A 31-year-old man has been charged with murdering six women and an 11-year-old girl in a string of Chicago-area sex attacks from 1995 to 1997.
Police said Paul Frederick Runge, who has been in custody on an unrelated charge, confessed to all seven killings and was linked by DNA to two of the crimes, the deaths of the child and her mother.
Runge was charged with first-degree murder, sexual assault and armed robbery in connection with the seven slayings and could be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
Police said his victims were bludgeoned to death or strangled. In some cases, their bodies were dismembered; in one, the home was set on fire with the victims inside.
Police said some of Runge's victims had responded to help-wanted ads for someone to clean his home.