sexually assaulted her in her car and demanded she drive him to the corner because he just committed a robbery. The victim said he wore a Halloween costume and black plastic glasses.
  • On November 7, 2005, three separate robberies, 8:08 pm, 2950 N. 32nd St, Phoenix. A string of robberies occurred starting with four people at gunpoint inside Las Brasas, a Mexican restaurant. He then went next door to a Little Caesar’s Pizza restaurant and robbed three people inside. Immediately proceeding the pizza restaurant, he robbed four people outside on the street. He reportedly stole $463 and fired a round into the air as he fled.
  • On December 12, 2005 at 6:55 pm there was a homicide on 6005 S. 40th Street, Phoenix. Tina Washington, 39, was on her way home from a preschool where she worked. A witness spotted a man with a drawn gun standing over her body behind a fast food restaurant. She had been shot in the head.
  • December 13, 2005, robbery, 4:00 pm, a woman was robbed at 700 E. South Mountain Avenue, Phoenix.
  • On February 20, 2006, homicide, 7:38 am, the bodies of 38-year-old Romelia Vargas and 34-year-old Mirna Palma-Roman were found shot to death inside their snack truck at 91st Avenue and Lower Buckeye Road. Initially, police did not connect this crime to the Baseline Killer and believed that the murders were drug-related. The murders were officially linked by police in July 2006.
  • On March 15, 2006 at 9:00 pm, a double homicide was discovered on 4102 N. 24th Street, Phoenix. Two employees of Yoshi’s restaurant at 24th Street and Indian School Road were on their way home in the same vehicle. Liliana Sanchez-Cabrera, age 20, was found dead in the parking lot of another fast-food restaurant while the body of Chao Chou was discovered about a mile away. Both victims were shot in the head.
  • March 29, 2006, homicide, 12:00 am, 2502 N. 24th St, Phoenix. A body was discovered on North 24th Street. A local businessman noticed streaks of blood on the gravel of a parking lot. The police were called, but a search of the area turned up nothing of real value. A week later, the businessman discovered the badly decomposed body of Kristin Nicole Gibbons as he was investigating a horrible odor in the area. She had been shot in the head.
  • May 1, 2006 at 9:00 pm, 2950 N. 32nd St, Phoenix. A man in a latex Halloween mask abducted a woman in a car and sexually assaulted her at gunpoint. She was taken from outside the same restaurants where the November 7, 2005 crimes occurred.
  • May 5, 2006, Phoenix police went public with a list of 18 crimes that they believed were the work of the Baseline Killer. This number has since risen to 23, as of August 2, 2006.
  • June 29, 2006 at 9:30 pm, a homicide occurred on 2924 E. Thomas Rd, Phoenix. Carmen Miranda, 37, was abducted from a self-serve carwash, located half block from May 1 and November 7 crimes, while she was on her cellular phone. She was found dead from a gunshot to the head behind a barbershop about 100 yards (91 m) away. The attack was captured on closed-circuit television. This is the last crime attributed to the Baseline Killer.

Documents

Phoenix police have released hundreds of pages of documents that detail their investigation into the Baseline Killer. The paperwork obtained by ABC15 News reveals that police have at least 10 names of possible suspects that they have looked into, and have ruled out some of those people. The 20,000 pages of police reports are primarily of other suspects with very little mention of Mark Goudeau. The documents reveal information on nine cases ranging from a double homicide to sexual assaults, robberies and kidnappings. The new information includes police reports and narratives that describe where and who police are looking at in the investigation. They also discuss investigative leads; however, much of the information was redacted.

According to the documents, the Baseline Killer posed as a homeless person in one incident, pushing a shopping cart toward a woman in a parking lot near 32nd Street and Thomas Road. He forced himself into her car and told her to perform oral sex upon him or he would kill her. She fought him off, the records said. In that incident, the man believed to be the Baseline Killer was wearing gloves, a mask and clothing that covered his entire body. The records show police have worked to obtain partial hand prints, DNA and ballistics reports to build their case; but those results were blacked out on the paperwork.

False confession

While being interviewed by police in Kentucky on a burglary case, James Dewayne Mullins claimed responsibility for the murder of Georgia Thompson on September 8, 2005. Mullins told police he shot Thompson as she attempted to rob him outside the Scottsdale strip club where she worked. However, Thompson's body was found almost 10 miles (16 km) away in Tempe at her apartment complex. Police do not believe she was killed elsewhere.

