Is man in new video the strangler?

Philadelphia police today released new surveillance footage of a man who beat and choked a woman in an alley on Sergeant Street near Kensington Avenue on Dec. 6.

The new footage offers a clearer look at the man, whom police described as a medium built black man in his 20s who has long sideburns and wore a dark hoody and carried a white iPod on the morning he launched the vicious attack.

The man in the video seems to closely match a composite sketch of a man who choked and sexually assaulted two women in Kensington earlier this year. Darby said the man in the video is a "person of interest" in those cases, as well as in the murders of Elaine Goldberg, Nicole Piacentini and Casey Mahoney, all of whom were found strangled and raped in Kensington lots in the last month. Mahoney, 27, a mother from East Stroudsburg, was found dead at Front and Tusculum streets on Wednesday.

"This is not a phantom. This male did not crawl into a hole," Darby said. "He's out there. He's interacting with others."

Darby said the new footage can be viewed at the Police Department's Web site, www.phillypolice.com. Still images from the video are shown above.

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