INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said Friday that no evidence exists on a serial offender in Indianapolis.
A Facebook post shared more than 1,600 times claims a serial killer is on the loose.
“It has been brought to IMPD’s attention that some information has been posted on social media alleging there are homicides and sexual offenses occurring that have similarities which would indicate a serial offender occurring in Indianapolis,” said Officer Genae Cook of the public affairs office in a statement. “Our detectives do not have information to support these allegations.”
Cook said any credible information regarding cases will come directly from IMPD via social media or local media outlets.
Former Marion County prosecutor Carl Brizzi says the post caused a frenzy. “It was like someone threw out a cigarette butt out and started a wildfire. It was careless.”
As much concern as the social media post has caused, Brizzi said, he doesn’t think the author should face legal consequences. “If someone in Indianapolis thought that there was a serial killer and decided to post something on the internet, I don’t necessarily think it would be appropriate to charge them,” the former prosecutor said.
Brizzi said several factors could have caused the author to believe the accusations are true. One factor could be that Indianapolis has recorded 219 criminal homicides so far in 2021, including three bodies found Tuesday night just off I-465 at South Meridian Street.
“You would think that with the number of murders in Indianapolis over the past year there was a serial killer,” Brizzi said.
The former prosecutor said the significant increase in crime rates over the past few years could be adding fuel to the fire, but people should always check their sources before sharing claims of this magnitude. “I think everyone really needs to take a step back, take a breath, before they react to something that is posted on some social media post by someone they don’t know.”
Brizzi said IMPD did the right thing by addressing this particular Facebook post and assuring people it isn’t a legitimate concern at this time.