- Officials with various Phoenix area police departments say they have evidence linking a 35-year-old man already charged with killing his mother and stepfather to seven additional homicides that occurred in a three-week span in late 2017.
Cooksey was arrested December 17 at the home where his mother and stepfather were killed.
Phoenix police suspect a convicted felon charged with murder in the killing of his mother and stepfather may have committed seven other killings.
In addition to the murders of his mother and stepfather, Cooksey is accused of abducting a woman in Glendale, sexually assaulting and killing her, then dumping her body in south Phoenix. Police said Thursday they did not link Cooksey to the other homicides until he was in custody.
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According to Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Jonathan Howard, during interviews with Cooksey they have received statements that "implicate him in these crimes to some level". Records show that Cooksey was due to play a show at the Rhythm Room in Phoenix on December 21, four days after his mother was murdered.
December 11, 2017 - Jesus Real, 25, the brother of Cooksey's ex-girlfriend, is found in bed with two gunshot wounds to the face at his Avondale home. A number of details were withheld by police who cited the ongoing investigation.Cooksey previously served time in prison for manslaughter and armed robbery. Upon entering, the bodies of Rene Cooksey and Edward Nunn were found.
Cooksey, described by police as an aspiring musician, knew some of the victims but investigators were still trying to determine motives in a few of the attacks, according to police officials in Phoenix, Glendale and Avondale.
Experts say Maria Villanueva, 43, was sexually attacked and killed by Cooksey on December 16. Police responded to a shots-fired call and discovered the younger Cooksey at the residence. Cooksey's role in the crime was not immediately clear; as the Republic notes, people can be found guilty in Arizona even if they weren't the actual killer. He was released from prison about a year ago and was in and out of jail since. The elder Cooksey formed the Afro-American Coordination Committee there in 1960 and met Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X on several occasions, according to a 2009 Arizona Daily Star article. Police said Cameron was in the area for a drug deal with Cooksey. Attempts to reach Cooksey's biological father were unsuccessful.