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Arizona Police: Wanna-be rapper an accused serial killer responsible for at least nine murders in THREE-week span

January 18, 2018  |  Posted by: JammedUp Staff
Arizona Police: Wanna-be rapper an accused serial killer responsible for at least nine murders in THREE-week span

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Arizona serial killer Cleophus Cooksey Jr murdered nine people in three-week span, police say

Arizona authorities arrested a wannabe rapper, who is suspected of being one of the most prolific serial killers in the state’s history after embarking on a murder rampage, which claimed the lives of nine people in a three-week span.

Phoenix Police officers arrested 35-year-old Cleophus Cooksey Jr., back on Dec. 17, 2017, after responding to reports of shots fired.

Officers responding to the scene arrived to discover the bodies of Cooksey’s mother and stepfather.

Investigators didn’t suspect Cooksey to the other murders until he was in custody.

According to AZ Central, ballistics testing on shell casings directly tied Cleophus Cooksey Jr. to the murders of seven other people including the brother of his ex-girlfriend along with various male and female victims of African American, white and Hispanic racial backgrounds.

Police released pictures of the victims. (Phoenix Police Department )

The victims include:

– Two men, Andrew Remillard, 27, and Parker Smith, 21, who were discovered dead Nov. 27.

– One man, Salim Richards, 35, found critically wounded on Dec. 2, and later died at the scene. It was not immediately clear if Richards knew the suspect. Police said there were signs of robbery at the crime scene and a hangun was appeared to have been taken.

– On Dec. 11, Jesus Bonifacio Real, 25, the brother of Cooksey’s former girlfriend, was murdered.

– On Dec. 13, Latorrie Beckford, 29, was shot and killed.

– On Dec. 16, 2017, Kristopher Cameron, 21, was discovered shot to death in a field. Police said Cameron appeared to have met with the suspect for a drug interaction. On the same day, Maria Villanueva, 43, was found dead. Villanueva was kidnapped from her car after the suspect approached her vehicle. The two drove off before Villanueva was found dead with clear signs of sexually assault, police said.

– On Dec. 17, Rene Cooksey, 56, the suspect’s mother, and his stepfather, Edward Nunn, 54, were shot and killed. Cooksey was then arrested.

Another man, Salim Richards, 35, was found critically wounded on Dec. 2, and later died at the scene. It was not immediately clear if Richards knew the suspect. Police found signs of a robbery at the crime scene and a handgun was appeared to have been stolen.

Furthermore, police have not ruled out the possibility there are even more victims.

Cooksey has a long criminal history, AZ Central reported. The suspect was convicted of manslaughter when he was 18. While in prison, he was found guilty of assaulting prison employees, drug possession and fighting. He was released from prison in January 2015 and received a DUI in November of that year.

Cleophus Cooksey Jr. was jailed for 16 years but has been in out of jail since his release, police said. (Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office )

After his release from prison, Cooksey became an aspiring rapper going by the name “King Playbola,” often posting videos of his rap skills on Youtube.

Cooksey was arrested again in May 2016 on a “technical probation violation” and was released on June 20, 2016.

However, the suspect was again behind bars in December for a warrant and released on July 28, 2017, four months before he allegedly embarked on his murderous rampage.

Cooksey, the grandson of a civil-rights leader Roy L. Cooksey, had a troubled upbringing, suffering abuse by his father and was hospitalized when he was 12 years old.

The Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will announce official charges against Cooksey in the coming hours

Meanwhile, are asking the public for any information on the suspect or murders.

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