Flier on serial killer blamed for gun threat

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 3, 2002

08/30/02]A utility worker was reported held at gunpoint by a passer-by in Claiborne County, perhaps based on a flier incorrectly believed related to the search for a Baton Rouge serial killer, Sheriff Frank Davis said Thursday.

“He was walking a water line in the Hermanville area,” Davis said of the worker who complained of being accosted and was not identified.

“A guy came along in a car, pulled a gun on him and questioned him,” Davis said. “He said he looked like one of the people he had seen in the pictures (on the fliers). A couple of young ladies came along and said he did not look like the pictures and the man let him go on his way.”

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The worker who reported being threatened with the gun believed his threatener had misread a flier posted in Claiborne County, believing the flier to be related to the murders or abductions of three Baton Rouge women between Sept. 24 and July 12, Davis said. All the fliers Davis said he had seen posted in Claiborne County in fact claimed to be information on a kidnapping suspect from Wilkinson County, the sheriff said.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that information from a profile authorities are constructing of the man police believe is responsible for the Baton Rouge killings was expected to be released to the public this week. A spokesman for the Baton Rouge Police Department said Thursday afternoon, however, that no such information had been released.

“We do not have a suspect,” Baton Rouge police spokesman Cpl. Mary Ann Godawa said. “We do not have a composite.”

Davis said that whoever may have threatened the worker with a gun was not only potentially endangering his own life but also exposing himself to the risk of a lawsuit or criminal charges.

“I’d rather them call the office and let us come and check it out,” Davis said. “We welcome any help from any citizen to solve any crime, but we want them to do it in the right way in a way that’s going to be safe for them and safe for the other individuals involved.”

Davis said his office had received about 50 calls reporting sightings of one or more people believed based on flier information to be potential criminal suspects, possibly in the serial-killing case. None of the reports had turned out to be true, he said.