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Archive for Monday, December 8, 2008

Lawrence police believe recent sexual assault is linked to cases back to 2004

Police say a recent rape is related to others that have occurred in the past few years.

December 8, 2008, 9:51 a.m. Updated December 8, 2008, 6:20 p.m.

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A recent rape at a southwest Lawrence home may be related to multiple other rapes in the city that have occurred since 2004, police said Monday.

In all five cases, police said the attacker was armed with a weapon, sometimes a gun.

A 19-year-old Kansas University student was attacked by an unidentified male suspect who entered her home with a handgun about 2 a.m. Dec. 1, police said. The next day, more than a dozen Lawrence officers and detectives searched grassy areas along the Kansas Highway 10 bypass and the area of 27th Street and Wakarusa Drive in southwest Lawrence looking for evidence regarding the latest rape.

“We do have strong information to believe that this attack is related to the other four attacks in the city,” said police Sgt. Bill Cory. “We take these crimes very seriously.”

In what’s been called a major case investigation, Cory said detectives have devoted several thousand hours in investigating the cases involving a total of six sexual assault victims.

Police said last week’s rape is believed to be related to these cases:

— On July 14, 2004, an unidentified man entered a southwest Lawrence apartment and raped a Kansas University student, who was between 20 and 25 years old, who was sleeping.

— On Dec. 29, 2004, two women, ages 19 and 20, were raped inside an apartment at Highpointe Apartments, 2001 W. Sixth St.

— On June 13, 2006, an unidentified man entered a central Lawrence home and raped a 21-year-old woman.

— On March 22, 2008, an unidentified man entered an apartment at Lorimar Townhomes, 3801 Clinton Parkway, and sexually assaulted a 20-year-old KU student.

All of the attacks have occurred between about 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. and during periods when KU students are on some type of a break from school. Students returned from Thanksgiving break last Monday, the day of the most recent attack.

Police haven’t always said how the attacker gets into the homes. In at least one of the earlier cases, entry to the home was through an unlocked door.

After the March assault, police Capt. Dan Ward described the sexual attacks as “terrible” and said “they last awhile.”

The suspect is described as a white man between 25 and 40 years old, 5 feet 9 inches to 6 feet tall, with a slim build. The suspect was described as weighing 160 pounds.

Riley County Police said they were investigating several rapes and assaults in Manhattan, home to Kansas State University, and the cases could be related to the Lawrence cases. The crimes there date back to 2000, though the suspect’s description in the Riley County attacks isn’t completely similar to those of the Lawrence attacker.

Cory wouldn’t speak to the cases in Riley County.

Lawrence police said anyone with information about the sexual attacks is asked to call investigators at 830-7430 or Douglas County Crimestoppers at 843-8477 (TIPS), where information about crimes can be submitted anonymously.

“People need to be aware of their surroundings,” said Cory, who encouraged people to report any suspicious activity to police and to make sure their windows and doors are locked at night.

KU is also urging students to take safety precautions in the wake of the assaults, by being aware and alert.

Comments

OldEnuf2BYurDad 6 years ago

So many rapes and they cannot get a better description than "25-40" white male with a height of "not sure"?They're going to need more than that if they want to catch this guy. And, they NEED to catch him!

Thats_messed_up 6 years ago

Why doesn't the LJW call these RAPES? That's what they are. Lawrence has had a SERIAL RAPIST for years now but the public has not been informed. The rapist may be linked to Manhattan also.

KEITHMILES05 6 years ago

They describe "entered a home." Were none of these homes secured and locked up?

TheEleventhStephanie 6 years ago

No, but what kind of moron doesn't lock their door in this day and age! But, no it does not justify a rape. But lock your door, people! this isn't the 1950s!

ModerateOne 6 years ago

"KEITHMILES05 (Anonymous) says… They describe “entered a home.” Were none of these homes secured and locked up?" * * * * * Keith, you were hit by a drunk driver and maimed. Were you not driving a military tank?Keith, you were working on the 99th floor at the WTC on 9/11/01. Were you not working on a farm in Kansas?

