When Oregon native Neal Falls, 45, answered an ad for sex from backpage.com in Charleston, W.Va., on Wednesday, he wasn't planning on paying. He'd brought along in his car a shovel, knives, a bulletproof vest, bleach, trash bags, sledgehammers and axes, as well as four sets of handcuffs and a gun in his pocket. As the woman who answered the door told Eyewitness News in Charleston: "I knew he was there to kill me."
What happened next is your average nightmare scenario, in which Falls, a former security guard from Springfield, Ore., entered the woman's home and tried to rape and kill her. "When he strangled me, he just wouldn't let me get any air and I grabbed my rake and when he laid the gun down to get the rake out of my hands, I shot him. I just grabbed the gun and shot behind me," said the woman, who declined to be named.
Falls did not survive the gunshot wound.
The woman, and police, think this was probably not an isolated incident. Besides the fact that he had what could be described as a "kill kit" in his (typical Oregon) Subaru, he also was carrying in his pocket a list of around 10 other women from backpage.com, possibly more potential victims.
"It's hard to imagine this was only going to be a one-time event for him," said Lt. Steve Cooper of the Charleston Police Department.
Says the woman, "I could tell that he had already done something because he said he was going to prison for a long."
The police believe Falls may be connected to a string of dead sex workers in Ohio and also possibly Las Vegas. When asked by Eyewitness News if she believes she saved the lives of other women, the woman who killed Falls said, "I know I did."
The Pacific Northwest, in case you've forgotten, is a known incubator of serial killers. Ted Bundy killed women up and down the I-5 corridor, the Green River Killer stuck to the Pacific Highway and those are just the best known ones. There are also the Lust Killer, the Molalla Forest Murderer, Westley Allen Dodd (who will make you change your mind about naming your future son "Westley"), just to name a few.
Ted Bundy once said, "Be sure your doors are locked." Bundy may have been a sadistic monster, but on this one, he was right. Lock your doors or else be able to confidently steal an assailant's gun and shoot to kill behind your back while he's strangling you. So yeah, just lock your doors, okay?