Las Vegas police say they used a mannequin to catch the person suspected of killing two sleeping homeless men at the same intersection over the past two months.
The mannequin was intentionally placed at the location as a decoy by police who feared there might be a “thrill” killer afoot, and it led to the arrest of a man on a weapons charge, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
The body of Daniel Aldape, 46, was found on Jan. 4 at an intersection some distance from the Las Vegas Strip. The victim been struck in the head at least four times.
A month later, David Dunn, 60, was found dead of head trauma at the same intersection. Police decided to try to lure the killer back by setting up a blanket-covered mannequin “to resemble a human male sleeping in a natural position,” officials said. And then they watched on surveillance video as Shane Schindler approached.
Police say that at 3 a.m. on Feb. 23, the 30-year-old surveyed the scene for traffic, covered his head with his hoodie, and removed a 4-pound hammer from a Little Caesar’s Pizza bag.
Then Schindler allegedly struck, employing both hands to “generate maximum force … with the intent to kill,” per a police report cited by the Las Vegas Sun.
Schindler confessed to striking the mannequin, but says he was aware from the outset it was not a human; the police report counters that the scene was “staged in a manner which would have made it impossible” for Schindler to make that determination.
Police are questioning Schindler about the killings. For now, he faces one count of carrying a concealed weapon, which his public defender told the Guardian won’t hold water. “Carrying a hammer in a bag is not carrying a concealed weapon … or all the construction workers and carpenters in this town would be arrested tomorrow,” Daren Richards told the publication.
This article originally appeared on Newser: To Catch Killer, Vegas Cops Set Up a Sleeping Mannequin
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