A 26-year-old man who was formally charged yesterday in the so-called peeping Tom slaying of a Southeast woman Saturday night has told police he killed three people in the last six weeks and participated in a fourth slaying, a prosecutor said yesterday.
Ricky Brogsdale of 3633 Sixth St. SE also has been linked to three other peeping Tom shootings, which have plagued a Southeast neighborhood since early September, and is being investigated in at least four similar attacks, police said.
Brogsdale, who was paroled from prison five months ago, was ordered held without bond by a D.C. Superior Court commissioner yesterday after he was charged with the first-degree murder of 35-year-old Yvonne Watts, who was shot to death Saturday night by a gunman poised outside her apartment window.
Police and prosecutors said yesterday that evidence in the other cases, which are still under investigation, will be submitted to a grand jury.
"He was just a deviant individual, a criminal," D.C. Police Chief Maurice T. Turner Jr. said yesterday. "He was just hell-bent on what he was doing."
Watts was shot in the head through an open window in her ground-floor apartment at 1104 Missisippi Ave. SE. Acting on a tip from children who saw a man running through their neighborhood, police arrested Brogsdale about five blocks away.
At a news conference at police headquarters yesterday attended by Mayor Marion Barry, Turner praised the fast work of 7th District officers and thanked residents of the area, especially the children, for their cooperation. But he cautioned residents to continue to lock windows, lower blinds and draw curtains.
In the shooting rampage that began Sept. 5, residents of a Southeast neighborhood and in nearby Prince George's County were terrorized by a gunman who shot at women or couples through open windows or glass doors. But police did not warn residents about the shooting until the fifth such incident, in which an off-duty police officer was grazed in the head Thursday.
Residents greeted Brogsdale's confinement yesterday with a mixture of relief and skepticism. Several said that many peeping Toms plague the neighborhood and wondered whether the attacks would stop.
Others expressed anger that the police did not warn residents of the danger until after a police officer became a victim.
Turner refused yesterday to explain the decision to delay warning residents until nearly six weeks after the attacks began, saying only that extra uniformed and plainclothes officers had been assigned to patrol the area.
In the courtroom, prosecutor June M. Jeffries said that Brogsdale had made a videotaped statement in which he said he committed three killings, including Watts' slaying, and participated in a fourth. In the videotaped statement, Brogsdale also said he was involved in 10 other assaults, she said.
"We view him as a very dangerous criminal," Jeffries said.
Brogsdale, shackled and dressed in a orange jump suit, remained silent and expressionless during the hearing. But his attorney, public defender Ellen Kreitzberg, said she found the circumstances surrounding his videotape confession "highly suspect."
D.C. Superior Court Commissioner Andrea Hartnett set a preliminary hearing for Oct. 28.
Police and prosecutors identified three slayings in September and three nonfatal peeping Tom shootings in which they believe they have established Brogsdale's responsibility. They are:The Sept. 6 shooting death of Steven Wilson, 28, and the wounding of Sadie Turner, 27, in the apartment the couple shared at 1708 W. St. SE. According to police sources, Brogsdale said he believed Wilson had fatally beaten Brogsdale's sister. The shooting death of Myers Jackson of 1853 Alabama Ave. SE, whose body was found on Suitland Parkway just west of the Southern Avenue overpass on Sept. 5. The shooting death of 17-year-old Angela Shaw of 3002 Massachusetts Ave. SE, whose body was found in the 2300 block of Good Hope Road SE on Sept. 20. The Sept. 18 wounding of a woman working alone in the ground-floor office of a tourist home on Parkland Place SE. The Oct. 14 grazing of police officer Kelli Williams in her apartment in the 3300 block of 10th Place SE. The Oct. 15 shooting of a 29-year-old woman in her apartment in the 1400 block of Southview Drive in Prince George's County.
Police sources said yesterday that ballistics tests have linked Brogsdale to three peeping Tom cases. Forensic test results in four other shootings are being awaited.
Staff writer Elsa Walshn contributed to this report.