TheEleventhStephanie 6 years ago

Oh jeez, he wasn't blaming the victim. He was making a point that the world isn't safe and people should take what steps they can to protect themselves. You think locks are for decoration?

Confrontation 6 years ago

Yes, because we all know that no one could possibly get into a house if the door is locked. Idiots.

gsxr600 6 years ago

There is a serial rapist in town: FACT. This has been happening for years. Also, if you look at all these dates of attacks, they are all of KU breaks. Ladies, please lock your doors at night, lock your bedroom door, get a dog and stay vigilant. I don't believe the suspect has entered a house yet with animals present. In most cases, the suspect has used a gun as a weapon. He also stalks his victims before making a move.I'm not really sure why this hasn't been major new before. Imo, this should be one of the biggest stories in town. This is why I stay with my girlfriend.This piece of **** needs to burn.

TheEleventhStephanie 6 years ago

Hey Confrontation, don't you think a locked door (or window, or a loud dog) could at least slow the intruder down enough to allow a victim some more time to call for help? Note: I am not saying she left her door unlocked, not saying she is at fault, and not suggesting that this is anything other than a horrible crime. I am, however, trying to make the point that people should take what precautions they can. Of course there are other ways to enter a house, besides a door. Lock your windows too, be aware, and consider what someone above said about getting a dog.

sarahsmilehawk 6 years ago

I don't know any college-aged woman who leaves her door unlocked at night. So I find it hard to believe that this serial rapist found FIVE. Did he break in, or pick a lock or something? Can the online editor clarify this?

Onasis 6 years ago

If you know much about crime prevention, then you know that opportunity is a big part. If this guy is watching for ladies who don't have to unlock their door before going into their house / or ladies who leave their cars unlocked in the driveway with the garage door opener in it... there is your opportunity. Some criminals don't mind making a little more noise to "break in" and some would rather wait to find a victim who he can terrify quietly. I wondered that too Keith - if he broke in or just walked in an unlocked door. I myself, lock my doors always, even during the day when I'm home. It's a good habit in this crazy world!

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Sounds like someone who has some educated background in stalking and/or surveillance.

sarahsmilehawk 6 years ago

Maybe I'm naive, but I wouldn't feel any safer with a gun in my house. I especially don't think I'd be able to protect myself with a gun when an intruder wakes me up from a dead sleep. This rapist probably made it all the way to his victim's bedsides before they woke up, which doesn't put them in a very good position to defend themselves.

bluedog 6 years ago

When I read about things like this, I'm so glad I have my dogs. They're sweet, but also VERY concerned about my well being.

verity 6 years ago

"Police haven’t always said how the attacker gets into the homes. In at least one of the earlier cases, entry to the home was through an unlocked door."---from the article.Always, always, always lock your house and car doors as soon as you enter. Put deadlocks on your house---thumbbolts can often be opend in about 7 seconds with a credit card. Make sure first floor windows are locked at night. Look in the back seat of your car before entering. And particularly to the women, always keep blinds/curtains closed at night.And if something seems suspicious, do not worry about looking silly if you start running or screaming. I had a friend get raped because of that concern. She could have run to a public area, but didn't.

radarlove 6 years ago

Get a dog? Why?So that women can have to go out late at night or early to walk the damn thing, therefore leaving themselves outside and vulnerable? Not all dogs are "protective".Why on earth is it necessary to suggest taking on responsibility for an animal just to "be safe"> Sheesh.

jayhawk00 6 years ago

It actually happened somewhere in my neighborhood and the houses around here are not pretty safe, even when the door is locked. Actually these doors here are a joke and anyone with basic knowledge of how to break it should have no problem of doing so.

