Geoffrey Dahlstrom

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Geoffrey Dahlstrom (1949 - 1986) is the worst serial killer in NAL history, infamous as the "Atlanta Child Murderer." An only child, Dahlstrom's family had to struggle while growing up. There is strong circumstantial evidence he was abused as a child, and no doubt whatever exists that he was the victim of several assaults before his twelfth birthday. This may have been coincidence, or he may have in some sense egged on older boys, testing their limits. It is also possible he simply attracted the attention of a gang of bullies. Whatever the details, Geoffrey Dahlstrom was hospitalized twice--once in 1959 and again in 1960. He suffered broken bones and a cuncussion. Some have speculated that at this time he became brain-damaged. Others theorize the unusual brutality of his childhood created the serial killer he later became.

By the time of his twentieth birthday, Geoffrey was a school dropout and had been arrested for exposing himself to a ten-year-old girl. At this point in his life he seemed to have gained some kind of stability as he became an increasingly skilled taxi driver in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. According to his testimony later, Dahlstrom in fact was suffering from extreme depression and had begun drinking heavily. He was impotent save when fantacizing about increasingly levels of violence.

Although a taxi driver, Dahlstrom himself did not own a car and usually travelled via the train system. In 1977 he lured a thirteen-year-old girl into a park where he killed her. Over the next seventeen months he killed eleven more times.

Each was found in and around the Five Points area of Atlanta. Eventually, the Five Points Killer was caught only after one of the most decisive police investigations in the city's history. Local police were initially deceived by a series of letters purporting to be from the killer and dismissed CBI conclusions that they were from someone else (this was the first high-publicity use of "Offender Analysis"). The letters, it turned out, were from a disgruntled detective who loathed the officer heading the investigation. Yet it was a local police detective who organized the successful manhunt focussing on the ART system (the predecessor of MARTA).

Dahlstrom was caught when a routine check of persons boarding the ART system revealed a unique knife in his possession. After 48 hours in custody, he gave a complete confession. Dahlstrom was convicted in 1980 and killed in prison six years later by a Venedic arsonist.

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