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The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office Thursday made what had become a chillingly commonplace announcement. For the fourth time since Jan. The string of disappearances and deaths has had an unnerving affect on residents, particularly women. Some of the women now talk about carrying guns and other weapons. On Wednesday, when the police sponsored a free seminar on self-defense, more than 3, people, the vast majority of them women, showed up.
The disappearances began Sept. By Jan. They were Cindy Heller, 23, a student, who disappeared Oct. Miss Ewert is still missing. Becky Stevenson, a year-old dental technician who has lived in the area all her life, said: ''I have to deliver things for my company and it really makes me nervous now to go out alone, even in daylight.
I don't even like to get into elevators alone and I'm always looking over my shoulder. Virginia Strong, 46, who works at an insurance company and has lived in Fort Worth since birth, said: ''I've lived alone with my two children for years and have never been nervous about it. But these murders really concern me. The Police Department formed a member investigative group, its largest ever, 16 days ago in an effort to solve the crimes.
In addition to the slayings of those who disappeared, the group is investigating the slayings of four other women in Fort Worth and seven rapes.
Doug Clarke, a spokesman for the Police Department, said the police were not sure whether the women who disappeared had been killed by one individual or more than one. Detective Curt Brannan, a member of the investigative group, said Friday: ''I do not know at this time if there are any links at all between the murders. All that we know is that the victims are all white females from the southwest section of Fort Worth. The task force is still seeking information to see if there are any other coincidences.
Those who believe in a one-killer theory cite the fact that two of the five women knew each other and that three of the five were members of the same Baptist church. But proponents of the theory that the killings are the work of more than one person point out that the Medical Examiner so far has been able to establish a cause of death in three cases: One of the victims was stabbed, one shot and one strangled.
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