Ipswich, England Police on Monday arrested a 37-year-old grocery store clerk on suspicion of killing five prostitutes - slayings that struck terror in this quiet English community.
British media quoted the suspect as saying he knew all the victims and had been interviewed repeatedly by police about the killings.
But the man, identified as Tom Stephens, said he did not kill the women, whose naked bodies were dumped in rural areas around Ipswich, 70 miles northeast of London.
"I don't have alibis for some of the times (of the killings), actually I'm not entirely sure I have tight alibis for any of the times. But I'm not worried about being charged. I'm innocent," he was quoted as telling The Sunday Mirror.
Stephens, who also worked as a part-time taxi driver, was known to have visited an Internet blog site under the pseudonym "The Bishop," where he listed his interests as "keeping fit" and music from the '80s. His hero, he said, is the cartoon character Hong Kong Phooey.
The arrest, which came 16 tense days after the first body was found dumped in a stream, caused a sensation in Britain.
Suffolk police said they arrested the suspect at 7:20 a.m. but refused to identify him or say where he was being held.
"He has been arrested on the suspicion of murdering all five women," said Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull.
In the Sunday Mirror interview, Stephens was quoted as saying he already had been questioned by authorities under caution - meaning he was regarded as a suspect and had been warned of his legal rights.
The victims have been identified as Paula Clennell, 24, who died of compression to her neck, and Anneli Alderton, 24, who was strangled.
Forensic examinations of the bodies of Tania Nicol, 19, Annette Nicholls, 29, and Gemma Adams, 25, have reached no conclusion on the cause of death.
Stephens said he was a friend of all five victims.
He said he had visited around 50 prostitutes in the year after his eight-year marriage collapsed. "Over time I have been involved with most of the (dead) girls," he was quote as saying.