Convicted 'Baseline Killer' tells Phoenix jury he's 'no monster'
The man who terrorized the Phoenix area a few years back was known as the “Baseline Killer,” because much of his crime spree unfolded near Baseline Road: nine murders, eight sexual assaults, multiple armed robberies.
Last month, prosecutors convinced a jury that the killer -– described by Phoenix New Times as “an in-your-face murderer who interacted verbally with his victims before abruptly ending their lives with his potent .38” –- was a man named Mark Goudeau.
Prosecutors had strong DNA evidence, which the defense did not contest. They also had compelling testimony from the likes of a 31-year-old Phoenix woman who escaped the Baseline Killer. The woman was carjacked at gunpoint in a strip mall and forced to disrobe.
"He said he was going to blow my brains out in the car and my parents were going to read about it in the newspaper the next day,” the woman testified, according to Phoenix New Times. “He pulled the trigger and there was a loud clinking noise. I realized that I wasn't dead, and so I got out of my vehicle and ran.”
Goudeau, 47, is already serving a 438-year sentence for raping a woman and threatening her pregnant sister in a separate case, the Associated Press reported. Now jurors must decide whether he will be put to death.
Jurors were told that Goudeau’s mother died when he was 10, his father was an ephemeral figure and both parents may have had drinking problems. Earlier this week, Goudeau abruptly halted testimony on his behalf after a psychologist suggested he “struggles with impotence and insecurity,” the AP said.
Then on Wednesday, against his attorneys’ advice, a neatly groomed, soft-spoken Goudeau addressed the jurors.
"I could look in each and every one of your eyes today and tell you Mark Goudeau is no wolf in sheep's clothing,” he said, according to the AP. “I do pray that one day you guys learn the truth about this case.”
Prosecutors, he said, “assassinated my character. They painted me as a monster. I'm no monster. I ask you, whatever is in your heart, please make your choice."
Closing arguments are scheduled for Nov. 28.
-- Ashley Powers in Las Vegas
Photo: Mark Goudeau, left, with one of his lawyers, Rodrick Carter. Credit: Jack Kurtz/Associated Press