Police are investigating at least three non-fatal stabbings of middle-aged transients in the LA and Santa Monica areas. Authorities connected the incidents with signed, type-written notes left by the stabber that police called "death warrants." Conan Nolan reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 19, 2012.
A Santa Barbara man is wanted in connection with the stabbings of two homeless men and a woman and allegedly leaving behind signed "death warrants," Santa Monica police said Thursday.
Police were looking for a man who may go by the name David Ben Keyes in connection with the non-fatal stabbings, said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Candice Cobarrubias.
In each incident, authorities found a typed and signed "death warrant," LAPD Capt. Billy Hayes said during a Thursday news conference. All of the notes were signed with the name David Ben Keyes, he said.
The first attack occurred on July 3 near Third and Main streets, Hayes said. In that case, a suspect was seen fleeing from the area.
On July 17, a middle-aged homeless man was stabbed while on a Santa Monica park bench, Hayes said.
"The victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment and his condition is stable but guarded. The weapon, a large knife, has been recovered," according to a SMPD alert.
A middle-aged homeless woman was stabbed early Thursday morning in Hollywood near the intersection of La Brea and De Longpre avenues, police said.
Authorities said the person of interest may himself be homeless.
A Facebook profile that matches Keyes' name and photos released by police identifies the man as CEO/CFO of David Ben Keyes Industries, a musician and scribe.
Keyes' most recent Facebook post -- dated July 15 -- reads: "David current agenda:Re-structure the Holy Roman Catholic Church into a military tribunal & draftin letters&press releases in Santa Barbara."
One of those releases -- published in a Facebook post dated May 11 -- announces that David Ben Keyes Industries "denounces same-sex marriage in the Democratic Party."
Keyes' internet profile also includes a song -- credited to himself -- entitled "Only The Strong Will Survive."
In most of his pictures, Keyes is accompanied by what appears to be the same backpack seen in photos distributed by LAPD.
Police on Thursday asked for the public's help in the case and urged homeless people to get into a shelter until the investigation is complete.
"Get yourself somewhere where you can be protected," said LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, addressing the city's homeless population.
"We know that homeless people are vulnerable, they're some of the most vulnerable people in our society. But it's even worse when there's an individual out like this who's conducting these random acts of violence against homeless individuals."
Police have increased patrols in the areas where homeless people congregate, Cobarrubias said.
The LAPD is taking over the investigation, Hayes said.