During the 17 years spanning these attacks, it is quite likely that the offender would have had the opportunity to replace this weapon with another, perhaps a more powerful one.
He has not, however, chosen to do so.
Furthermore, in spite of having left ejected cartridge casings behind at all the crime scenes, the offender has retained his weapon throughout this series of assaults.
This offender is quite comfortable handling and using this weapon, and may well have acquired such familiarity with weapons through legitimate means, such as hunting, target shooting or military training.
The consistent use of the same weapon as well as the ritualized manner of approach/assaults strongly suggest that the weapon is part of a "kit" that this offender used exclusively for his attacks and for no other reason.
This "kit" is likely to contain a firearm, a knife and other bladed weapon, ammunition, and possibly specific clothing or other implements that he uses only during these assaults.
The offender's overall behavior at the scene, including his use of the same and specific implements of crime, suggest that the ritualism inherent in this series of attacks is so important to the offender that he must repeat his offenses in an identical manner in order to achieve satisfaction.
It is noted that a .22 caliber bullet (unspent) identical to those used in these assaults, was located in front of a local hospital.
It is not likely that the offender left the bullet there in an effort to taunt police, but was dropped accidentally by the offender who may have had some legitimate reason to visit the hospital or vicinity, i.e. sought medical treatment or worked at the hospital or in the vicinity.
It is also possible that he may have visited the hospital if he believed the victim's bodies to have been taken there after the discovery.
Research into similar crimes has shown that lust murderers often remove items from their victims.
These items may be articles of clothing, or more personal possessions such as a piece of jewelry, or lock of hair, etc.
Frequently, lust murderers may remove part of the victims body, such as a finger, ear or more particularly, a nipple, breast or other sexual organs.
These items are taken as a souvenir, and enable the offender to relive the event in his fantasies for a period of time.
These items are often retained for a fairly extensive period of time, once they serve no more useful purpose, the offender is likely to discard them occasionally at the scene of the murder or at the victim's grave site.
Occasionally, the lust murderer may consume the victim's body part in order to tally "possess" his victim.
The mailing of the genitalia from the female victim of the last assault is indicative that this offender attempted to "taunt" police, suggesting that the publicity and attention directed at this case was important to him, and also indicating an increased sense of confidence on his part.