FBI to aid in search for possible ‘Numbers’ serial killer

Posted at 12:40 PM, Nov 20, 2012
and last updated 2012-11-22 14:15:51-05

NEW YORK (PIX11)— The potential of a serial killer in the city on the heels of Hurricane Sandy is a macabre reality.

The latest box score for the disciplined executioner reads three deaths since July.  All of them incorporating the number eight in an address.
The murder of Rahmatollah Vahidipour 836 Flatbush Avenue Friday night has not yielded much, except for a mustached man caught on surveillance carrying a duffel bag.

The NYPD wants to talk with the man carrying the duffel bag, caught in this surveillance camera footage.

However, what possible connection can he have with with the man drawn out in police sketches?

It’s a question that NYPD detectives would like answered.

Although the connection is unknown, the NYPD wants to talk with the man carrying the duffel bag.  Perhaps he may have seen the 78-year-old Vahidipour inside of his “She-She” boutique at 836 Flatbush Avenue Friday night.

Perhaps he bumped into the man who fits the criteria of a serial killer?

It was an intense investigation Monday with multiple crime scene units littering the area.  PIX 11 News cameras captured detectives cordoning off a crime scene around a street light-post a block away.

One detective photographing every detail to try and piece together the trail to capture a man they are investigating as a serial killer but not officially naming as one.

“To find out that it’s connected to two other ones that are just random killings is horrible, said Howard Prince a store manager three shops away from the She-She boutique.

Rahmatollah Vahidipour, right, was the third victim of the “Number 8” killer. Mohamed Gebeli, left, was gunned down July 6 in Bay Ridge, and Issac Kadare, center, was found dead in his Bensonhurst shop on Aug. 2.

Prince says he has been interviewed four times by detectives in the aftermath of Friday’s shooting.  Law enforcement has also spoken to every employee in the store hoping to rattle anything.

Prince is convinced that this is all the diabolical workings of a serial killer.  The repetition of the number eight in the address, the death taking place at night just after closing, an older middle-eastern man targeted in all three killings as well as .22 caliber slugs matched at the locations all of which have no security cameras, are the reasons that many believe that this is the work of serial killer.

When asked if he feels that authorities have honed in on anyone? Prince responds, “No I think it’s just grasping at straws to try to get anybody that can put something together for them.”

Former NYPD detective Wally Zeins feels that as challenging as it is to connect the killer’s patterns, at some point they will reveal a method to the madness, “It is a complicated case to solve, but with more MOs if they all fit each one of those particular homicides then it makes things a little easier in finding the common denominator.”

Late Monday night, an FBI official emailed the media with a statement from Martin Feely, the Supervisory Special Agent for the  FBI’s New York office, “Earlier this evening, the New York Police Department formally requested the FBI’s assistance with a series of homicides in Brooklyn, New York over the last five months.

A police sketch of the suspect in the shootings.

The FBI will be providing assistance, to include expertise from the Behavioral Analysis Unit. The New York Police Department remains the lead investigative agency and we refer all additional inquiries to DCPI.”