Clickker 6 years ago

I am wondering if the perp is a Teacher, or some school worker from another city, that has breaks at the same time KU does. Also, it could be an out of town dad that comes into town to see his kids during breaks.

bluedog 6 years ago

I'm not implying people should get a dog. I'm just thankful for mine, because they ARE protective dogs. To own ANY pet, is a big responsibility and a lifetime commitment. There are lots of precautions women living alone should take. Perhaps an accompanying safety tip article is needed.

bevy 6 years ago

You could always sleep with a tazer under your pillow - 'course you might zap yourself.Why isn't this getting more attention? Why hasn't a special squad been formed or something? If these were 30-40 year old women in more expensive neighborhoods being raped, you can bet the outcry would be greater!

areyouserious 6 years ago

I wish just one time this MOFO would walk into my house............Ive got 9mm's waiting to say HI and Goodbye........u piece of sh*t

TownWatcher 6 years ago

if GHB was involved then it was christopher little. he's gotten countless people. needs to be castratedp.s. go for the eyes. pop a eyeball and most people stop what their doing.

XEPCT 6 years ago

TownWatcher who is that person? and when someone pulls a gun on you, you'd go for the eyes? Intelligent... failure

twiggy 6 years ago

I went to school with this girl and regardless of how he got in my thoughts and prayers go out to her and her family.

Kynsicat 6 years ago

This is sort of long, but it has some really good info.A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:1) The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman with a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed . They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.2) The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women who's clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around specifically to cut clothing.3) They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse, or doing other activities while walking because they are off-guard and can be easily overpowered.4) Men are most likely to attack & rape in the early morning, between 5: 00a.m. and 8:30a.m.5) The number one place women are abducted from/attacked is grocery store parking lots. The number two: office parking lots/garages. Number three: public restrooms.6) If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn't worth it because it will be time-consuming.7) These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands8) Several defense mechanisms: If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like what time is it?, or make general small talk: 'I can't believe it is so cold out here,' 'We're in for a bad winter.' Now you've seen their face and could identify them in a line-up; you lose appeal as a target.9) If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell STOP! or STAY BACK! Most of the rapists this man talked to said they'd leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.10) If you carry pepper spray, yell I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY and holding it out will be a deterrent.11) If someone grabs you, you can't beat them with strength but you can by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm (between the elbow and armpit) OR in the upper inner thigh VERY VERY HARD. 12) After the initial hit, always GO for the GROIN. You might think that you'll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists want is a woman who will not cause a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble and he's out of there.13) When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible.

smarty_pants 6 years ago

How about get a security system? It's worth the 25 bucks a month.

jaywalker 6 years ago

Pickin' locks isn't that difficult dependent on the type. And, unfortunately, many can even be breached with just a credit card. - Ladies, check your doors: if there's any play, meaning you can wiggle the door while closed, however slightly, call your landlord or whomever you need to and get it fixed. - There are door bars that are effective and cheap, and never leave a sliding door unlocked even if you live on a second or third floor as it's easy to climb from balcony to balcony at many complexes in town (Old English - lived on the third floor and had a habit of locking ourselves out!)- Never leave windows open or unlocked on the first floor unless you've got a big pooch!- Don't want anyone being paranoid, but ladies, BE paranoid when you approach home. Fingers on panic buttons, keys between fingers, back into your garage instead of pulling in head first, set up a call back/text back safe buddy for when you arrive home safe inside, when in doubt stay in your car, etc.

Chris Ogle 6 years ago

I think the police have an idea who the rapist is. Just a matter of time. It is time for him to sweat it out.

verity 6 years ago

Have your house key in your hand and leave porch/outside lights on. Be aware as you are opening your door and get inside and lock it quickly. I knew someone who was attacked in broad daylight as she was looking at mail as she went into her apartment. Best time to attack as he didn't have to break in and then he had her inside the apartment. Dare I say it, she told him she was having her period and he left. Not saying that would always work, but it's worth a try.And the safe buddy system mentioned by jaywalker, yes, yes, yes. Always let roommates or someone know where you will be and to investigate if they don't hear from you by a certain time. I believe the law student who was murdered recently was not missed for some time.Christmas is a time where there are more attacks in store parking lots, so be extra careful. One story I heard is that when a woman was approached, she threw the contents of her purse under her car---attacker is probably not going to crawl under the car. This has nothing to do with rape, but carrying your billfold, etc., in your pockets instead of a purse is also a good idea.A little paranoia can be a good thing.

