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A.K.A.: "Peeping Tom Killer"
Classification: Spree killer
Characteristics: Homicidal voyeur
Number of victims: 4
Date of murders: September-October 1987
Date of arrest: October 17, 1987
Date of birth: 1963
Victims profile: Two men and two women
Method of murder: Shooting (.22-caliber gun)
Location: Washington, D.C., USA
Status: Sentenced to a prison term of 63 years to life on June 15, 1989

For seven weeks, between September and October 1987, Washington, D.C. was haunted by the specter of a prowling, voyeuristic gunman who apparently derived sadistic pleasure from attacking women or young couples in their homes. 

Lurking in darkness, the sniper selected his victims by peering through windows, blasting away with a .22-caliber weapon once suitable targets were found. 

The first of Washington's "Peeping Tom" shootings occurred on September 5, 1987, but police withheld warnings until the fifth attack wounded an off-duty policewoman on October 15. 

The eighth attack, on October 17, also resulted in the first fatality, as 35- year-old Watts was killed by a shot fired through her bedroom window. Several hours later, officers arrested Rickey Brogsdale, 26, a few blocks from the murder scene; a .22-caliber gun was found hidden nearby. 

In custody, Brogsdale -- paroled five months earlier on a conviction for carrying an unlicensed pistol -- confessed to all the "Peeping Tom" attacks, along with three more slayings that police had not connected to the series. Helpful to a fault, the suspect even led detectives to the scene of a shooting that had never been reported. Rickey Brogsdale had been in and out of trouble since the time of his parole. 

In June, he had been charged with violation of parole following an arrest for indecent exposure, but authorities refused to send him back to prison, arbitrarily deciding that he posed no threat to the community. A week before his ultimate arrest on murder charges, Brogsdale was accused of molesting a neighbor's ten-year-old daughter and paying the girl five dollars to insure her silence. 

According to Brogsdale's confession, his first murder took place along the Suitland Parkway on September 5, the same day the "Peeping Tom" shootings began. 

The male victim, Myers Jackson, was accused of trying to rape Brogsdale's mother during 1976, in a crime still unsolved by police. On September 6, Brogsdale turned up at the address where his sister resided prior to her beating death in April 1985. 

Inside the apartment, he shot and killed 28-year-old Steven Wilson, also wounding Wilson's girlfriend as they slept. Revenge was once again the motive, Brogsdale blaming Wilson for his sister's unsolved murder. The final victim linked to Brogsdale's murder spree was Angela Shaw, a teenage part-time prostitute, found dead September 20 beside a local bike path. Shaw's attacker had choked her unconscious and raped her before shooting her to death with a .22-caliber weapon. 

An anonymous caller directed police to the body, and someone also left a ghoulish note at the home of a friend. It read: "I raped and killed your friend, Angela Shaw. You can find her on the bike path behind Marbury Plaza." Brogsdale told police that he witnessed the murder but did not participate, a claim that failed to impress detectives under the circumstances. On October 18, he was charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of Steven Wilson and Yvonne Watts. 

In June 1989, convicted on four counts of murder, Brogsdale was sentenced to a prison term of 63 years to life, ending the capital's "Peeping Tom" nightmare.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans



MO: Homicidal voyeur; shot 11 women, killing four.

DISPOSITION: 63 years to life on four counts, 1989.



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