A Missouri man has been arrested on suspicion of being the serial killer who stalked and murdered five middle-aged men in Kansas City.
Fredrick Demond Scott, 22, is believed to have shot dead the five men – three in the back of the head – between August 19, 2016, and August 13 this year, mostly on or near hiking and biking trails in the area.
But he became over-confident and was captured after claiming his fifth and final victim in broad daylight on a city street then getting on a bus, police told The Kansas City Star.
When being questioned Scott allegedly boasted of his stealthiness, saying of the victims: ‘They didn’t see it coming.’
Serial killer? Fredrick Demond Scott, 22, is believed to have murdered five men between August 19, 2016 and August 13 of this year near Indian Creek trail in Kansas City, Missouri
Victims: Steven Gibbons (left) is the fifth and final victim, and was shot in the head in broad daylight. DNA linked Scott to his murder and that of first victim John Palmer (right), cops said
Shot: David Lenox (left), 67, was shot in February. Mike Darby (right), 61, was shot in May. Cops say Scott used different types of amm and usually killed in one shot to the back of the head
So far Scott has been charged with two of the slayings, which saw five white men – all aged between 54 and 67 – shot dead.
Four of them were shot in the head, police said; three of them in the back of the head. Most were killed near trails in quieter areas of Kansas City.
All five were killed with varying types of ammunition, most in just one shot.
At noon on August 13, the last victim, 57-year-old Steven Gibbons, got off a bus in Kansas City, unaware that Scott, who had been on the bus with him, was close behind, police claim.
Despite the fact that it was broad daylight, cops say, Scott then shot him in the back of the head before turning around and getting on another bus.
Gibbons, whose body was found in the 1100 block of East 67th Street, survived on life support for over a day before succumbing to his wounds.
This was a break in Scott’s usual pattern of secluded killings – and led to his capture after video footage of the men was taken from the bus, cops said.
Deaths: Many of the victims were found close to the Indian Creek Trail and its associated trail, leading to the deaths being dubbed the ‘Indian Creek Murders’. The slain men were John Palmer (1), David Lenox (2), Timothy S Rice (3), Mike Darby (4) and Steven Gibbons (5)
Angry: Scott (left) said he was angry about his brother’s death in a robbery in 2015. The man convicted of that killing, Jimmie Verge (right), was sentenced to 45 years in prison on Friday
Detectives pulled DNA off an iced tea bottle and cigarette he was seen dropping on CCTV near Gibbons’ death, and matched them to Scott, they claim.
They say Scott had been mowing lawns to make money, and working at a Burger King close to the site of three of the murder scenes.
When questioned, Scott admitted that he used a 9mm handgun recovered by police to kill Gibbons, cops said. He allegedly said it went off accidentally when he took it out of his pocket.
But he also claimed that he used the Indian Creek trails regularly, visited a friend close to where one of the victims was killed, cops said.
And they claimed he ‘repeatedly’ said he was furious about the death of his own brother, Gerrod H Woods, 23, in 2015.
He was shot dead on December 14 of that year in a robbery, along with another man. On Friday the man convicted in those killings – Jimmie Verge, a 22-year-old black male – was sentenced to 45 years in prison.
Scott has been charged with the death of not just Gibbons, but also John Palmer, 54, the first of the supposed ‘Indian Creek Killer’.
Police are now working to link Scott to the other deaths linked to the killer: David Lenox, 67; Timothy S Rice, 57; Mike Darby, 61.
Police say they need the public’s help to connect all five of the murders.
‘If you have seen the defendant in the area of these homicides, or in the area of south Kansas City, please call us,’ said Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker.
‘If you heard shots in the area of these homicides, we’re asking that you please call us.’
THE OTHER VICTIMS OF THE ‘INDIAN CREEK KILLER’
The DNA trail that caught up with Scott didn’t end with Gibbons.
Police then matched the DNA from his crime scene to that found at the murder scene of John Palmer, 54, whose body was found on August 19, 2016 – making him the first of Scott’s supposed victims.
He was killed on East Bannister Road and Lydia Avenue near the Indian Creek hiking trail – which led to the slayings being dubbed ‘the Indian Creek Murders’.
The next victim linked to Scott was David Lenox, 67, whose body was found just steps from his front door on the 9900 block of Walnut Street on February 27 of this year.
He had been walking one of his dogs when he was killed. It was with him when police arrived. A .380-caliber bullet was recovered from the scene.
On April 4, Timothy S Rice, 57, was found dead in a shelter at Minor Park, near East Red Bridge Road and 110th Street, close to Blue River Trail.
He had been shot multiple times with 9mm ammunition in the head and elsewhere.
After Rice’s death, Scott reported that his 9mm handgun had been stolen, police claim.
And the fourth alleged victim, Mike Darby, 61, the co-owner of Coach’s Bar & Grill, a popular local establishment, was found dead on the Indian Creek trail off 103rd Street.
He had been walking his two dogs when he was shot in the back of the head with a .22-caliber bullet on May 18. They stayed by his body until police arrived.
Scott was charged with the murders on August 18, but his arrest was not announced until Tuesday.