‘Serial killer’ tree surgeon ‘slashed throats of five before mid-murder arrest’

Police arrested a tree surgeon accused of being a serial killer who "slashed the throats of five people" in the middle of a murder, it has been alleged.

Ryan Scott Blinston, 37, of Oroville, California, USA, is charged with three counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder over the alleged slayings last May and June.

Butte County Superior Court heard that Blinston was working for a tree-trimming service on May 18.

It is claimed that he returned days later to the clients' home and killed Loreen Severs, 88, and also tried to kill her 91-year-old husband Homer.

A statement read: "Both had their throats cut." Homer Severs survived but died in December of an unrelated illness.

Prosecutors say Blinston then killed again while working as a tree trimmer on June 4 while at the home of 82-year-old Sandra George, the New York Post reports.

The statement from prosecutors continued: "After the work was completed and the crew left, Blinston returned to George's home and killed her.

"As with the Severs, her throat was slashed inside her home."

Blinston is then accused of killing an acquaintance, 57-year-old Vicky Cline, with prosecutors claiming he burned her car, citing blood and DNA evidence found inside the torched vehicle.

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Prosecutors said: "Damage to her throat was consistent with the other victims."

The authorities located Blinston to a motor home on June 14 where they heard "muffled screams" from inside as he was allegedly trying to hack his way out with a hatchet.

"The motorhome resident later told officers he was asleep in his bed when Blinston suddenly attacked him and cut his throat,” the statement continued.

The 50-year-old victim survived.

Blinston tried to run off into the woods, but was quickly arrested and later charged with attempted murder.

He has pleaded not guilty to attempted murder in that case, it is reported.

Prosecutors said Blinston faces up to life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

Authorities did not indicate a possible motive in the slayings.

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