February 4, 2002 at 10:09 PM EST - Updated June 30 at 1:05 AM
AKRON, Ohio (AP) - A Summit County Jail inmate who has claimed since October to be a serial killer, resulting in detectives going to supposed crime sites but finding nothing, has admitted his story was false.
"I want people to believe me, that it's not true," Jason West told the Akron Beacon Journal by phone from jail Sunday. "No more of the game thing. I played that to the hilt. It's false."
West told The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer in an interview published Sunday that he had dreamed up the scam in a half hour. "You can't say I don't have a good imagination," he said.
West, 28, said his motivation in concocting that he has murdered 29 women in several states was to delay facing six years in a Virginia prison for receiving stolen property. In Summit County, he is jailed for theft.
"It snowballed, and I got caught up in it, and once I started playing it, I couldn't stop," he said. "I was like an actor, and I just kept playing it."
Summit County Sheriff's Capt. Larry Momchilov investigated West's claims.
"He's created enough panic in the community. Whether he's telling the truth or not, we don't know. He has left a lot of doubt in a lot of people's minds," Momchilov said.
(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)