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Accused serial killer drove through police checkpoints, D.A. says


A former Marine who was charged Tuesday with killing four homeless men in Orange County may have intentionally driven through two well-publicized police checkpoints set up as a dragnet to snare the killer, authorities said.

Itzcoatl Ocampo, 23, stopped and calmly talked to authorities at the checkpoints, Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas said Tuesday.

"There was nothing that drew their attention to him in particular," Rackauckas said.

Ocampo drove through a Placentia checkpoint Jan. 10, and another in Yorba Linda on Jan. 13 -- just hours before he allegedly killed his final victim.

"There is indication that he purposefully drove through them," said Susan Schroeder, the district attorney's chief of staff.

Ocampo was arrested Friday after he was chased down by two men after the stabbing death of John Berry, 64, behind an Anaheim fast-food restaurant.

Ocampo, who had served in Iraq, has been held without bail on a psychological watch at Orange County Jail in Santa Ana since he was detained.

The victims were identified as James Patrick McGillivray, 53, who was killed Dec. 20 in Placentia; Lloyd Middaugh, 42, whose body was found Dec. 28 in Anaheim; Paulus Smit, 57, who was killed Dec. 30 in Yorba Linda; and Berry.

Ocampo is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday.


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-- Hailey Branson-Potts in Santa Ana

Photo: Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas holds up a photo of a knife like the one used in the serial killings of homeless men.

Credit:  Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

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