Inside the mind of a murderer: Expert shares theory on Tampa killer

Benjamin Mitchell (left), Anthony Naiboa, (middle), and Monica Hoffa were all gunned down in Seminole Heights in the last two weeks.

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – The slayings of three people in a quiet Tampa neighborhood have many wondering what kind of person would carry out such dastardly deeds.

Enzo Yaksic runs the Serial Homicide Expertise and Information Sharing Collaborative, a database of thousands of murders. His job is profiling serial killers and he has a few theories about what’s happening in Seminole Heights. He shared his profile of the suspected killer with News Channel 8.

“It is likely that the offender maintains a deep and personal relationship with the area, residing within a few blocks of the crime scenes and arriving to each location on foot or via bicycle,” Yaksic wrote.

Based on this mode of transportation, Yaksic believes whoever committed the murders is somewhere in his or her 20s or 30s. Yaksic said their youthfulness could point to “gangland activity and initiation rituals.” He recommends police question known associates of area gangs.

Yaksic said predicting the offender’s race is a “foolhardy exercise,” but he believes the killer is likely a minority, due to the diversity of the neighborhood being targeted.

Although psychological gratification is the usual motive for a serial killer, Yaksic said “the disparity between the offender’s perceived lower status may be driving his motivations to victimize those from other statuses.”

“The victimization of others while they are completing everyday tasks, while not the offender’s primary motivation, rounds out a profile of an individual with a disdain for constructs such as wealth and stature oftentimes flouted by today’s society,” Yaksic wrote.

According to Yaksic, the timing of the crimes could indicate the killer is employed during the day. He doubts this killer is mentally ill, but said the offender probably enjoys outsmarting law enforcement.

He warns it’s a bad idea to pit the public against the killer or to have anyone in the area “go about their business,” as the killer may view this as a challenge and another opportunity to terrorize the neighborhood and surrounding areas. “Encouraging vigilance among the public may instigate the offender to expand the target zone outward by a few blocks,” Yaksic continued.

Serial killers don’t always complete their intended crimes in two weeks, therefore Yaksic said shootings occurring over the last six months should be analyzed in case they could be linked to murders.

He said the killer “may telephone law enforcement to confess if the pressure to capture him does not dissipate.”