Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Baseline Killer

Try, Try Again

Mark Goudeau
Mark Goudeau
After failing to make a break in the Baseline case, police approached the state Department of Public Safety for assistance. Because of similarities in the sisters' story and the plague of Baseline Road sexual assault cases, they included evidence gathered in investigating the sisters' assault. That evidence included the untested second swab.

It sounds like the investigators made a blunder worthy of the Keystone Cops, but police say that the administrative error may actually have been a stroke of luck. If they had kept better track of the swab and analyzed it themselves, their lab, not as sophisticated as the DPS services, might easily have destroyed the sample without establishing its DNA evidence. As it was, their initial error preserved the swab until the DPS was called in to straighten things out.

The DPS successfully analyzed the swab. The DNA matched that of Mark Goudeau, a 42-year-old convicted felon. The sisters had failed to identify Goudeau when they first looked at mugshots, and one of them had even fingered another suspect. Still, authorities soon arrested and charged Goudeau.

Goudeau's shoe
Goudeau's shoe
Defense lawyer Corwin Townsend would find that the DPS's test had used up everything the swab had gathered, leaving the defense unable to run their own tests to verify the results.

On their fourth search of Goudeau's home, police found a victim's ring in one of Goudeau's shoes, and traces of Chou's blood in the shed. The investigation, prosecution and trial proceeded quickly, and Goudeau was found guilty on 19 counts in September 2007. That earned him 438 years in prisonand that's just from the charges for the crimes against the two sisters. He's yet to be tried for the alleged 9 murders or others crimes of which he's been accused.

Victim's ring
Victim's ring
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Andrew Klein noted that Goudeau seemed like two different men: He said he found it hard to believe that the deferential, well-mannered man he saw in court was the vicious thug who committed the crimes with which he is charged.

His defense and supporters still say he didn't do it.

 

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