http://abcnews.go.com/wire/US/ap20021015_1339.html FAIRFAX, Va. Oct. 15, 2002 - An FBI analyst who studied terror threats is the latest victim of the Washington-area sniper, and investigators said Tuesday they were confident that detailed witness accounts from the scene will lead them to the person who has now killed nine people. A senior law enforcement source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said there were no indications the sniper targeted Linda Franklin because of her job. Sources said she worked for the FBI's National Infrastructure Protection Center which assesses threats against major structures and cyber networks. Franklin, 47, of Arlington was shot in the head Monday night as she and her husband loaded packages into their car outside a Home Depot at the Seven Corners Shopping Center. Fairfax County Police Chief Tom Manger suggested that witnesses gave investigators more details than on any of the other shootings. For the first time, witnesses were able to give information about license plates on vehicles seen leaving the scene, he said. "There was some additional information that we were able to get from last night's case, and I am confident that that information is going to lead us to an arrest in the case," Manger said at a morning briefing. Manger declined to discuss which state the license plates were from or answer questions about whether police had a description of the shooter. He said only that several people contacted police after the shooting and investigators were still interviewing them. "We have been receiving quite a bit of information from witnesses," Manger said. "Information is always the key in solving cases like this." Police closed highways around Falls Church, about 10 miles west of the nation's capital, after the shooting and Manger said police were on the lookout for a light-colored Chevrolet Astro van with a burned-out left rear tail light and a chrome ladder on its roof. The highways were reopened in time for morning rush hour and no arrests were reported. "There are a fair number of ways to leave the area," Manger said. "We made a number of traffic stops. I am unaware of any pursuits." Franklin was felled by a single shot to the head about 9:15 p.m. as she stood in the parking lot of the blocks-long shopping center. All the other deaths in the sniper spree were also caused by one shot. Outside the Home Depot on Tuesday, a line of officers on their hands and knees scoured the covered parking deck for evidence, and a tow truck hauled away the victim's car a small red convertible with a black cloth top. The Washington Post, quoting an FBI chaplain at Franklin's home, reported on its Web site that Franklin and her husband were planning to move Friday to another home in the area and were at Home Depot to buy supplies. The center where Franklin worked, established in 1998, is the only FBI organization scheduled to transfer to the Department of Homeland Security under the Bush administration's proposal. The shooting spree that has terrorized residents in the Washington area began Oct. 2 in Montgomery County, Md. With Monday's shooting, the toll has grown to nine people killed and two seriously wounded in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. "Ballistic evidence has conclusively linked this case to the other murders in the area," Manger said. Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose, who is leading the task force investing the shootings, was on the scene of the latest shooting. Monday's killing happened near one of northern Virginia's busiest intersections, where major arteries come together to form seven corners. Virginia State Police said the van was last seen traveling east on Route 50 from Falls Church. Interstates 66 and 495 are nearby. Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI profiler who lives in Fredericksburg, Va., said the location sets the slaying apart from the others. "This is not bold, this is brazen," he said. "It's a much more highly congested area, even under the cover of darkness." While giving few details of the manhunt, investigators have logged some consistencies: the killer favors suburban gas stations; takes down each victim with a single bullet; doesn't kill on weekends; and, judging from a fortunetelling tarot card left at one of the shootings, appears to enjoy taunting police. The card read: "Dear Policeman, I am God." Many schools in the region remained under lockdown Tuesday, meaning outdoor recess and physical education classes were canceled and students were kept indoors all day. - ISN is currently hosted by Attrition.org To unsubscribe email majordomoat_private with 'unsubscribe isn' in the BODY of the mail.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Tue Oct 15 2002 - 13:16:58 PDT