Serial killer suspected after 6 women found dead within last few months

The deaths of six women in a 100-mile radius of Portland, Oregon, between February and May have caused a wave of fear and speculation of a possible serial killer.

The Portland police have released a statement, however, that they are not convinced the deaths of Ashley Real, Bridget Leann Webster, Kristin Smith, Joanna Speaks, Charity Lynn Perry, and an unidentified woman are linked.

Mark Piepmeier, a prosecutor who has dealt with four different serial killers in his career, believes otherwise; he believes a serial killer may indeed be behind these deaths. Piepmeier has suggested that an in-depth look at the victims’ lives, habits, and relationships could assist investigators in the identification of an offender.

Piepmeier has noted that the victims seem to share some similarities and it is possible the killer is targeting a certain type of victim.

Five different police agencies are looking into the deaths and, so far, only Speaks’ death has been confirmed to be a homicide. Smith’s body was discovered by Portland police on February 19 in a wooded area, but the cause and manner of her death remain undetermined.

Webster’s body was found by Polk County sheriffs deputies in March and her death has been deemed suspicious. Speaks was found dead on April 8 in Ridgefield, Washington, by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Perry’s body and the body of an unidentified Native American woman were discovered on April 24 in a culvert by Multnomah County deputies. Real’s body was found on May 7 by Clackamas County deputies after a fisherman called 911 to report human remains in a heavily wooded area; her death has been labeled suspicious but has yet to be determined to be a homicide.

Piepmeier has suggested that investigators examine the time and date of when the women went missing; he believes that this could lead to the possible perpetrator. Piepmeier has also suggested that any available DNA evidence, cell phone data, and surveillance cameras could be of assistance in the investigation. The Portland police have stated that their investigators have consulted with detectives from other agencies in order to compare details, which is part of standard procedure in any case. If any “articulable danger” is discovered, the public will be notified, per the Portland police statement.