A younger faculty pupil who was brutally killed on a Prescott climbing path a long time in the past was the sufferer of a serial predator who took his personal life years later, authorities mentioned Friday.
Yavapai County Sheriff David Rhodes introduced at a information convention that DNA proof signifies Bryan Scott Bennett was the person answerable for 23-year-old Catherine “Cathy” Sposito’s 1987 demise.
In November 2022, authorities had the physique of Bennett, who killed himself in 1994, exhumed. It wasn’t till March that investigators confirmed DNA on a wrench used within the slaying belonged to him.
By releasing this information, authorities hope to find out whether or not there have been different victims along with Sposito and three different ladies that authorities imagine Bennett attacked.
“What we all know of significant violent predators like this, it is extremely unlikely given the frequency during which he was prepared to behave that these are the one 4 instances that exist,” Rhodes mentioned.”
Sposito was climbing on Thumb Butte Path close to downtown Prescott within the early morning of June 13, 1987, when she was attacked unprovoked. Sposito was hit within the head with a rock and a wrench, shot within the eye after which stabbed within the head, in line with investigators.
Different hikers truly heard her scream for assist however she was lifeless by the point they obtained to her, Rhodes mentioned.
Sposito’s killing rocked Prescott and Yavapai County as Thumb Butte Path had all the time been seen as secure.
Bennett was a junior at Prescott Excessive College on the time of her demise. He had moved from Calvin, Kentucky, and solely spent a yr and a half there earlier than withdrawing from college, Rhodes mentioned.
Authorities now imagine he was behind a 1990 sexual assault of one other lady on the identical path on the identical time of day.
In keeping with Sheriff Rhodes, that sufferer was tenting together with her boyfriend when she went for a hike on the Thumb Butte Path, CBS affiliate KPHO-TV reported. Inside minutes, Bennett snuck up behind, held a rock to her head and attacked her earlier than working off into the woods, deputies mentioned.
Two months after that incident, Bennett allegedly locked a woman in a room at a Chino Valley home get together and tried to sexually assault her. He was arrested, Rhodes mentioned. Bennett was later acquitted.
In June 1993, Bennett allegedly kidnapped a lady at a Prescott put up workplace at knifepoint. Authorities say he sexually assaulted her a number of occasions. The sufferer was rescued when police occurred to tug over the automobile they have been in. Bennett was arrested however was by no means convicted of something, Rhodes mentioned.
A yr later, Bennett moved again to Kentucky and died by suicide utilizing a 22-caliber gun, the identical type of firearm used on Sposito. However Rhodes mentioned it’s unknown whether or not it was the very same gun.
In 2017, superior and extra accessible DNA know-how led investigators to determine a descendant of Bennett and hyperlink it to the second assault on Thumb Butte Path. They then labored backward to Sposito’s case.
“Via the work of devoted volunteers, quite a few detectives and the numerous companions who give their time and their hearts to fixing these chilly instances, 4 ladies in got both closure, peace or validation immediately,” Rhodes mentioned.
Anybody has data associated to the Sposito homicide or Bryan Scott Bennett is requested to contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Workplace at 928-771-3260.