May 14, 1997 6:00 PM PDT

FBI puts out Crime Alert

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The FBI is using the Net in yet another nationwide manhunt--this time, to track down a suspected killer.

The FBI, along with police across the country, have linked Andrew Cunanan, 27, to the murders of four men in Illinois, Minnesota, and New Jersey since April 29. The suspect was in San Francisco just weeks before the killings began.

The Net allows law enforcement agents to distribute information instantly across the country or even the world, an ability that can lead to rapid arrests. A profile and details of the murders connected to Cunanan were posted on the FBI's Crime Alert site today.

"This is the post office wall of the '90s. We will continue to put fugitives on the Net," said George Grotz, a spokesman for the FBI's San Francisco office. "We've had three fugitives caught directly as a result of our publicity on the Internet."

The FBI launched its Ten Most Wanted and Crime Alert sites two years ago. Surfers are encouraged to call their local police or FBI office if they have any information on cases. Grotz has already received about a dozen calls today from people who mentioned the Web site.

"It's a public safety issue: We need to alert the community to the fact that this individual is to be avoided," Grotz added.

San Francisco police Lt. David Robinson, who is leading the investigation in the city, said the site is a definite plus. "The Internet will help a lot more in the future," he said.


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