PHOENIX – A man accused of killing nine people in the Baseline Killer case was driven by a hunger to rape, and the victims who didn't cooperate were shot point-blank in the head, a prosecutor said Monday.
Prosecutor Suzanne Cohen said in her opening trial statement that defendant Mark Goudeau was a wolf who hunted his victims.
"The only thing that matched his hunger to rape was his determination to not get caught and not be sitting in this chair," Cohen said. "Those innocents did nothing wrong but cross his path while he was hunting."
Goudeau, 46, is accused of killing nine people and committing dozens of other crimes, including rape and child molestation.
In his opening statement, defense attorney Randall Craig said there was a serious lack of DNA evidence in the case. He also questioned the integrity of the investigation.
"The Phoenix Police Department suffered from a severe case of tunnel vision," he said. "The key result of all this was they apprehended the wrong guy."
As prosecutors laid out their case against the former construction worker, Goudeau sat quietly, wearing a suit and tie and listening closely as the 74 charges were read.
Cohen told the jury to "beware of the predator that comes to you wrapped in sheep's clothing because he is a ravenous wolf. Mark Goudeau is that ravenous wolf and you shall know him by his deeds."
Cohen detailed every crime Goudeau is charged with in graphic detail.
She showed the court images of the bodies of the victims — all shot in the head and lying in pools of blood. Many had their pants unzipped and partially pulled down.
Some people attending the trial had to leave the courtroom as the pictures were shown, including that of a 37-year-old woman whose 8-year-old son found her body at home in a tub of water.
Cohen said the boy turned off the water and unsuccessfully tried to pull her out of the tub before attempting to perform CPR on her lifeless body.
The picture showed the woman's arm dangling over the edge of the white tub, with blood running down the side.
Goudeau has pleaded not guilty. His trial is expected to last nine months.
He already is serving a 438-year prison sentence after being convicted in 2007 of 19 counts in a 2005 attack. In that case, police say he raped a woman while pointing a gun at her sister's belly.
The killings started in August 2005 and ended with the murder of Carmen Miranda of Phoenix in what police described as a "blitz attack" on the mother of two on June 29, 2006. She was vacuuming her car and talking on her cellphone at an east Phoenix car wash when a man kidnapped her then shot her in the head and shoved her body in the back seat.
The other eight people who were killed also were attacked while going about daily activities, such as leaving work, waiting at a bus stop or cooking lunch.
The victims were shot in the head, and many of the bodies were left with their pants unzipped and partially pulled down. The victims — eight of them women — ranged from 19 to 39 years old.
Police said forensic evidence, including DNA and ballistics, ties Goudeau to the killings. Defense attorneys contend there are likelier suspects than Goudeau and discredit the DNA tests.
Goudeau's wife, Wendy Carr, maintains that her husband is not guilty and attends nearly every hearing in the case.
"I don't mean to oversimplify it, but Mark is innocent, and I think it's important that I show my support for him," she said in April. "If even a teeny bit of me thought he could be guilty, I would just go away."
Before handing down the sentence in the 2005 rape, Klein said Goudeau must have two "diametrically opposed" personalities: one calm and respectful in court, and the other sociopathic and brutal.
Goudeau also has been imprisoned for 13 years after being convicted of beating a woman's head against a barbell. The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency paroled him eight years early in 2004.
Goudeau previously acknowledged being a recovering drug addict and once blamed his history of violence on a weakness for crack cocaine.
Police named the series of 2005 and 2006 killings and other crimes after Baseline Road in south Phoenix where many of the earliest attacks happened. Goudeau lived only a few miles from many of the attack sites, and Miranda was killed just around the corner from his house.