Forensic scientist looks inside minds of alleged serial killers

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In the often dark and twisted world of forensic psychiatry, Dr. Steven Pitt is a well-known and well-respected voice of authority. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) In the often dark and twisted world of forensic psychiatry, Dr. Steven Pitt is a well-known and well-respected voice of authority. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

In the often dark and twisted world of forensic psychiatry, Dr. Steven Pitt is a well-known and well-respected voice of authority. He knows his way around sordid and shocking crimes. 

Pitt served as a consultant to police and prosecutors in JonBenet Ramsey’s homicide investigation. He was an advisor to the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office following the mass shooting at Columbine High School, and he served on the police task force in the Valley’s Baseline Killer case.

“The two questions I always want to know are, ‘Why?’ and ‘Why now?’” Pitt said as he discussed Arizona’s latest alleged serial killer, 23-year-old Aaron Saucedo.

[Special Section: Phoenix Serial Killer]

“It’s highly unusual for someone to wake up one morning and say, ‘Today is the day I want to become a serial killer,’” Pitt said. “It just doesn’t happen that way.”

Thus far, Phoenix police have not released any information pertaining to a possible motive for Aaron Saucedo. Investigators said he prowled the Valley streets, primarily in the Maryvale area, late at night and gunned people down as they sat in parked cars or stood in front of their homes.

Saucedo faces more than two dozen charges, including nine counts of first-degree murder.

“These types of offenders, they are not invisible to everyone,” Pitt said. “They don’t just materialize.” 

Pitt, who has not been retained to work on the case, emphasizes that his knowledge of the story consists of what he has seen in the news, so he declined to talk about the details.

“There is a lot of thinking and forethought and fantasy,” Pitt said on the topic of serial killers in general. “It’s very exciting and exhilarating to have serial success as a serial killer.”

But Pitt said it is too simplistic to say that the thrill of the kill is the only motivator for serial murderers.

“I think you have to be very careful to ascribe a motive to this particular offender without knowing all the moving parts,” Pitt said.

One thing that Pitt does feel quite confident will happen in Saucedo’s case is that the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office will seek the death penalty.

“Given the multiple offenses, I would be shocked-- absolutely shocked-- if this does not become a death penalty case,” Pitt said.

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