Police say a West Virginia woman who killed a man she met online after he attacked her could have taken the life of a serial killer without knowing it, according to multiple reports.
The death of Neal Falls, 45, has also opened up possible links to several other unsolved murders in Nevada and Ohio, mostly of apparent sex workers, reports the Charleston Gazette-Mail.
Charleston police spokesman Steve Cooper said Friday that Falls likely attacked others before he beat and choked a woman he met on backpage.com last week. However, the Gazette-Mail reports that police so far have found no criminal history attached to the former security guard, other than that he has been pulled over in a couple of states for traffic offenses.
According to Charleston police, Falls attacked the woman at a Charleston, W. Va., residence July 18. The victim grabbed his handgun and shot him once.
Investigators later found found several axes, a shovel, bleach, handcuffs, knives, a machete and other items in his vehicle.
Police say the shooting was self-defense.
Authorities say Falls, of Springfield, Oregon, rented a room in Henderson, Nev., from 2000 until 2008.
During that time, four prostitutes went missing, reports CBS affiliate KOIN in Portland. The dismembered bodies of three were found along highways.
Police are also looking into whether Falls is tied to the disappearance of six women in Chillicothe, Ohio. Four of the women were found dead.
Some of the women reportedly prostituted themselves to support their heroin addictions.