After arresting a man for the murder of his mother and stepfather, Arizona police say they soon realized they had a serial killer on their hands. NBC News reports 35-year-old Cleophus Cooksey Jr. was arrested Dec. 17 after allegedly fatally shooting his mother and stepfather in Phoenix. Police say they linked Cooksey to seven other murders within days using ballistic evidence. Police say Cooksey's killing spree started with the murder of two men in a parked car Nov. 27 and included over the following weeks in an around Phoenix an acquaintance he stole a gun from, the brother of an ex-girlfriend, someone he met for a drug deal, and a woman he kidnapped and sexually assaulted. It ended with the deaths of his mother and stepfather.
Sgt. Jon Howard says there is no known motive for the killings at this point, Reuters reports. According to the Arizona Republic, police note Cooksey appeared to get more brazen as time went on. Police say after one murder he posed as the victim's cousin to direct police to the body. After another, he allegedly posted a photo to Facebook showing him wearing the victim's necklace. Police say it's possible Cooksey—who was sentenced to 16 years in prison for manslaughter following a 2011 armed robbery—is responsible for further murders. This is the second time this year Phoenix police have arrested an alleged serial killer. Last May, police linked Aaron Saucedo to nine fatal shootings from 2016. (Read more serial killer stories.)