akt2 6 years ago

Someone recently told me that bear mace is good. I wonder if you can get that at Cabella's or what?

jaywalker 6 years ago

Another solid fight back tip - Think 'Love'! Form your hand in shape of an 'L', thumb extended with hand flat and fingers stiff, and strike under chin at adam's apple as hard and with as much anger as you can, like you're trying to match his adam's apple right into the angle formed where your thumb meets your hand This can be effective with fingers tucked at first knuckle too, not into a full fist. The object is to keep your hand flat in order to fit under chin. First method is best as forming anything resembling a fist is detectable and surprise, speed, and force are your friends. Get your shoulder behind it!Make a solid strike and you'll have a great chance. The pain and lack of oxygen are completely debilitating. -Another strike is with bottom of palm shoved upward at four or five o'clock angle into nostrils. Picture your arm without your hand, and pretend you're ramming the flat part of your wrist where your hand's attached right up through his nostrils and coming out the top center of his head. Again, use all the force and anger you can muster. Solid strike and he won't be able to see, and the pain is extraordinary.Practice these moves a couple times in slo-mo with a friend, and practice them full force by yourself just into the air, or if possible find a punching bag. Familiarity and practice breed confidence. No matter what, FIGHT!! And then run screaming!!

Wendy magillicutty 6 years ago

Unfortunately, I can attest to too many of these truths. My attacker "gained entry" while the apt was locked and I was at the laundry machines. Yes, I locked it even while doing laundry at the complex, they were never sure how he got in... That was Dec 22 and my roommate was away for the holiday-probably why he picks school breaks to prey. Thank God they finally put this on the news so young women can be aware. NEVER SLACK ON SECURITY!!!! Do NOT leave your door unlocked-EVER-and especially at night. If your roomie lost a key, get a new one or have them wake you up-it is worth not getting attacked!!!! All you landlords and parents out there-CARE enough to help get locks changed and keys replaced, windows fixed, locks replaced, installed...whatever. USE DEADBOLTS not those puny door handle locks. If you've got doubts, check out "it takes a thief" on discovery to see just how easy it is to get in your house. Oh and all you desk chair detectives...sometimes entry means are evidence and will not be shared with the public. and one more thing: blaming the victim can be a way of "finding a reason" and may even make yourself feel slightly better but be careful with that psycho-non-logical trick for it leaves a fine line between you and the criminal mind. Even if I left my front door wide open, it is not reason enough to attack; there is never a reason to attack and rape. It's not right under any circumstances by anyone, anywhere. One human has already done lifetime damage to the victim, don't add yourself to the mix.No one is responsible for the crime happening except the perpetrator. Period.

verity 6 years ago

I was wondering too why it has taken so long for the public to be warned that there is apparently a serial rapist on the loose.College students are often particularly vulnerable due to the places they live, the fact that they are not accountable to anyone as to their where abouts for probably the first time in their lives and probably are more trusting and naive as to people's intentions. Does KU have some kind of training/seminars for new students?And, no a gun will probably not make you safer. As the U of Texas police told us, if you pull out a gun you then are committed to use it and the attacker may take it away and use it on you. They gave us whistles---that certainly draws attention. Maybe someone could start a business making whistle jewelry? Could be the next great fad.

Clickker 6 years ago

Here is a pretty affordable deterrent--called a JIC ( for Just in case). It's pretty easy to handle and is affordable. The short stock allows for a wide spray patternhttp://www.impactguns.com/store/015813513401.html

jayhawk10 6 years ago

"And, no a gun will probably not make you safer. As the U of Texas police told us, if you pull out a gun you then are committed to use it and the attacker may take it away and use it on you. They gave us whistles"I don't even know where to begin... If someone is in my home, I'm committed to use my firearm. If they are unarmed, I'll give a firm warning, and if they continue to approach, they will go down. If they are also armed with a gun, and intruding in my home, they go down without warning. Also I've trained my girlfriend very well in how to use firearms and she feels much safer being home alone and knowing she can grab a .357 or 9mm in a matter of seconds.

