Police credit new technology for helping nab suspected Phoenix serial killer

Serial killer arrest

PHOENIX -- Police in Phoenix announced Thursday they've arrested a suspected serial killer responsible for nine murders. The suspect, Cleophus Cooksey, is someone they've had in custody for a month.

Cooksey's YouTube page contained an ominous rap song, with lyrics saying "I chopped at the rest of em', murdered all the best of em', nothing left of em'."

Cleophus Cooksey MSCO via KPHO

In mid-December, Phoenix police arrested Cooksey for allegedly murdering his mother and step-father. While he was in jail, detectives were still investigating seven other unsolved murders, all which occurred between Thanksgiving and Christmas in the surrounding area.

"Nine deaths, three weeks, nine people shot in our communities," said Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams.

All of the victims died from gunshot wounds, and all allegedly traced back to Cooksey because of new technology.

"It all kind of clicked together," said Sgt. Jonathan Howard. "It's like putting together a jigsaw puzzle."

Phoenix is one of five cities in a pilot program that lets police immediately share and process ballistics evidence from different crime scenes within hours instead of weeks.  

"It means police can make an arrest and stop a killer before he claims another life," Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton said. "Our streets are safer today."

Cooksey has been in custody for a month. But because they now have the equipment to do ballistic testing in the building, police say they were able to link him to the other crimes much faster than they would have been able to in the past. Police think he may eventually be linked to more crimes.