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Serial killer link to Henderson murder victim investigated

POLICE: Neal Falls killed July 18 in West Virginia by intended victim, lived in Henderson when Lindsay Harris was murdered in 2005

Neal Falls. Photo courtesy of Charleston Police Department

Neal Falls. Photo courtesy of Charleston Police Department

-A man West Virginia police believe was a serial killer was a resident of Henderson between 200 and 2007 and local detectives are investigating his possible involvement in at least one local murder.

Neal Falls, 45, was shot to death with his own firearm July 18 by a woman who was his intended murder victim, according to Charleston, West Virginia police. Neal answered the escort service ad the woman had placed and visited her home. The woman reported that the encounter turned voilent and she managend to gain posession of Falls’ gun, shooting him fatally in self defense.

A ‘kill list’ was found in Fall’s pocket contianing the names of women beleived to be sex workers in the vicinity. Police discovered multiple suspicious items in Falls’ vehicle at the scene, including a knife, machete, a kevlar vest, rubber gloves, plastic bags and bleach.

Items found in Neal Falls vehicle after he was shot and killed May 18. Photo courtesy of the Charleston Police Department

Items found in Neal Falls vehicle after he was shot and killed May 18. Photo courtesy of the Charleston Police Department

Falls was a resident of Ohio prior to relocating to West Virginia and lived in Henderson for seven years beginning in 2000. Police in both areas are in communication with Charlerston Police Department officials and are looking into the possibility Falls was an active serial killer in those communities.

One case Henderson Police Department detectives are investigating is the death in local resident Lindsay Marie Harris, who disappeared in May, 2005.


Lindsay Marie Harris. Photo courtesy of HPD

Lindsay Marie Harris. Photo courtesy of HPD

The 21-year-old Henderson woman made a cell phone call to an acquaintance around 1 a.m. May 5 and said she was leaving the Monte Casino Casino to return to the Luxur Casino where her Mercedes was parked.

The Mercedes was found abandoned near the Excalibur Casino parking lot shortly after she was reported missing. Her rental PT Cruiser was discovered near Bicentennial Parkway and Anthem Highlands Drive, not far from her home, about two weeks later. Police conducted an initial flyover and walk-through, but no trace of Harris was found.

The disappeared prompted a large scale ground search near her residence and the case was profiled on the televison profram ‘America’s Most Wanted’ in November, 2005.

A woman’s dismembered legs, later identified as belonging to Harris, were found by children in a grassy field fifteen miles from Springfield, Ill. in 2008. The case remains unsolved.

Serial murders often target sex workers as victims for multiple reasons, including relative ease to get a woman or man into an isolated location, the belief that a person with a transient lifestyle is less likely to be reported missing and sometimes the emotional pathology of the killer that leads him to considers sex workers to be ‘deserving victims’.

Establishling links between serial murders and victims are often very difficult because they are generally not acquinted prior to the incident, witnesses are rare. Physical evidence such as DNA or hair or carpet fibers (which was the key evidence to convict Atlanta child murder suspect Wayne Williams in 1982 of the murders of two men) can also be difficult to collect, especially if the victims’ body goes undiscovered for an extended length of time.

Harris’ remains were not found until three years after her disappearance. Falls has no arrest record in Henderson. | iH

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