Sigmund 6 years ago

merrill (Anonymous) says… "Sounds like someone who has some educated background in stalking and/or surveillance."As they were seaching the fields, perhaps this 25-40 year old white man with a slim build works for themselves or the city mowing lawns, doing yardwork or maintaining city property.

50YearResident 6 years ago

Some sound advice: If you leave a bar, a party or a concert late at night and are driving home alone, keep a eye on your rear view mirror as you leave the parking lot. If you see a car following you for some distance and think you may have someone following you do not go directly to your house. Make 4 right turns (or left) and go around the block. If the car behind you follows, drive to the police station or to a public place where you can seek help. Don't be a victim. Be aware of your surrondings.

laninonnie 6 years ago

This has been going on for longer than since 2000 at KU, I know for a fact!

calieerin 6 years ago

This happened in my neighborhood and it is quite frightening to know some MOFO is hurting these women. Not only am I going to get a camera on the house I will be extra careful about coming in late. I do however have a can of RAVE and a lighter and would love to torch this coward. I wish they would release a bit more info on the guy. I pray for the women who have been hurt by him and hope he is caught soon.

chrysanthemum 6 years ago

It is so nice to read so many comments from people who just want to help and give advice. I hope this coward is found soon and gets everything deserved.

jayhawk00 6 years ago

Seriously, there must be more information that are just held back. DNA or whatever...

architectsdream 6 years ago

What a creep, no one can sleep at night now... so good luck sneaking in. My dog will kick some idiot's ass!

architectsdream 6 years ago

Oh, and it seems all the cases have happened in apartments...the guy could easily be working for the management and already have a key. Be careful about who you let in to do maintenance, etc. Even if you aren't home they can look at your apartment and see if you are a person worth targeting (pictures, etc).

Judgesmails 6 years ago

Lock your doors! Dont wear your hair in a frickin ponytail! Bend his fingers backwards! Use your keys!! - blah blah blah blah blah blahYoure all a bunch of experts, arent you?idiots......

calfrope 6 years ago

I know this girl personally, and I am very upset at some of these comments. She locked her door and even if the other girl didnt that doesnt give any man the right to rape her. Also I have been raped and I could not tell you who are what my attacker looked like. So unless you have been raped don't judge something you know nothing about. My prayers are with her and her family she is strong young woman and will rise above this. For those of you who seem to think that we all need to rush out and buy security systems and dogs, you know nothing. One of my best freinds was raped a year ago in her home, with her security system on, and her dog in the house. After the attacker broke in he put a gun to her head, when the security company called he told her to tell them everything was fine or he would kill her. As for her dog, her neighbors heard him barking but they didnt think anything of it. This guy will be caught, and everyone needs to be patient Cops dont catch criminals by putting out all the evidence if the bastard knows they are looking for him, he will most likely disapear. I suggest you pray for these young women and not judge them or say well you should have done this or that, because what happened is done and now they need words of healing not words of insult.

scienceofsleep 6 years ago

I do not think that they are judging her at all. I believe they are just trying to help other girls. Girls need to know what they can do to protect themselves. Some people have never learned about self-defense. Also, you are not the only person who has been raped. I am sorry it happened but coming from someone who has also been raped.. I am thankful that these people are posting the precautions that people could take. The statistics get lowered if you take the precautions. They are only being helpful and it could possibly save somebodys life. Maybe not everybodys life but someones. That is worth way more that getting your feelings hurt because you misunderstood somebodys intentions.

prairiepixie 6 years ago

I wonder if there is cohesiveness between the classes that the girls have taken. The fact that these assaults occur predominantly during school breaks and every girl has been an undergraduate makes it seem likely that this person may be a professor, lecturor, work with the registrar's office or have some other job that enables him student information. Maybe not, but it seems pretty coincidental that they've all been students. I'm a 20 year old undergrad, but at least a third of the young women I know are not in school right now. Even though it's a college town, those are pretty phenomenal odds without prior knowledge of the victims.

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