Suspected serial killer caught after cops put out a bait mannequin

After two homeless men were murdered in Las Vegas by the same method, cops put out a bait mannequin that looked like a homeless man sleeping under a blanket. During the stakeout, Shane Shindler began beating the mannequin with a hammer similar to the weapon used in the other deaths.

At the time, police had no suspects. That's when they came up with the idea for the decoy.

"We treated this as if they were our own family members who were killed," [Officer] Walsh said. "We wanted to send that clear message to the community that we'll do anything we can within the law to catch" the killer.

Schindler, who made his first court appearance last week on a charge of carrying a concealed weapon, acknowledged under questioning by police that he kicked the decoy and ultimately struck it with the hammer, but he said he "knew it was a mannequin" before he hit it, according to the report.

The whole crime was captured on video, though that has not been released yet.

Man charged with attempted murder in attack on police decoy in downtown Las Vegas (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Image: Marc Brünke