The Baseline Killer
New Suspect & Conviction
Police had been questioning Goudeau family friend Terry Wayne Smith about the Baseline crimes ever since the lunch truck murder. Then, in 2006, a Home Depot customer reported that a man, allegedly Smith, seemed to be following her. When Officer Rusty Stuart ran a background check on Smith, he found that he had a long history of violent crime in both California and Arizona. He'd been convicted of aggravated assault and armed robbery, and he'd been a suspect in two homicide cases.
Smith had been released from a Tucson prison just months before the Baseline Killer attacks started. And, Officer Stuart heard, Smith had been chattering about stalking and murdering women. Police also discovered that Smith, like the Serial Shooters, seemed to be saving newspaper clippings of violent crimes.
A few days after Goudeau was arrested, police arrested Smith. He'd allegedly held his family at gunpoint overnight. Stuart says that when he talked to Smith's mother, she asked whether he suspected her son was the Baseline Killer, and that she told him Smith had been bragging about how many murders he'd committed.
Stuart ultimately compiled a166-page report detailing circumstantial evidence supporting the possibility that Smith may have been involved in the Baseline murders. Goudeau's supporters suggest there may have been a cover-up and rush to convict Goudeau, but police spokesmen say that Smith had been properly investigated and cleared -- and that he had even been in jail during one of the Baseline crimes.
In April 2009, police delivered Stuart's report to Goudeau's defense. In June, 2011 Mark Goudeau came to trial on 72 charges, nine of them murder. On October 31, a Maricopa County Superior Court jury convicted him on 67 felony counts, including the nine murders, attempted murder, sexual assault, child molestation, and kidnapping. They found him not guilty on one count of armed robbery, two counts of attempted armed robbery and one count of kidnapping. The jury was hung on one count of sexual abuse. As the jury foreman read one guilty verdict after another, Goudeau remained stoic, but later accused the court of corruption and told Judge Warren Granville that he does not intend to be present for the sentencing phase of his trial. Although a host of new convictions may not mean much to a man already serving 438 years, Goudeau now faces the death penalty.