ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Thomas Bruce, the suspected Catholic Supply store killer, stands out in several ways.
He’s 53, he had no criminal record, and his LinkedIn profile indicates he’s a Navy veteran who’s worked as a pastor. However, a veteran retired homicide investigator says this type of crime points to someone who’s done this before.
Former Detective Sergeant Mike Guzy believes they're the kind of crimes someone doesn't just decide to do overnight.
“This guy obviously had some really bad sexual problems, so I would be surprised if—in his case—if there were not some previously unsolved crimes that he was responsible for," he said.
Sex crimes especially, Guzy said.
“I had a detective sergeant that told me when I was a young officer, ‘Nobody gets caught the first time.’ Now, that’s not true; some people actually do get caught the first time but that’s a good way to proceed,” he said. “You can clear up a lot of other crimes.”
St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar confirmed investigators are looking into Bruce’s past.
“We’re going to explore that. Are those the issues that we feel there’s involvement in other cities or within our area?” Belmar said. “We owe that, again, in this investigation to make sure that this individual hasn’t hurt anybody else.”
Fox 2/KPLR 11 has learned Bruce was involved in an October 17 road rage report. He was never charged despite what one man said happened in that incident.
The man, who asked not to be identified, said, “(Bruce) was acting very psychotic, very erratic, and even more so with the officer than with me.”
“He’s like, ‘You’re going to (bleeping) pay!'”
The suspect’s DNA will be the quickest way to look for other possible crimes.
The St. Louis County Crime Lab is already comparing samples. Deputy Director Quality Manager Lisa Campbell said they swabbed the inside of his cheek.
“We were able to obtain a buccal swab from Mr. Bruce, so that sample was processed in our local laboratory,” she said.
The DNA has been entered into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) where it will scan against DNA from unsolved cases across the nation.
“We’ve had 500 CODIS hits so far this year in our local lab,” Campbell said.
While there’s nothing yet on Bruce, DNA is scanned through CODIS every day, which Campbell said solves more and more cases.
“Part of the reason for that is the database itself is growing. There’s more convicted offenders in there,” she said.
“There’s more forensic samples in there. Also, our technology – we’ve been able to speed up our processes.”
Chief Belmar said the priority is this case. He said even though they’re looking for other possible connections, they want to do flawless work on the current charges to get a conviction.