A woman working as a prostitute may have put an end to a nationwide killing spree after she shot and killed a man in self-defence, police say.
She told police that Neal Falls, 45, had answered her online escort ad, but the encounter turned violent after he arrived at her West Virginia home.
During a struggle, the woman got hold of Falls’ gun and shot him.
A “kill list” was found in his pocket, leading police to believe that he was targeting local sex workers.
“I knew he was there to kill me,” the woman – who was not identified- told local news station KPTV.
“I could tell that he had already done something because he said that he was going to prison for a long time. And that’s when I knew he was gonna kill me.”
Police in Charleston, West Virginia, found weapons and tools – including knives, a bulletproof vest, a machete, trash bags and bleach – inside the trunk of his car.
Neal Falls was found with weapons, cleaning supplies and a “kill list”.
The evidence found in West Virginia on 18 July has authorities investigating whether Falls is connected to a series of unsolved murders in Ohio and Nevada.
“The stuff that we found is so alarming that we want law enforcement across the country to be aware of it,” Lt Steve Cooper of the Charleston Police Department said.
Falls, whose most recently address was in Oregon, lived in Henderson, Nevada from 2000 to 2007.
During that time, the bodies of three prostitutes were found dismembered along highways. A fourth sex worker was reported missing, but never found.
More recently, four women have been killed and two others have gone missing in Chillicothe, Ohio – about a two-hour drive from Charleston.