A man who, along with a partner, terrorized Phoenix with a string of shootings in 2005 and 2006 has been found dead in his prison cell. Dale Hausner and Samuel John Dieteman are believed to have killed eight people and wounded another 20.
Hausner and Dieteman’s crimes were especially terrifying to the community because of their random nature. The two would shoot out of the window of their vehicles at animals, pedestrians, joggers and bikers who were out on their own. At first, police thought they were hunting one killer, but eventually their investigation led them to suspect that the shootings were a team effort.
Dale Hausner, who was found dead of undisclosed causes yesterday at age 40, has been sentenced to death six times over for his crimes. Though he never confessed, he asked for the death penalty. Before trial, he attempted suicide in jail. After his sentencing, he wanted to waive his appeals and wrote a letter to The Arizona Republic expressing concern that he’d never be executed.
Twelve years before his crime spree began, Hausner suffered a tragedy that made him severely depressed. The two sons he fathered with wife Karen Ledford perished in a car accident. The loss of their children ended his and Ledford’s marriage. By the time he met Dieteman in 2006, Hausner had already started shooting and committed his first murder. Dieteman was a downtrodden small-time criminal who would give stolen goods to Hausner to sell.
Dieteman and Hausner’s spree came to an end after Dieteman bragged about it to a drinking buddy. The man went to police, who followed the duo and recorded their phone calls, during which they discussed their crimes at length.
Dieteman, 37, is serving life without parole.