Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Police Consider Possibility of Serial Killer in Detroit

Map of Detroit area with Warren, Mich., and Sterling Heights locators. A dotted line connects the shortest distance between the two.

Map of Detroit area with Warren, Mich., and Sterling Heights locators. A dotted line connects the shortest distance between the two.

Authorities in Detroit announced on December 20, 2012, that they are considering the possibility of a serial killer in their area, after more cubes of human flesh were found in a local sewer, this time in Warren, Mich.

On Thursday, sanitation workers checking on a drained 12-foot length of 9-inch sewer pipe north of 10 Mile Road and two blocks west of Schoenherr found what police are describing as two four-by-four-inch cubes of human flesh with, “skin and fat and little bit of muscle tissue” stuck to a grate, no bones.

Of the two neat little cubes, Warren Police Detective Sgt. Steve Mills said, “they were pretty precisely cut — not hacked.” and “We have no idea who it could be.” Samples will be sent to a lab in Texas for DNA analysis and comparison to another cubed-human-flesh find dating back to August 2012 from the very nearby Sterling Heights area of Detroit. At the time those pieces were described as “maybe a dozen softball-sized pieces of a body” that were tattooed. Now authorities are saying that the new pieces are “almost exact matches” to the ten pieces found in August. Those cubes were found to belong to a large or obese white woman, who has not been identified, despite police releasing images of the tattoos to the public.

Investigators have confirmed that the most recent find is fresh, and has not been sitting in the sewage lines since august. Police say that the precision of the cuts indicates that the body was frozen before being butchered. If the remains are from the same person, police would seem to have a murder on their hands. If the pieces are from a different person, it could indicate the activity of a serial killer trying to cover his tracks.

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