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Suspect held in Miami serial killings

MIAMI, June 4 -- A man suspected as the Florida serial killer who beat and set fire to homeless women was about to kill again when he was apprehended and taken into custody, police said Tuesday. Francisco Del Junco, 39, was arrested Monday and charged in the brutal deaths of four street women between August 1995 and April 1996 whose bodies police found beaten, partially naked and burnt. A task force investigating the serial slayings got its big break on Friday, when a woman told investigators how she escaped an attack by a man wielding a blunt object. Investigators tracked down Del Junco from the description given them by the woman. They befriended him, 'got into his head,' and encouraged him to talk, police said. 'The night that he was caught, and it's commendable the work (the police) did, he was out to another one,' police Lt. Tony Rodriguez said. 'His demeanor is one of little or no remorse. He is the kind of individual who sees right through you. He is very calculated, very cunning, very methodical. He does nothing without planning,' Rodriguez said of the suspect. Del Junco began freely talking about the slayings and admitted his part in them when investigators took him to the beach along Key Biscayne, south of the city, to get him away from the institutional surroundings of police headquarters, authorities said. 'He told us things only the murderer could know,' Rodriguez said. 'He took us to the scenes of the killings and, I gotta tell you, it's a a strange feeling to see the person who did this actually re-enacting the crimes.'

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Del Junco was employed as a dishwasher at Dan Marino's All-American Sports Bar & Grill in Miami's fashionable Coconut Grove neighborhood. Police did not offer a motive for the slayings, but Rodriguez said Del Junco knew what he was doing, and knew that what he was doing was wrong. 'He was afraid of capture and he wanted to elude police,' he said. Investigators had few leads in the case that has plagued the Miami area for almost two years. Police had developed a composite sketch of a street person known only as 'Dread,' and had been circulating his picture as a possible clue. 'Witnesses had seen Dread with the third victim shortly before her body was discovered,' police Lt. Bill Schwartz said. 'We didn't know if he was a suspect in the killings, or a witness to them. We only knew we needed to talk to him.' Del Junco, however, bears no resemblance to 'Dread,' police said.

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