The Suitcase Murders

He hasn't struck lately, but South Florida's fourth serial prostitute killer is likely still on the loose

Two years later, in June 1998, the couple married. Kim was eight weeks pregnant with their first child. She was a manager for five General Nutrition Centers; he worked as an auto mechanic in Pompano Beach. When daughter Victoria arrived in January 1999 the couple was living in a three-bedroom home with a swimming pool in the back yard and manicured violet flower beds flanking the paved driveway in front.

"She was always a concerned neighbor," recalls Tammy Dalton, who lived next door to the Livesey family in Oakland Park. "She was always very polite, and Michael was a really great guy; he used to fix our car for us."

But according to family and friends, after her daughter's birth, Dietz suffered from postpartum depression and began using drugs again. "She would disappear to Miami for days and weeks at a time," said Debra, one of Kim's sponsors in Alcoholics Anonymous, who declined to give her last name. "Mike and I know that sometimes people make it and sometimes they don't, but when I think that Kim's never coming back I get really sad."

Brian Stauffer

According to court documents, Michael Livesey began to fear for his daughter's security and safety. On May 23, 2000, he filed for divorce, citing "recent drug abuse problems and suicidal tendencies by mother."

Fourteen days later, in the middle of the afternoon, his estranged wife approached an undercover officer at Miami's Legion Park and offered to perform oral sex for $25. She was arrested, charged with soliciting an undercover officer, and booked into county jail. On June 13 she was released on the condition that she would enter a drug treatment facility in South Miami.

Dietz remained at the facility for less than 24 hours.

A few days later Michael received a call from her, and the conversation that ensued often replays in his head: "She said she was done partying and she wanted to come home." It was Tuesday, June 20, 2000. The couple arranged to meet at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting at 10:00 p.m. that night near 79th Street and Biscayne Boulevard.

Dietz never showed up. Thirty-six hours later she was found dead.

On August 9, less than two months after Kim Dietz's body was discovered, a woman was walking her dog on the 5300 block of SW 31st Avenue in Dania Beach.

Approximately 50 yards south of the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office she noticed a bulging, four-foot-long black duffel bag in the grass by the road. She tugged the zipper down a couple of inches and saw the curve of a human spine. The details were chillingly familiar.

Wedged inside was the bludgeoned corpse of 21-year-old Sia Demas.

Blood caked her face.

Her shoulder-length wavy hair lay in matted clumps across her battered flesh.

She was naked.

The only thing cloaking her pale skin were four tattoos.

Morgue supervisor Dean Reynolds arrived for his shift at the examiner's office that day at 5:30 a.m. "By the time they had secured the crime scene and pulled her out it was probably about noon," recalls the lanky, blue-eyed Reynolds. "Her body was pretty fresh, not too badly decomposed, and I remember she was on her side," he recalls. "I ended up wheeling a gurney out, we were so close, and took her inside."

The second "suitcase murder" sparked one of the region's largest homicide investigations, staffed by approximately 30 investigators from the Broward Sheriff's Office; Cooper City, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, and Hollywood police; and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

By the time the South Florida task force announced they had sought assistance from the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) in Quantico, Virginia — the agency credited with profiling some of the most sadistic serial killers of modern history — investigators were all but certain they were looking for one man.

"Police departments don't like to panic people by saying there might be a serial killer on the loose," says Captain Andreu, an investigator on the Tamiami Strangler case. "But when we have a murder that even has the possibility of being a serial killer, we don't take any chances."

It wasn't until the early Eighties that law enforcement agencies nationwide began to accept the science of behavioral profiling as a valuable or even legitimate investigative tool. When FBI veteran Gregg McCrary joined the Behavioral Science Unit (BSU) in 1985, he was among a mere handful of agents profiling criminals on a full-time basis.

Today the BSU has almost 30 full-time profilers, and McCrary is considered one of the world's foremost profiling authorities. Although he is unfamiliar with the details of the "suitcase murders," he furnished some observations about the killer.

"What did this guy do that he didn't have to?" he quizzes. "Every choice he made will give us insight into who he is. This guy had to have some place he took the victim and murdered her, and he's gone to the trouble of getting a suitcase, one large enough to fit a body. This is a very organized crime which points to a certain type of person. Does it look like he's done it before?

"Clearly this guy wanted the bodies discovered. Some killers want notoriety without the responsibility; they want to read about it in the papers; it gives them a sense of power," he adds. "And if I had to go statistically, this guy would probably be male and white, though we would never discount any physical evidence."

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