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The Unsettling Encounter: Mike Tyson and the Phoenix Serial Killer Dale Hausner

Legend meets criminal unknowingly

By Deji AkomolafePublished about a month ago 4 min read

In a bizarre and unsettling twist of fate, former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson found himself shaking hands with a man who would later be revealed as a serial killer. Dale Hausner, a Phoenix resident who posed as a sports writer, was responsible for a series of heinous crimes that took the lives of eight innocent people. Tyson's brief encounter with Hausner, followed by the shocking revelation of his true identity, highlights the chilling reality that sometimes, the most dangerous individuals can hide in plain sight.

The Encounter

In the summer of 2006, Mike Tyson was at his gym in Phoenix, training and focusing on his post-boxing career endeavors. Among the various visitors that day was Dale Hausner, a seemingly unremarkable man who introduced himself as a sports writer interested in Tyson's career and future plans. Tyson, known for his openness with fans and media alike, greeted Hausner and engaged in what seemed to be an ordinary conversation about boxing and his experiences in the sport.

Unbeknownst to Tyson, Hausner was living a double life. Far from being a benign sports writer, he was, in fact, a cold-blooded killer who, along with his accomplice Samuel Dieteman, had embarked on a terrifying crime spree in the Phoenix area. Hausner’s façade was so convincing that even someone as experienced and wary as Tyson did not suspect anything unusual during their brief interaction.

The Crimes of Dale Hausner

Dale Hausner's reign of terror began in May 2005 and continued until his arrest in August 2006. Along with Dieteman, Hausner targeted random individuals in drive-by shootings, often using a high-powered rifle. The victims were chosen indiscriminately, with no apparent motive beyond the killers' twisted sense of thrill. Their actions resulted in the deaths of eight people and injuries to numerous others, spreading fear and panic across Phoenix.

Hausner and Dieteman were dubbed the "Serial Shooters" by the media, as their pattern of random violence and the lack of discernible motive made them particularly difficult to apprehend. The randomness of their attacks created a climate of fear, with residents feeling that anyone could be a potential victim.

The Revelation

A few days after Tyson’s encounter with Hausner, police arrived at Tyson’s gym with startling news. They informed Tyson that the man he had met and shaken hands with was none other than Dale Hausner, the infamous serial killer who had been terrorizing Phoenix. The news was shocking not only to Tyson but also to the community that had followed his career and now had to reconcile the image of the boxing legend with this unexpected and unsettling connection.

Tyson, known for his tough exterior and storied past, expressed his disbelief and horror at the revelation. The encounter served as a stark reminder of how easily even the most vigilant individuals can be deceived by those who hide their true intentions behind a veneer of normalcy.

The Arrest and Trial

Hausner’s arrest in August 2006 marked the end of his deadly spree. The investigation that led to his capture involved significant law enforcement resources and community cooperation. Hausner and Dieteman’s careless bragging about their crimes eventually provided the critical leads that detectives needed to apprehend them.

During the trial, the extent of Hausner's crimes was laid bare, and the court heard harrowing testimonies from survivors and families of the victims. In 2009, Dale Hausner was convicted on multiple counts of murder, assault, and other charges. He was sentenced to death, and in 2013, he took his own life in prison.

Reflections on the Encounter

For Mike Tyson, the encounter with Hausner was a jarring experience that underscored the unpredictability of human interactions. Despite his own turbulent past and encounters with danger, the idea that he had come face-to-face with a serial killer was a sobering reminder of the hidden threats that can lurk behind seemingly benign interactions.

Tyson’s life has been marked by dramatic highs and lows, and this incident added another layer of complexity to his narrative. It reinforced the notion that no one, regardless of their status or experiences, is immune to being deceived by those with malevolent intentions.

The Broader Implications

The case of Dale Hausner and his encounter with Mike Tyson highlights broader issues related to trust, deception, and the nature of evil. It serves as a chilling reminder that individuals with sinister motives can blend seamlessly into society, hiding behind facades that conceal their true nature.

For the public, the story underscores the importance of vigilance and the need for communities to work together to identify and address threats. For law enforcement, it highlights the challenges of tracking and apprehending individuals who commit random acts of violence.


The brief handshake between Mike Tyson and Dale Hausner is a poignant example of how unpredictable and unsettling life can be. It reminds us that danger can come from the most unexpected places and that the true nature of individuals can often be hidden beneath a mask of normalcy. Tyson’s encounter with Hausner, and the subsequent revelation of Hausner’s crimes, serves as a stark reminder of the complexities of human interactions and the ever-present potential for deception.


About the Creator

Deji Akomolafe

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    Deji AkomolafeWritten by Deji Akomolafe

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