Baseline Killer UPDATE: Bullet Casings in Tempe Murder of Georgia Thompson Same as in Other Serial Killings
|Mark Goudeau, the accused Baseline Killer-and more.|
Things hardly get resolved in a tidy manner, just in time for a pithy comment by the protagonist, usually the dogged prosecutor.
The trial of accused serial killer Mark Goudeau is just getting going in downtown Phoenix, and believe us, this one is going to be a long, often tedious haul.
Goudeau is charged with killing nine people and committing a bunch of other serious crimes during a spree that terrorized Phoenix for almost a year until his September 2006 arrest.
The 46-year-old already is serving a life sentence for sexually assaulting two Phoenix sisters (he lost an appeal). This time, Goudeau faces the death penalty if he is convicted in Judge Warren Granville's courtroom -- even on just one of the murders for which he stands accused.
Prosecutors currently are presenting evidence concerning the September 2005 Tempe murder of 19-year-old Georgia Thompson, who was shot in the head in the parking lot of her apartment complex.
Another resident of the complex told jurors yesterday that she overheard a woman in the lot telling someone to leave her alone, followed by a loud bang that sounded to her like a shot or a backfire from a vehicle.
But that wasn't the most important testimony presented.
A Phoenix crime-lab analyst told the jurors that a bullet casing found near Thompson's body matched those found at many of the other crime scenes allegedly linked to Goudeau -- an exact match.
Those casings are key circumstantial evidence in this case, as police investigators never did find the gun used in each of the nine murders attributed to Goudeau.
We know the Georgia Thompson case very well, having written a story about a Kentucky man named James Mullins who actually confessed at one point to killing the young woman.
The story was called, "I Dunnit," and here it is.
Prosecutors showed the jurors several haunting photographs of Thompson's body taken shortly after she was shot. She died just outside her car, wearing jeans and an orange T-shirt with the words BETTER LUCK NEXT TIME silk-screeed onto the front.
The blood still was oozing out of her head when Tempe police got there. Thankfully under the circumstances, she had died instantly.
Her purse and cell phone never were recovered, but authorities later identified that someone used the cell from the Phoenix neighborhood where Goudeau lived, close to 32nd Street and Thomas,
The Thompson case is but one piece of an enormous case that Maricopa County prosecutors are starting to put together for the jury.
No case is perfect, far from it, but Goudeau's legal crew is going to have a hell of a time keeping their guy off death row.