|“||My favorite thing is, you know, when somebody is walking away, you know, it gives me, you know, a couple of extra seconds to aim. I don't have to worry about them looking I get too paranoid of somebody walking toward me and while I'm trying to aim they're frickin' gonna see me, or not...not so much see me but see the gun stickin' out wrong or somethin' and be able to give a description.||”|
Dale Shawn Hausner and Samuel John Dieteman were a killing team in Phoenix, Arizona known as "The Serial Shooter" responsible for eight murders and also several cases of animal cruelty and two counts of arson. Their murders coincided with those of another local serial killer, the Baseline Killer.
Not much information about Hausner and Dieteman's personal lives prior to the shootings is currently publicly known. What is known about Hausner was that worked as a custodian at the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix at the time of his arrest and also as a boxing photographer. In 1994, he and his wife, Karen Ledford, lost two sons when they drowned in a creek during a car accident, leading to him becoming severely depressed. They eventually separated. Hausner began joy-riding and drinking with his brother, Jeff, and, during early 2006, was introduced to Dieteman by him at a bar in nearby Glendale. By that time, Hausner had already committed a number of shootings and murders on his own. Jeff had also been present during some shootings. The child of a broken home, Dieteman was the father of two girls. In 2001, his wife left him and he, his family claimed, became a drug addict. After losing his apartment, he briefly lived with his mother and stepfather, but was thrown out because of his drinking. Hausner let him move into his apartment and they began a small money-making operation at Hausner's workplace. Dieteman would shoplift alcohol and CDs, which Hausner then sold to coworkers. In addition, the Hausner brothers and Dieteman would set fires to trash piles and palm trees, as well as beat transients.On May 2, Dieteman joined Hausner on his series of shootings, killing 20-year-old Claudia Gutierrez-Cruz in nearby Scottsdale. On June 8, they also set two Wal-Mart stores on fire. The duo continued the random shootings until the end of July, when Dieteman made the mistake of bragging about them to a drinking buddy, Ron Horton, who reported him to the Phoenix Police Department. They began trailing the men on the streets and wiretapping their phone-calls. They were both arrested on August 3, 2006, and tried, with damning evidence offered to back up the prosecution. Hausner ultimately received six death sentences, as well as many more years in prison for other crimes related to the shootings. Dieteman was sentenced to life in prison without parole. Jeff Hausner was also indicted and was in 2009 sentenced to a total of 25 years in prison for two unspecified stabbings that were committed during his time with Hausner and Dieteman. On June 19, 2013, Hausner was found unresponsive in his prison cell, and later taken to a hospital where he died. His death was later determined to be a suicide caused by an overdose of antidepressants that he hoarded for over two months from an inmate who was distributing them.
Hausner and Dieteman's victims were all random pedestrians. They would cruise around in their car at night until they found a target, whom they would shoot and kill with either a .22 rifle or a .410-gauge (small-gauge) shotgun in a drive-by shooting, although in the case of Timothy Davenport, they stabbed him with a knife after Hausner distracted him. A majority of the victims were attacked in Phoenix, although some were also shot in surrounding cities.
- Hausner and Dieteman share slight similarities to spree killer Derrick Bird, a 52-year-old British taxi driver who went on a killing spree across eight towns in Cumbria, a non-metropolitan county located in England. Twelve people, six of whom were connected to him in some way, were killed and eleven others wounded by drive-by shootings, in which a .22 rifle and a shotgun were used.
On Criminal Minds
Although Hausner and Dieteman have not been mentioned by name on Criminal Minds yet, Reid names the Phoenix, Arizona, serial killings as an example of when two different independent serial killers have been active in the same geographical area in The Last Word. They also appear to have provided some inspiration for The Hollow Man, one of the independent serial killers featured in the episode; all three killed their victims in drive-by shootings and committed their murders simultaneously to that of other serial killers.
Hausner and Dieteman were mentioned again, this time by name, in the episode In the Dark. Like the above reference, they were mentioned alongside Mark Goudeau as an example of when two independent serial killers have been active in the same area at the same time.
- Wikipedia's article about the shooters
- TruTV Crime Library articles about the shooters
- Radford University's summary of Hausner's life
- Google Map listing of all of the victims
- PoliceOne article about the two Phoenix serial killer cases
- Transcripts of wiretaps of Hausner and Dieteman conversing
- Huffington Post online article
- AZ Central online articles:
- Reuters online article of Hausner's death
- NBC News online article of details regarding Hausner's death
- Phoenix New Times online article of the sentencing of Dieteman and the Hausner brothers