Los Angeles police are looking into the validity of claims by a young woman suspected of killing a man in Pennsylvania she met on Craigslist that she may have another victim in L.A.
Miranda Barbour, 19, reportedly told a Pennsylvania newspaper that she killed 22 people, including someone in Los Angeles, and that she was a prolific serial killer in a satanic cult.
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the department's robbery-homicide detectives are "aware of the case."
"We obviously are going to look at any connection," Smith said, adding that detectives would be in contact with other agencies "to see if there is any validity" to Barbour's claims. Smith also noted that Barbour was not specific when she told the Pennsylvania newspaper reporter her alleged 22 victims included someone in Los Angeles.
A Pennsylvania police officer told The Times that "she just said L.A."
"That's a pretty big swath of territory," Smith said.
Investigators in Pennsylvania are now contacting agencies around the country and FBI offices, but noted that the woman's comments are vague.
The confusion comes from an hour-long jailhouse interview Barbour gave to Daily Item reporter Francis Scarcella, who told The Times that Barbour sent him a letter asking to speak to him.
"It says, 'I'm reaching out to you, I'd love to have all the news articles about my husband,'" Scarcella said, adding that Barbour said her attorney warned her not to give the interview. (Barbour's attorney did not immediately respond to The Times' request for comment.)
Barbour, along with her husband, has been charged with stabbing and strangling Troy LaFerrara, 42, after meeting with him on Nov. 11, 2013 through a Craigslist ad in which Barbour reportedly offered LaFerrara companionship in exchange for money.
The Barbours had been married just three weeks before LaFerrara's slaying. The couple moved to Pennsylvania from North Carolina and were arrested in December.
Scarcella told The Times that officials didn't allow him to bring a pencil or notebook to the Northumberland County Prison for the Friday night interview.
When he began talking to Barbour about the Craigslist case, he told The Times, he became incredulous at the things she began to say. "I didn't ask, I let her talk," Scarcella recalled. "She said, 'I've done this before,' and I said, 'OK, do you want to explain that?'
That's when Barbour told him she had killed "under 100" people, said Scarcella, who responded to her doubtfully. She then told him, "I stopped counting after 22," Scarcella said.
The veteran newspaperman said Barbour's demeanor was "calm, cool, collected. She had no emotion. I asked her if she had any remorse, she said no. She said she killed 'bad people.'"
She said she began killing when she joined a satanic cult in Alaska at the age of 13, and alluded to killings in Texas, North Carolina and California, with the majority happening in Alaska, according to Scarcella's story on the interview.
On Sunday, the FBI confirmed to The Times that it had been contacted by Pennsylvania police and were prepared to assist on the case.