PHOENIX -In opening arguments Prosecutor Suzanne Cohen detailed every crime Goudeau is charged with in graphic detail. She showed the court images of the bodies of the victims – all shot in the head and lying in pools of blood.
Some people attending the trial had to leave the courtroom as the pictures were shown, including that of a 37-year-old woman whose 8-year-old son found her body at home in a tub of water. The picture showed the woman’s arm dangling over the edge of the white tub, with blood running down the side; the boy had turned off the water and unsuccessfully tried to pull her out of the tub before attempting to perform CPR on her lifeless body.
Cohen called defendant Mark Goudeau a wolf who hunted his victims.
“The only thing that matched his hunger to rape was his determination to not get caught and not be sitting in this chair,” Cohen said, according to reports on the Associated Press. “Those innocents did nothing wrong but cross his path while he was hunting.”
The so-called Baseline Killer (or Baseline Rapist) was one of the two simultaneously occurring serial killer cases (the other being the “Serial Shooter”) which terrorized the Phoenix metro area, between August 2005 and June 2006.
The crimes were referred to as the Baseline Killer since the first crimes began around Baseline Road in South Phoenix, Arizona–only a few miles from where Goudeau lived.
The crimes later spread north, primarily in the North Central area of Phoenix.
The Baseline Killer is believed to have committed nine counts of first degree murder (8 women, 1 man), in addition to 15 sexual assaults on women and young girls, 11 counts of kidnapping, and a number of armed robberies. The killer was often described wearing various disguises such as a Halloween mask as well as attempting to impersonate a homeless man or drug addict.
Today as prosecutors laid out their case against the former construction worker, Goudeau sat quietly, wearing a suit and tie and listening closely as the 74 charges were read.
Goudeau, 46, has pleaded not guilty. His trial is expected to last nine months.
He already is serving a 438-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2007 of 19 counts in a 2005 attack. In that case, police say he raped a woman while pointing a gun at her sister’s belly.
The killings started in August 2005 and ended with the murder of Carmen Miranda of Phoenix in what police described as a “blitz attack” on the mother of two on June 29, 2006. She was vacuuming her car and talking on her cellphone at an east Phoenix car wash when a man kidnapped her then shot her in the head and shoved her body in the back seat.
The other eight people who were killed also were attacked while going about daily activities, such as leaving work, waiting at a bus stop or cooking lunch.
The victims were shot in the head, and many of the bodies were left with their pants unzipped and partially pulled down. The victims – eight of them women – ranged from 19 to 39 years old.
Police said forensic evidence, including DNA and ballistics, ties Goudeau to the killings. Defense attorneys contend there are likelier suspects than Goudeau and discredit the DNA tests.
Before handing down the sentence in the 2005 rape, Superior Court Judge Andrew Klein said Goudeau must have two “diametrically opposed” personalities: one calm and respectful in court, and the other sociopathic and brutal.
Goudeau also has been imprisoned for 13 years after being convicted of beating a woman’s head against a barbell. The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency paroled him eight years early in 2004.
Goudeau previously acknowledged being a recovering drug addict and once blamed his history of violence on a weakness for crack cocaine.