Mullins changed his story when police definitively linked the homicide to the Baseline Killer. Since then, he has told police that he was not in Arizona. Mullins denies any involvement in Thompson's death. On August 3, 2006, murder charges against Mullins were dropped. Authorities stated that Mullins had caused a significant diversion of resources during the hunt for the genuine killer.[6]

Arrest of Goudeau as a suspect

On September 4, 2006, Phoenix police announced an arrest in connection with a sexual assault previously linked to the Baseline Killer while serving a search warrant at 28th Street and Pinchot Avenue.[7]

42-year-old construction worker Mark Goudeau was arrested and charged with attacking two sisters on September 20, 2005 while they were walking home from a Phoenix city park at night. Goudeau was linked to the attack by matching DNA evidence found on the victims. He was tried and convicted on all 19 counts connected to the assault and sentenced to 438 years in prison. Goudeau is still awaiting trial on 74 criminal charges linked to the Baseline Killer investigation.

During the trial, the two sisters gave testimony that Goudeau suddenly approached them with a gun in his hand. They were forced into nearby bushes and told to remove their clothing. The victims said Goudeau sexually assaulted the younger sister as he pointed his gun at the other sister's pregnant abdomen. Prosecutors said Goudeau warned the women not to look at his face during the assault. They also stated he rubbed dirt on one of the women to remove saliva traces, and wore a condom during the assault on one of the sisters.

Maricopa County Attourney Andrew Thomas stated he would seek the death penalty on Goudeau if he is convicted in the murder trial.[5][8]

Goudeau’s wife, Wendy Carr, told The Associated Press that police arrested the wrong man; “My husband is innocent,” Carr reportedly said in a telephone interview. “This is a huge miscarriage of justice. And they have an innocent man in prison. This is all a mistake. He shouldn’t be in prison for something he didn’t do.” Goudeau is described as a loving husband and exceptionally friendly neighbor who took meticulous care of his lawn. Friends and family deny any possibility that Goudeau could be the Baseline Killer, saying he was framed by Phoenix police who were desperate for a suspect.[9][10]

According to Arizona prison officials, Goudeau is an ex-convict who served 13 years of a 21-year sentence for aggravated assault, including beating a woman's head with a barbell, and armed robbery. Goudeau pleaded down to the charge of aggravated assault, but he had also originally been charged with rape and kidnapping. The rape charge was dropped, as there was no physical evidence of rape.

On December 7, 2006, three months after Goudeau was arrested, Phoenix police said they were confident he was responsible for the full series of murders, rapes and robberies that terrorized the city for 13 months. Goudeau is believed to have committed nine murders, one more than originally attributed to the Baseline Killer (the murder of Sophia Nunez on April 10, 2006). Police say ballistics, DNA and circumstantial evidence prove that Goudeau is the Baseline Killer. They are recommending that prosecutors charge Goudeau with 74 crimes, including nine counts of first-degree murder, five counts of sexual assault, three counts of attempted sexual assault, 10 counts of kidnapping, 12 counts of armed robbery, four counts of attempted armed robbery, three counts of sexual abuse, nine counts of sexual conduct with a minor, 13 counts of aggravated assault, and three counts of indecent exposure.[11]

Mishandling of evidence

In April 2009, the Times Publications, a chain of publications in the Phoenix metro area, published a story revealing that the Phoenix Police Department had possessed the key DNA evidence that was eventually used to crack the Baseline Killer case nine months before the arrest, but failed to timely analyze it. [3]

Facts not released to public

DNA evidence was a mixture of three donors in which any number of thousands of men in the geographic area could not be exluded.

DNA profile extracted from evidence did NOT in fact generate a "hit" in the database, though the Mark Goudeau's profile existed in the database.

Mark Goudeau 's name was given in writing to the DNA analyst who then fished his profile from the system and attempted to make a match without database assistance.

Mark Goudeau's DNA was a partial match of 3 out of 13 loci, and the State's DNA "expert" stated in testimony that the DNA could not have come from anyone other than the Mark Goudeau, though the same "expert" stated in another man's trial that based on the DNA match of 9 out of 13 loci, she could neither include nor exclude him as a donor.

