Tracking Serial Killers Not As Easy As TV

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) - The new Fox series "The Following" has quite the following. It focuses on tracking serial killers. Major Harry Hegger tracked serial killer Maury Travis in 2001, so he knows how difficult it is to catch a serial killer.  "You have to find a way to pick up their pattern," he said.

Travis is linked to at least 12 murders in the St. Louis area, but Hegger believes he may have killed 20 women.

"He was the devil," Hegger said. "Just a sick human being."

Hegger said Travis lured prostitutes into his St. Louis County home. "Then he would tie them up, blind fold them and strangle them," Hegger said.

Investigators caught a break when Travis sent a letter to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"The letter included a computer generated map leading us to one of his victims," Hegger said.

Investigators used the map to find an I.P. address for the computer it was generated on. It led Hegger straight to Travis.  Travis was arrested, but the case never went to trial.

"He killed himself in his jail cell," Hegger said. "He put a pillow over his face and hung himself."

Hegger said the reality of tracking a serial killer is something he will never forget.

"He was just a nasty human being," Hegger said.

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