'John Doe Duffel Bag' Busted in NYC Serial Killings

Salvatore Perrone sells clothes to shopkeepers

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 22, 2012 5:44 AM CST

(Newser) – New York City police have arrested the man dubbed "John Doe Duffel Bag" in the wake of a string of Brooklyn shop murders. Salvatore Perrone, 64, sells clothes to shopkeepers out of his eponymous bag—which police say contained the rifle used in the crimes (modified to feature a flashlight using duct tape and pink rubber bands), as well as a bloody knife. Shell casings found at each of the three crime scenes came from the rifle, which had Perrone's fingerprints on it, says police commissioner Ray Kelly. "By arresting him, we have saved lives," Kelly says.

"We know that he went to other locations and asked questions that indicated ... that he very well planned to come back," says Kelly. Perrone willingly visited a Brooklyn police station to answer questions yesterday; afterward, he was led out by police, the New York Post reports. Video may show Perrone, who has previous arrests for burglary, stalking, and harassment, near two of the crime scenes. Even if he's convicted of just one of the murders, he'll spend the rest of his life in jail, says a prosecutor. Police had him "wrapped up pretty tightly" in the case even before the questioning, an insider says. Still, following the Etan Patz investigation, authorities are acting slowly and carefully, hoping to ensure a solid case.

In this photo provided by the New York City Police Department, a Ruger 10-22 carbine, allegedly found by police in the possession Salvatore Perrone, is shown on a table in New York.
In this photo provided by the New York City Police Department, a Ruger 10-22 carbine, allegedly found by police in the possession Salvatore Perrone, is shown on a table in New York.   (AP Photo/New York City Police Department)
In this 2001 photo provided by the Franconia Township Police Department in Telford, Pa, Salvatore Perrone is shown.
In this 2001 photo provided by the Franconia Township Police Department in Telford, Pa, Salvatore Perrone is shown.   (AP Photo/Franconia Township Police Department)
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