BUFFALO, N.Y. - One of the most notorious criminals in Western New York history was arrested five years ago this weekend by members of the Bike Path Task Force
The beginning of the end for Altemio Sanchez came about 36 hours before he was taken into custody.
Sanchez was the prime suspect in the 25 years worth of rapes and murders, and he and his wife were going to dinner at the Amherst restaurant Sole.
The final piece int he puzzle for the Task Force was that it needed Sanchez's DNA.
Amherst Police Lt. Ted DiNoto: "I believe the napkin was the clincher. One of our detectives said did you see that- he just wiped his mouth with that. We figured if he's putting something in his mouth and wiping it, we're going to get it and we did."
DNA tests the following day proved that Sanchez had killed Joan Diver.
On Monday morning after he left work, Task Force members were following Sanchez when they got the word.
State Police Captain Steve Nigrelli: "We waited 20 plus years to say- 'take him in custody.'"
Sanchez was brought to Sheriff's headquarters on West Eagle Street for questioning.
Scott Brown: "What was his demeanor during the interrogation?
Captain Steve Nigrelli: "Denial, defiant at times, accusatory. He didn't believe we had the evidence we had."
Lt. Ted DiNoto: "He was calm, he was defiant, he tried to be controlling."
Sheriff's Senior Detective Al Rozansky: "He was nervous, but he wasn't amount to admit to anything."
And there was a good reason behind Sanchez's attitude- he had been questioned about 15 years before by Amherst police in the murder of Linda Yalem and walked away from it a free man.
Captain Steve Nigrelli: "The difference between our case and the Amherst case was we had DNA. We offered him food, we brought him water, he didn't touch anything. He was worried about DNA and fingerprints. He didn't believe we had him even though the interrogators kept telling him 'we know it's you.'"
Alan Rozansky did a majority of the questioning, "I kept telling him look we have your DNA, he just wouldn't believe it."
Sanchez had a pat answer anytime he was presented with evidence of the crimes he committed.
Captain Steve Nigrelli: "He kept on saying this one thing to Al- 'that's what you say,' and if he said it once he said it three dozen times- 'that's what you say, that's what you say.'"
Investigators even brought a radio into the interrogation room so Sanchez could hear the coverage about him.
Captain Steve Nigrelli: "I can remember the radio, Al bringing in the radio, turning it on and they're saying 'the Bike Path rapist has been caught,' and Sanchez looking at Al Rozansky and saying 'that's what you say,' - that's what I say? It's on the radio!"
Scott Brown: "Why do you think during this whole time he didn't say 'I'm done I want my attorney?'"
Detective Alan Rozansky: "I think in the back of his mind he had been interviewed before and he walked away.
Scott Brown: "Do you think he'd been preparing for this for years?"
Detective Alan Rozansky: "100 percent. I think he'd been practicing in his head for a long time and I don't think he was about to give it up."
Finally, after more than seven hours, and realizing they weren't getting anywhere investigators brought the interview to an end, and Sanchez was cocky right to the end.
Captain Steve Nigrelli: "We went in there- he stood up to walk out the door. He thought he beat us and we had to tell him, 'you're not going anywhere you're under arrest.'"
Sanchez is currently serving a sentence of 75 years to life in prison in a northern New York prison.