DETROIT – A suspected serial killer named in connection with at least seven cold-case slayings in the Detroit area told police a decade ago about his penchant for teenage girls.
In a 2008 videotaped interrogation, Arthur Ream said, "I'm into, was into, teenage girls. OK?"
Ream, who also served time for child molestation, was convicted in the 1986 disappearance and slaying of 13-year-old Cindy Zarzycki. He eventually led police to Cindy's buried remains in a forested part of Macomb Township, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of downtown Detroit.
In the video, he said Cindy's death had been driving him "crazy for 22 years."
Police and the FBI are digging this week in the same wooded area for the remains of 12-year-old Kimberly King, who was last seen in 1979, and as many as six other missing girls.
Authorities have said Ream, who is serving a life sentence, boasted to fellow inmates about killing four to six people.
But a former prosecutor who won Ream's conviction in 2008 said he would be surprised if Ream is involved in other unsolved cases.
Ream's desire for attention would probably have led him to tell investigators about other victims, said Steven Kaplan, a former Macomb County assistant prosecutor.
"He's a talker. He likes publicity. He wants police to pay attention to him," said Kaplan, who is currently the supervisor in Oakland County's West Bloomfield Township.
Authorities in suburban Warren have called Ream a suspected serial killer. Kaplan said that description does not fit with how he operated in the past.
"We know of three other girls who he sexually assaulted," Kaplan said. "He didn't kill any of them. Our theory at trial was that Cindy rebuffed him and had the presence and will not to succumb. She fought him."
Ream was sentenced in 1998 to 15 years for criminal sexual conduct with a child aged 13 to 15. He also spent time in prison in the late 1970s for taking indecent liberties with a child.
Even after leading police to her remains, Ream denied killing Cindy. He told a detective in 2008 that Cindy fell from an open elevator at his rented carpet warehouse.
During the murder trial, prosecutors said Ream told Cindy he would pick her up from Dairy Queen and take her to a surprise birthday party for his son, who was her boyfriend at the time. Scott Ream's birthday actually was months earlier.
Cindy had told two friends ahead of time about the meeting, but swore them to secrecy because her parents would not approve of her going to such a party and that the Reams lived about 25 miles away, Kaplan said.
After Cindy was reported missing, police assumed she was a runaway, and the two friends were not questioned until nearly two decades later, Kaplan added.
In 1986, "they are 13 years old and they don't know about pedophiles," Kaplan said. "Had the police interviewed her girlfriends in 1986, they would have told the police that Cindy said she was meeting Arthur."
Without that evidence, prosecutors would not have charged Ream or gained a conviction in a case where there initially was no body, Kaplan said.
Investigators searched the rented building in Macomb County where Ream had sold carpeting.
"He actually had a bed there, which was bizarre," Kaplan said. "Why would you have a bed in a warehouse?"
There also was an empty milk carton that was at least 6 years old. On one of its sides was a photo of Cindy and the date she disappeared. Also written on it: "Do you know where I am?"
"It was a keepsake," Kaplan said. "There was no reason for him to have kept that."
The video shows Ream as pensive and introspective at times and declaring that his life was over because he would never get out of prison.
"I can't make up for the wrong I've done. That's the only thing ... that I'd really ever want to do. That's just like with Cindy. The next day ... I knew what I did was wrong. But how do you take it back? You can't take it back. So you just try to hide it. The more you hide it, the worst it gets."
Then he quickly snatched away the apparent admission of guilt.
"I didn't kill Cindy, and I'm not going to get up there and say I did," Ream said.
Associated Press Writer Mike Householder contributed to this report.