Virginia authorities are citing new results from ballistics testing as a possible link between the February murder of a music teacher and two other shooting deaths, suggesting that a serial killer may be prowling the D.C. suburb of Alexandria, VA.
Information released today on the forensic evidence in all three cases revealed that the bullets recovered from all of the victims were similar and shared the same characteristics. Police stopped short of stating with certainty that the small-caliber bullets were fired from the same gun.
The latest Virginia victim, Ruthanne Lodato, 59, was shot and killed in February after answering her door at approximately 11:30 a.m. The married piano teacher and mother of three was well-known in her neighborhood. Ronald Kirby, the 69-year-old director of transportation planning at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Government, was shot and killed in his own home in November. The first death came ten years ago when the wife of the city sheriff at that time, Nancy Dunning, was also shot and murdered in her own home.
Besides the new ballistics evidence, the murders are similar in that the victims were all killed during the daytime with no sign of forced entry, were active in their communities, and lived within a two mile radius of each other at the time of their deaths. The neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia, in which all three murders occurred, is described as a safe area in which residents feel no threat while walking down its streets.
Virginia law enforcement has received over 500 tips in the cases as well as help from the FBI. A sketch of a possible suspect or person of interest has been released. The drawing depicts a balding white man with a beard. To date, there have been no arrests in the murders.
By Jennifer Pfalz