A man is behind bars after Pasco County investigators said he stabbed one of his roommates to death.

  • Deputies investigating homicide in Holiday
  • Woman, 42, stabbed to death by 71-year-old roommate
  • Warren Birkbeck in custody; had served prison sentences in 2 murders

The incident happened early Wednesday morning. Warren Birkbeck, the 71-year-old investigators are calling a killer, has been charged twice before with murder.

Detectives were called about 3 a.m. to a home in Holiday after Birkbeck called 911 and said he stabbed his 42-year-old roommate, Denise Cook, to death.

"There's no other way to say it, he's a killer. He has a history of killing people," said Sheriff Chris Nocco.

Birkbeck has served two sentence for two different homicides, in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. His last was in 1999 for manslaughter in the stabbing death of his estranged wife.

Birkbeck's neighbors had no idea. "It's a little crazy because we had no knowledge of it whatsoever," said next-door neighbor Melissa Sullivan.

"I mean, we had never seen police officers come to check up on him, nothing, so it's just shocking because you never know who's living right next door to you," she said.

Birkbeck moved in with his sister in 2015 after being paroled in New Hampshire as part of the Interstate Compact, a federal program that allows offenders to be supervised in other states.

The New Hampshire Department of Corrections says Birkbeck would have been assigned a parole officer in Florida. Bay News 9 has not yet heard back from the Florida DOC.

Under Birkbeck’s DOC documents, he was supposed to be living in Clearwater. The Pasco County Sherif's Office was unaware he was living in Holiday.

"He moves down to our community, I think that's something that causes us a pause of concern to why he's down here," Sheriff Nocco said.

Birkbeck lived with his sister until she passed way in 2015. He then moved in with two women a couple houses down. One of the women was Cook.

The case is under investigation.