This analyst lied on the stand about how she came upon Mark Goudeau's identity (proven in later court records after this trial), grossly exaggerated her numbers of probability (to the point that an unbiased expert stated her calculations were "misleading to the point of malpractice") and used calculations and methods that are not accepted by the scientific community in regard to DNA.

The same State's DNA expert used similar tactics in another case and even the prosecutor saw the negligence and removed her from court proceedings, nearly resulting in a mistrial when the defense appealed to the judge.

The DNA evidence was completely used up by the state and the defense never had an opportunity to test it independantly. DNA was the only evidence in this case, and the state's charges should have been dropped. The state then came back with witness identification from the two victims, who had previously not been able to identify their attacker, allowing the case to proceed in court.

After trial, the jury foreman told a reporter that without the DNA testimony, they would have had to return with a verdict of not guilty.


Victims' ID Attacker The two victims of sexual assault in the trial never identified the Mark Goudeau outside of court.

The victims were shown a lineup in which the Mark Goudeau was included and failed to pick him out.

The victims identified 4 other men in 4 lineups prior to the trial.

The victims saw the Mark Goudeau 's image on TV several times after his arrest for other crimes and never made mention of him being their attacker to anyone, including therapists, boyfriend, family, or each other.

In court, one vicitm was asked if she recognised her attacker as being present in the court room. She said "I think so" and was asked to point him out. She identified the Mark Goudeau 's own attorney as her attacker. This blunder was outweighed by the DNA evidence presented by the state when the jury deliberated.

The victims were offered $1,100 per month for a period of a year or more for their testimony, disguised as money to relocate for safety purposes, in which one victim (the one who pointed out the attorney) accepted.


A More Likely Suspect Of the crimes attributed toThe Baseline Killer that are scheduled to go to trial in 2010, a different man, Terry Wayne Smith, has been found to be in the area of many of these crimes at the time they were committed. Terry Wayne Smith's ties to the areas have been reported by witnesses, police, and addresses of residence.

11 hours after one horrific crime attributed to the The Baseline Killer, Terry Wayne Smith was reported to police by people at a bus stop in a nearby area because he was acting aggressively and talking about how many people he has killed. A police officer responded and documented this encounter.

In the area where 4 other victims were found dead, Terry Wayne Smith was interrogeted by police on 3 occasions for following women around in stores and parking lots.

Terry Wayne Smith served time for an armed robbery that parallels one of the crimes that Mark Goudeau is accused of. Both crimes were armed robberies of people who were alone at a do-it-yourself type carwash. The crimes were not just similar, but almost identical. The only difference is the crime attributed to The Baseline Killer resulted in murder.

Twice within 48 hours of Terry Wayne Smith being released from jail, a murder was committed just blocks from where this man was living. These murders were attributed to The Baseline Killer.

Two days after the arrest of Mark Goudeau,Terry Wayne Smith held his own family hostage and was arrested.

Terry Wayne Smith 's mother hinted to a police officer that she felt her son was the perpetrator of the rapes and murders Mark Goudeau was arrested for and said that on at least two occasions her son had come home with blood on his clothes. She also told police he was sexually deviant (stated he has masterbated in front of the family a few times) and is violent.

A map that marks the location of crimes attributed to The Baseline Killer, and the places where Terry Wayne Smith was proven to be living or questioned by police for seemingly unrelated issues, shows Terry Wayne Smith to be near the scenes of 14 of the crimes in close succession to the times they were commited.

Terry Wayne Smith has been a murder suspect in other cases both here in AZ and in California and has served time for violent crimes and armed robberies.

A report about Terry Wayne Smith and the suspicions that he was a viable suspect was being put together by an officer at the time the Mark Goudeau was arrested. The report was disregarded by the task force that was handling the crimes because they felt they already had the right guy. The officer was told by a superior to file his report in a Microsoft Word format rather than the standard Police Automated Computer Entry System, which was a departure from police protocol. This means his report is not in the official police reports regarding the cases that were attributed to The Baseline Killer. As a Word document, the report wasn't available by a public records request and the defense was not afforded the opportunity to know about Terry Wayne Smith at the time of trial.

Smith is currently incarcerated for unrelated crimes. He is scheduled for release back into our community as soon as 2011.

References

External links








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