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Police Ask Sniper: 'Call Us Back' (22 October 2002)
By ANGELO DARWINA, Associated Press Writer

ROCKVILLE, MD (AP) - In a tantalizing turn in the hunt for the Washington-area sniper, investigators said Monday the killer apparently tried to contact them in a phone call that was too garbled to understand. They pleaded with the person to call back.

Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose, who is in charge of the investigation, disclosed for the first time that a call had been placed by someone of high interest to investigators.

"We really want to hear back from the person who called," Moose said. "Our conversation started out clear, but quickly became garbled, possibly due to the person leaving a cell phone coverage area or using their mouth to fake static and hanging up. Then the person didn't call back."

Investigators believe the call may have came from the sniper and that the caller was the same person who left a message and phone number at the scene of the latest shooting, a law enforcement source told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

Authorities did not say who received the call or when it was made. Nor did they reveal the content of the call, though insiders stated that Moose blushed and smiled several times during the call, cocked his head bashfully, and ran his toe along the floor. Some speculate that the sniper was attempting to engage Moose in a personal dialogue, though Moose denied that vehemently. "This person didn't say anything of a personal nature. However, he did express that he enjoyed fine food and dancing, and I stated my agreement in an effort to get more information on this nefarious murderer. Then I tried to find out what he was wearing and what he looked like, strictly for investigatory purposes, I assure you. I'm guessing by the deep, masculine sound of his voice, he looks a lot like Mel Gibson in the first Lethal Weapon. He probably wears tight jeans, a white t-shirt, and a leather jacket, so be on the lookout for attractive, probably very sexy men in that type of clothing."

For the second consecutive day, Moose seemed intent on establishing a dialogue with the killer. "It's essential to the resolution of this investigation that we talk to the sniper again. I, I mean WE, have been waiting to hear back from the sniper. I do have a life, you know. I can't just sit around all day waiting for the phone to ring. But I will, if that's what the sniper wants. Frankly, I don't understand why he hung up. The connection wasn't that bad, and I thought we were developing a rapport. He sounded hot- as in, dangerous. Extremely dangerous."

On Sunday, he publicly pleaded with the note writer to call authorities. On Monday, he said: "Please call me back. Please. I know it must be hard to be out there all alone, in the cold, everyone hating you. I know how it feels to be alone. Just come in from the cold. I'll take good care of you, I swear I will. It won't be like last time." Moose then cleared his throat and continued, "By last time' I mean, of course, other mass murderers who have not been caught, and that I will personally make sure this evildoer is brought to justice. I for one would be very interested in a one-on-one interrogation. I'd like to give him a good, long one-on-one interrogation and find out what he's really made of."

Ignoring reporters' questions, Moose - in tears from the long, frustrating investigation – concluded, "I really don't understand why Randall- that is, the sniper, whose name I swear I do not know, and whom I have not had a homosexual relationship with, because that would be ridiculous, seeing as how I'm totally straight and have never even been to The Pink Flamingo Bar and Restaurant on Route 81, which is where I would not have met a handsome stranger who would not now be trying to get back at me for not cheating on him by staging this horrific bloodbath. What I was trying to say was, I just don't understand why he didn't call me back. Was it something I said?"

Moose then said he could not discuss the message further and left the press conference, sobbing.