Police warning Calif. homeless of serial killer

By the Associated Press | January 5, 2012 | 9:20 PM EST

Orange County Sheriff Sandra Hutchens, at podium, speaks during a press conference in Anaheim, Calif. Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012. Hutchens said that her department is working diligently to process the evidence gathered from for three fatal stabbings in northern Orange County. At the press conference, the newly formed Homeless Homicide Investigative Task Force, from the left; Anaheim Police Dept. Lt. Julian Harvey, Brea Police Dept. Chief Jack Conklin, Anaheim Police Dept. Chief John Welter, Hutchens, Placentia Police Chief Rick Hicks, and FBI Special Agent William O'Leary, discussed their latest findings. (AP Photo/Orange County Register, Bruce Chambers)

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Police and advocates are warning homeless people in Orange County to be careful if they sleep on the streets because a serial killer who is hunting the homeless has already killed three men.

Orange County Rescue Mission President Jim Palmer says his group is handing out flashlights and whistles to the homeless, in an effort to help them protect themselves.

Homeless people also are being encouraged to sleep in shelters or in groups.

The body of the first victim, 53-year-old James McGillivray, was found Dec. 21 near a Placentia shopping mall. The second victim, 42-year-old Lloyd Middaugh, was found on a riverbed trail in Anaheim a week later.

The third victim, 57-year-old Paulus Cornelius Smit, was discovered with fatal stab wounds outside a Yorba Linda library, where a photo of him stood at a small candlelit memorial this week.