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FBI hunts for suspected serial killer who may travel by rail

A manhunt is under way for Resendez-Ramirez, bottom, who is described by the FBI as 'very dangerous'
CNN's Pierre Thomas reports on the hunt for the suspect in the railroad killings.
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As many as 20 slayings linked to suspect, sources say

June 11, 1999
Web posted at: 10:07 p.m. EDT (0207 GMT)

From Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- More than 1,200 law enforcement officers are engaged in a massive manhunt for a suspected serial killer implicated in six murders and linked to 14 other slayings across the country.

All of the victims were beaten or stabbed to death, and most died in locations near railroad tracks. Five were killed in the Houston area during the last six months.

The FBI has identified the suspect as Rafael Resendez-Ramirez, thought to be a Mexican national. He is described as an "extremely, very dangerous individual" by Stephen Wiley of the FBI's violent crime unit.

"There is an indication that (he) may be traveling by train," Wiley said. "A number of the victims in this investigation live very close to train tracks."

Resendez-Ramirez has been implicated in six killings in Houston and Lexington, Kentucky, beginning in 1997. Sources told CNN that there are bizarre similarities in those murders, and, in some cases, female victims were sexually assaulted after they were killed.

In addition, sources told CNN that Resendez-Ramirez is suspected in 14 other killings, including slayings in Miami, Detroit and Phoenix.

The five recent slayings in Houston that have been linked to the suspect include the killings of two women, aged 26 and 73, who were found in their homes last week. The FBI also believes that the beating deaths of a minister and his wife in the bedroom of their home on April 30 and the earlier murder of a female Rice University doctor may be part of the spree.

The doctor, who lived just blocks from a rail line, suffered more than 19 blows to the head. The minister and his wife were beaten to death with a 12-pound sledgehammer, sources told CNN.

Police are focusing their search on trains and rail yards in the southwestern United States.

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