Detroit police are looking for a killer who left a woman dead and on fire in her home last weekend on the city's west side. The woman, who was dead when police found her, is the third victim to be found beaten and burned in Detroit since July 26. Authorities are now trying to figure out if they've got a serial attacker on the loose in the Motor City.

Three weeks ago, a Detroit citizen found a 37-year-old woman who had been assaulted, set on fire, and left for dead underneath a couch in a field. That woman survived and is now in stable condition. Less than 24 hours later, and only about a mile from where the first victim was found, yet another woman was found beaten, burned, possibly sexually abused, and lying near a van that had been set on fire. That woman's condition is now unknown. Both women are prostitutes and both women were discovered, like last weekend's victim, on the city's west side. Police are now investigating whether the three attacks are related, according to the New York Daily News.

Ever since the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy last month, there are those who have gotten their kicks mocking the injured city or holding it up to gloat and rant against the dangers of liberal policy making. Regardless of your political persuasion, it's probably important to remember that Detroit is not just some emblem in a culture war. It's a city with real human beings in it, and a horribly faltering infrastructure.

The poor have always gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to police services, and in Detroit that's no different, especially not now that the city is yoked with massive budget woes. Add on to those problems that the person behind these attacks—if they are connected—is targeting prostitutes at least some of the time, and thus people with fewer societal connections, and it's easy to see this as a series of crimes that will go unnoticed in certain segments of the population, where Detroit has become a punch line more than a place.

[Image via AP]