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Cops: Teacher's Shooter May Be Serial Killer

Possible victims include transportation official, sheriff's wife
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2014 12:14 PM CST
Cops: Teacher's Shooter May Be Serial Killer
This image provided by the Alexandria, Va., Police Department shows a composite image of a suspect who shot two women, killing one, on Feb. 6, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alexandria Virginia Police Department)

(Newser) – Ballistic testing has bolstered the theory that the mysterious man who shot and killed Virginia music teacher Ruthanne Lodato might be a serial killer, Alexandria police announced at a press conference yesterday. Lodato's murder was similar to the murders of Ronald Kirby, who was killed in November, and real estate agent Nancy Dunning, fatally shot back in 2003. All three were killed at home in broad daylight with no sign of forced entry, and all the killings occurred within two miles of each other, ABC News reports.

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Microscope examinations revealed the bullets in each case to be very similar to one another, though they couldn't conclusively be tied to the same gun. The killings' similarities "required the police department to consider the possibility that all the cases are linked," police chief Earl Cook says. Dunning's inclusion is a surprise. Police originally suspected her husband, then-sheriff Jim Dunning, in the killing, WUSA 9 reports. He has since died, but two of his family members were at the press conference, and angrily asked Cook if he regretted focusing on him. "We don't eliminate anyone as a suspect until there's an arrest," Cook replied. (Read more Ruthanne Lodato stories.)

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