Police Commissioner Charles H. Ramsey's law enforcement career stretches back decades. So I asked him earlier tonight if he had ever run across a case involving a serial killer like the Kensington Strangler before.
"I don't remember the specifics, but we had them in Chicago" where his career started, he said.
"It's not all that uncommon. A lot of times it involves prostitutes ... how many people are willing to get in a stranger's car? How many are willing to walk with a stranger to a remote area?"
Police have never quite described the strangler's three victims -- Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini and Casey Mahoney -- as prostitutes. All three had dealt with drug problems, and were found partially nude and strangled in desolate Kensington lots known to attract prostitutes and drug addicts.
Ramsey noted that he was the chief of police in Washington, D.C., in 2002 when the so-called Beltway Snipers, John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, unleashed a wave of panic on the area when they fatally shot 10 people and wounded three others during a three-week killing spree.
The snipers and the strangler have little in common, he said, "other than the fact you don't know who the hell's responsible."