Possible Serial Killer in Bremerton, Washington

on February 15, 2012 in Unsubs by

The Bremerton Police are working with the FBI to determine if three violent attacks in the last year are related.

On May 3, 2011, a 19-year-old woman was stabbed to death. On June 2, 2011, a male was attacked but survived. And a 61-year-old woman was killed on February 3rd of this year.

No personal connection has been made between the victims. Sources within the Bremerton PD suggest there are similarities among the three attacks, but no details have been given.

A sketch of the suspect, seen below, has been posted throughout Bremerton. Anyone with possible information on the case is encouraged to call the tipline at (360) 473-5481.

Update 02/17/12: The two murder victims are Sara Burke and Melody Brannon. No name has been given for the man who survived.

Sara was stabbed to death on May 3, 2011 on a busy sidewalk on Warren Avenue. Melody was killed on February 3, 2012 outside her home in West Bremerton.

We also have a second sketch of the person of interest. He is described as a light skinned black or mixed race male, in his late teens to early 20s, and about six feet tall with a slender build.


  • damien says:

    What was the age of the male victim who was attacked and survived? The young women of age 19 and the older lady aged 61. a ‘six’ upside down is a ‘nine’ and vise versa….

    • Brian Combs says:

      It doesn’t appear they’ve released the age or name of the male victim. In fact, details on this case are few and far between all around.

      But it may be that the motive in the killings is not sexual, but that of a hedonistic thrill killer.

  • Tina P says:

    There do seem to be similarities but it would be impossible to say anything without details on the male. The deceased are both women, but then we don’t know how the survivor managed to survive…

  • Brian Combs says:

    According to Q13 Fox News, the male victim was 51 years old. I’ve seen other reports that list him as being 50 years old, so perhaps he was 50 at the time of the attack, and 51 now.

  • Tina P says:

    Another possibility is – are they all strangers to him? You’ve taught me well, Brian!

    • Brian Combs says:

      Well, you can’t answer that question definitively without knowing who the offender is, but investigators have stated that they can’t find a connection amongst the victims, so the odds of that are small. I have no doubt that they’ve taken apart the lives of the victims pretty completely.

      That’s standard operating procedure, as murder by someone the victim knows is much more common than stranger homicide.

  • lalb says:

    Yeah, just wait and see if he strikes again…..f that. I live here and in the mile radius of all the murders. This is not something I want to wait and see about.

    • Brian Combs says:


      I think that can across as more callous than Tina meant. We’re true crime junkies here, and get caught up looking at something from the outside, where it’s safe.

      The reality is that with stranger homicide, it can be very difficult to catch the offender unless it happens in the act. If he (I’m assuming it’s a he) doesn’t kill again (or attempt to), he likely won’t be caught unless someone recognizes him.

      Let’s hope that’s what happens. A profile being released to the public might help.

      Otherwise, you need to hope he gets spotted at one of the crime scenes (like Arthur Shawcross) or communicates with the press or police (like Dennis Rader).

      • Tina P says:

        Indeed Brian. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

        I certainly never meant to cause offence and I offer my most profuse apologies if I did.

        As Brian has said, we are true crime junkies here, and we do like to analyse from a safe distance, which is certainly what this is for me, as I’m british. If only it were as easy as he has killed once let’s go out and get him! But I fear the reality is, the smarter the Feds get in apprehending these people, the smarter the unsubs get. Waiting to see if he strikes again isn’t mere laziness, it means a pattern can be established, more evidence can be gathered, and a myriad of other things to make sure they catch the right person or indeed persons. It also let’s them develop ways to eliminate that particular method (possibly) in the future.

        Britain doesn’t see as many serial killers as America does for one reason or another, but I’m certainly just as fascinated by these.

    • Brian says:

      I agree with you I live in the middle of both murders. It is sad when I feel that I feel the need to carry my side arm.

  • Zach Luschen says:

    I hope that this perpetrator will get caught very soon. Because studies reveal that not only do violent offenders become more proficient overtime, but they get bold. Though of course it depends under some circumstances such as the offender’s psychopathology. Since some of america’s notorious serial killers have a psychopathic personality while a few notorious serial killers were psychotic suffering from either paranoid schizophrenia or some other type form of psychosis.

  • Hannah says:

    I live in Kingston!:)

  • David S. says:

    With all due respect, getting a little off topic.
    I want to know why the victims were found where they were.
    I know Sara Burke was on route to her boyfriend’s house.
    Where did she leave from?
    I want to know where Melody Brannon was going to and from.
    My wife will be moving there in a month before I get stationed there. I want this guy found now.

    • Brian Combs says:

      I’m just guessing here, but I think there might be something to the fact that basically no info is being released. The cops usually hold a few things back, but we know nothing on these cases.

  • Crystal z says:

    Just wondering if the 2nd and 3rd day of the month have anything to do with it? The attacks were on those days of the month.?

    • Brian Combs says:

      I don’t think three events is enough to call it a pattern, but it’s interesting. What could be a recurring event that might cause someone to kill during the first week of a month?

  • Helen Laird says:

    will if this guy is watching the news,,which we all know he is, he is going to move around now. What i really would like to know,,is how do the police know for sure this is the pic of the person committing these crimes,,and how are they related! There must be more to this then what we are reading about! which is police private info for now. But I feel it is just good caution to let this whole state be warned so we all can be on the lookout and on our gaurd, so no else becomes a victim,,which is common in these situations. Lets all watch out for each other and help Law Inforcement as much as we can, as a community.

  • Kim B says:

    Is it possible this person is stationed at the Naval base there? Given the fact that these murders have taken place only over the last year or so, it could be a possibility. I know this will sound like something out of a TV show and it may be hard to do but have the police contacted the FBI or other port police departments to see if similar crimes with similar MO’s have taken place over the last few years?

    • Brian Combs says:

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve looked at this angle. Trying to determine who would have reason to come and go from the area is a standard angle of investigation. When David Russell Williams was arrested, he was a colonel in the Canadian Forces. After he confessed to murdering two woman and sexually assaulting two others, investigators looked back at his duty stations to see if any other crimes might be connected to him.

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