In many movies and police procedural TV shows, serial killers are often depicted as criminal masterminds with the resources and power to outsmart investigators.
There are indeed murderers who, until this day, have not been identified, let alone apprehended, such as the Frankford Slasher and Jack the Ripper, suggesting that they did have the ability to dodge identification and escape justice because every murder they committed was meticulously planned and executed.
Others are, however, mere opportunists who target vulnerable, marginalized parts of the population.
But both the sloppy and intelligent serial killer types usually leave a trail of particular patterns and connections among the victims, leading to their arrests.
In the case of Shawn Grate, the killing pattern and link between his victims are pretty obvious. All his known victims were women, either marginalized or in some vulnerable conditions when they came across the killer.
They were strangled and stabbed in the throat, then the bodies disposed of in a disorganized manner. The police arrested Shawn after an escaped victim, using his phone, called 911 while asleep.
10 /10 911 Call
Ashland is a small town in Ohio located just about midway between Columbus and Cleveland.
It is a region strafed by manufacturing losses and economic downturns. Years of usual quietness were suddenly gone following the arrest of Shawn Grate on September 13, 2016, at an abandoned house on Covert Court.
Shawn Grate turned out to be a serial killer who admitted to killing at least five women.
Local law enforcement was arrested after someone made a 911 call from the building, telling the operator that she had been kidnapped. During the call, she identified her captor as Shawn Grate.
9 /10 Abducted And Sexually Assaulted
The caller told the police she had been tied to a bed and sexually assaulted for days. She could only call the emergency service because Shawn was asleep, and somehow she managed to use his phone.
When the operator asked whether she was tied up, the caller said she had to some extent, freed herself.
She whispered throughout the call for fear of waking the captor up. In the lengthy yet at times inaudible call with the 911 operator, the woman said Shawn had taken her to an abandoned house near a laundromat.