A man shot to death by a West Virginia prostitute ten days ago is now being investigated as a possible nationwide serial killer, who may be involved in an unsolved murder in downstate Illinois.
Neal Falls, 45, is now the target of investigations in Illinois, as well as across the country from West Virginia to Nevada, after he was shot and killed July 18 during a struggle with a prostitute. He is the prime suspect in a string of gruesome, unsolved killings dating back to at least 2003, marked by a scattering of human remains that previously hadn't been connected.
Lindsay Harris, nightclub dancer and some-time escort, went missing in Las Vegas in 2005. The 21-year-old was last seen near a casino parking lot.
Three weeks later, about 1,650 miles away, came the first clue about her disappearance. A pair of legs were found near the highway, just south of Springfield, Ill., off Interstate 55.
"My friend and I were riding four wheelers and we ran into, we stumbled up upon a severed leg," said Casey Becker found legs in 2005. "We weren't sure first what it was but sure enough we were able to confirm it was a leg and we called the police and rode out of there as fast as we could."
DNA would later connect the limbs to Harris but the remainder of her body has never been found and for ten years neither was her killer. Until a woman police call Heather opened her front door earlier this month.
"I knew he was there to kill me," Heather said.
On July 18 in Charleston, West Virginia, Heather was been contacted by Falls, who answered her online escort advertisement.
"He was saying, 'You're going to be quiet. I'm gonna call the orders,'" she said.
Falls carried an array of restraints and a gun. His car had what investigators said was a "kill kit," full of of knives and dismembering tools.
"When he strangled me, he just wouldn't let me get any air and I grabbed my rake and when he laid the gun down to get the rake out of my hands, I shot him. I just grabbed the gun and shot behind me," Heather said.
On his body, police found a list of women's names and phone numbers. They are now looking at the unsolved murders of three women in Las Vegas, where Falls lived for ten years, and cold cases dating back to 2003 in other cities.
"The state police are working with the authorities in West Virginia and the FBI to determine if there is a connection with their case and ours," said John Milhiser, the Sangamon County State's Attorney. "Hopefully there is, and it can put some closure and some answers to the family of Lindsay Harris."
For the past seven months, authorities said Falls criss-crossed the U.S. sometimes working as a security guard. His most recent fixed address was in Oregon, but also lived in Butler, Ind., and Texas.
I-TEAM: Police investigating man killed by prostitute as possible serial killer
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