PHOENIX — A man suspected of killing six people, including a noted psychiatrist who advised prosecutors investigating high-profile murders, killed himself on Monday, June 4, as police closed in on the Phoenix-area hotel where he was staying, police said.
Investigators had been searching for the suspect, identified as Dwight Jones, 56, since Steven Pitt, a 59-year-old psychiatrist who consulted on serial killings and the 1996 murder of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey, was found dead outside his office on Thursday, the first of a string of killings that left the Phoenix area on edge.
Jones fatally shot himself in a hotel room as tactical units closed in to arrest him, police said on Monday. Police originally said the suspect killed four people but on Monday said there were two additional victims.
DNA found on shell casings at the murder scenes and ballistic evidence linked the crimes and led police to Jones, Scottsdale Police Assistant Chief Rich Slavin told a news conference.
“We had a positive hit on Mr. Jones that connects him to all the scenes,” he said.
Police believe he may have been seeking revenge from a 2009 divorce case.
In a statement, ex-wife Connie Jones said her former husband was an emotionally disturbed person.
“Personally, I have feared for my safety for the past nine years. I cannot express the emotions I feel for the innocent families touched by this senseless violence,” she said.
The other named victims were paralegals Veleria Sharp, 48, and Laura Anderson, 49, and Marshall Levine, a 72-year-old counselor and psychologist, police said.
The bodies of a man and woman found on Monday and yet to be named, were also victims of the suspect, police said.
Pitt was discovered dead outside his office on Thursday, police said, noting that witnesses said they heard a loud argument followed by several gunshots.
Pitt had been a consultant in several high-profile cases, including the 2005-2006 Baseline Killer murders that claimed the lives of nine people. He also served as a consultant to prosecutors in the grand jury probe into the death of 6-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, who was found bludgeoned and strangled in her parents’ Boulder, Colorado home. No charges were ever filed in that case.
The two paralegals were shot and killed in their legal office in downtown Scottsdale on Friday, police said. One woman was found after she had walked to a nearby intersection to seek help and later died.
By David Schwartz