Suspect connected to recent Valley murders identified

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A man suspected in four Phoenix-area slayings that happened over three days fatally shot himself on Monday (Tuesday NZ Time) as police swarmed the hotel where he was staying, authorities said.

At some point during the incident, law enforcement gassed the room and sent a robot in. Police said they did not fire any shots.

The string of shootings raised questions about whether Pitt may have been killed because of his profession, a line of work that required him to study the minds of criminals, and whether the four killings were related.

Four people shot dead in Arizona over a three-day murder spree may have been targeted by the suspected gunman due to their apparent ties to his lengthy and bitter divorce battle.

Officers surrounded a hotel Monday morning in Scottsdale, where they'd tracked down the bald man depicted in a police sketch. Cops aren't saying. Phoenix police spokesman Vincent Lewis told The Arizona Republic in a Friday report that witnesses heard a loud argument, then gunshots.

Jones' wife, Connie, said in a statement to KPNX that she's "deeply saddened by the tragedy caused by my ex-husband", who she described as a "very emotionally disturbed person". Ben Hoster, would not disclose what connected the first three victims, saying that was part of the investigation.

Jones was examined by Pitt under court order during the divorce proceedings, Slavin said.

Marshall Levine, a 72-year-old hypnotherapist and life coach, was identified as the fourth victim.

Less than 24 hours later, two women - Laura Anderson and Veleria Sharp - were shot and killed at Burt/Feldman/Grenier, the Scottsdale law firm where they worked. She was taken to a hospital where she died. It remains unclear why he attacked Levine, whose girlfriend reported him missing after he failed to come home from work on June 1.

The killing occurred in an office park that houses mostly therapists and counsellors.

The killing of two people in Arizona this week has been linked to the murder of Steven Pitt, the forensic psychiatrist known for working on the famous murder case of JonBenet Ramsey. Officers, meanwhile, followed a blood trail back to the business and found the other woman.

Both worked as paralegals at the law office of Burt, Feldman, Grenier, a family law firm. Police told AZcentral that they were confident Levine's death was related to the others, but it was unclear how he might have been connected to Jones.

Pitt provided expertise in the investigation into the death of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey in 1996, he served as an adviser to prosecutors on the Columbine High School shooting, and he was a consulting expert in Kobe Bryant's sexual assault case, according to his website.

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