Police suspect numerology-based serial killer in Brooklyn

NYPD reportedly eyes gun, ’8′ link in deaths of 3 shopkeepers | Fox News.

A suspected serial killer is being sought in New York after killing three Brooklyn shopkeepers with business addresses that share the number “8,” law enforcement source told The Post.

The suspect used the same .22-caliber gun and targeted the victims as they were closing for the night in each of the shootings, including Friday’s murder of a boutique owner in the borough’s Flatbush section, sources said. All three stores had the number 8 in their addresses — a link cops are now investigating.

“We’re definitely looking into the number-8 angle,” a law-enforcement source told the newspaper. “But we’re not any closer to solving the case because of it.”

Here is another piece that mentions numerology:

The shooting is similar to two other murders of Brooklyn store owners that occurred over the summer.

In both of those incidents, authorities say there is a possible link to numerology and an obsession with the numbers 1, 7 and 8.

Here are the addresses:

834 Flatbush Avenue
7718 Fifth Avenue
1877 86th Street

Our tipster writes: Unless the police are withholding critical information, suggesting an “8″ in the address as the motive for killing strangers might be a bit of a stretch and more of a coincidence than a motive.

Are the police jumping the gun in looking for a motive and making a connection to a serial killer?

This is actually an update to the story we covered back in August.

Tip: Brewhogg (Scott)

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  7 comments for “Police suspect numerology-based serial killer in Brooklyn

  1. November 19, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    If they all were the same address number, then I’d be more convinced. That doesn’t mean, though, that the police are wrong. There are a whole lot of superstitious people out there, and undoubtedly, some of them are criminals. And undoubtedly, some of them are cops.

    • November 20, 2012 at 2:03 AM

      So let’s say just 8 and 7 then. ;-)

      Which would be part of the problem. If you get another address, change the criteria but have a better sample size instead.

      This will start being more convincing if this implicit prediction pans out with more (1)/8/7 murders happening, both fulfilling the prediction *and* adding to the sample size.

  2. Jadawin
    November 19, 2012 at 7:18 PM

    Hrmmmm.
    they say 1, 7, and 8, but the first address listed does not have a 1 in it. May be a detail withheld, but . . .
    There is a difference between being numerology related, and being number related.
    i bet another similarity is that the streets were all paved.

  3. Chew
    November 19, 2012 at 7:42 PM

    The odds of the second store having at least one of the three digits of the first store is about 77% (ignoring duplicated numbers which would lower the odds a little). So the odds of the second and third store having one of the first store’s digits is 60%. To put that another way, 60% of any three homicides of store-owners chosen at random will have a matching digit in the addresses.

  4. Chew
    November 20, 2012 at 5:25 PM

    This ’8 in the address’ angle of the killings appears to have originated with the New York Post. I am not shocked.

  5. Am_Sci
    November 22, 2012 at 4:51 AM

    The second address is an anagram of the third. Maybe that’s what made them wonder if numbers were important to the killer. Then they noticed the only obvious connection with the first address is the number 8. There are lots of other patterns of course, but nothing striking. And, of course, the odds of such coincidence being chance are pretty high. However, the police may know something we don’t.

  6. Ryuthrowsstuff
    November 26, 2012 at 2:06 AM

    I know a number of people in law enforcement including several who have worked on serial murders (one currently working such a case). The info that makes it to press from “sources” or anonymous tips is almost always quite inaccurate or outdated. Info released officially by the police is typically as minimal as possible, and they’ll usually do nothing to debunk the less valid claims in the press unless they need to avert panic. If an on the record spokes man mentioned this then they probably have far more reason to believe numerology is involved than just a few numerical coincidences. It seems these are from unnamed sources. So its quite likely they aren’t currently pursuing that angle if they ever were.

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