A sex worker in Charleston, West Virginia shot and killed a man in self-defense who had a list of prostitutes in his pocket and a “kill kit” in his Subaru. Police are now beginning to link the 45-year-old man, Neal Falls, to the unsolved murders of sex workers in the Las Vegas area and in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Falls entered the home of the unnamed woman after answering her escort ad on backpage.com. He began to strangle her, but after a struggle she managed to grab his gun and shoot him. “I knew he was there to kill me,” she said in an interview with KPTV after being treated for broken vertebrae and lacerations. “I could tell that he had already done something, cause he said that he was going to prison for a long time.” Authorities declared the killing justifiable homicide.

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In the back of his car, police found a shovel, knives, a bulletproof vest, bleach, trash bags, sledgehammers, and axes—and no money, leading police to believe he never planned to pay the escort for her services. Along with four pairs of handcuffs he was carrying in his pocket, he had a list of 10 women from backpage.com.

According to the Huffington Post, Falls was working as a security guard at the Hoover Dam around 2005; between 2003 and 2006, Las Vegas -area escorts Misty Marie Saens, Jodi Marie Brewer, Jessica Edith Louise Foster and Linsday Marie Harris disappeared. The latter’s dismembered remains were identified in 2008.

Authorities also suspect a connection to the thus far unsolved and terrifying case of six missing women in the small town of Chillicothe, Ohio. Several of the women had been sex workers, the earliest of whom went missing in mid-2014.

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As the Daily Dot points out, police have historically not been so great at investigating the deaths of sex workers. It’s not clear yet whether or not Falls can be connected to these various other killing sprees around the country, what is clear is this: this woman is brave as hell, and has likely saved more lives than just her own.


Contact the author at ellie@jezebel.com.

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