Archive for Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Rapist in string of attacks likely spying on women first, officials say at sexual assault forum

Law enforcement officials attend KU safety forum

September 2009: Lawrence Police chief Ron Olin, from left, Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern, Kansas University Public Safety Office Chief Ralph Oliver and Kansas Attorney General Steve Six visit during a forum on personal safety Wednesday at Kansas University.

September 2009: Lawrence Police chief Ron Olin, from left, Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern, Kansas University Public Safety Office Chief Ralph Oliver and Kansas Attorney General Steve Six visit during a forum on personal safety Wednesday at Kansas University.

Law enforcement officials held a forum on personal safety at KU on Wednesday, warning women about a series of rapes in Lawrence and Manhattan in recent years.

September 9, 2009, 1:12 p.m. Updated September 9, 2009, 1:49 p.m.

Advertisement

Sexual Assaults in Lawrence: Not an uncommon crime

In the past five years, more than 450 adult sexual assaults have been reported in Lawrence. There's a rape in Lawrence every four days. Each case represents an instance where someone’s life has been irrevocably changed. LJWorld.com, the Lawrence Journal-World and 6News are taking a deeper look at what those numbers really mean.

New details emerged Wednesday about a serial rapist whom law enforcement has connected to 13 attacks in Lawrence and Manhattan dating back to 2001.

The man is likely spying on women before engaging in what have been described as lengthy attacks against them, Kansas Attorney General Steve Six said during a forum on personal safety at Kansas University.

Six also said it’s likely people have noticed suspicious behavior from the suspect before an attack, and he reminded the public that it’s important to call police about any unusual activity.

“If you see somebody loitering around an apartment complex, if you see somebody who’s not supposed to be there, you see somebody who’s suspicious, call police,” Six said.

The attorney general was joined by top local law enforcement and university officials during the forum, which was attended by more news reporters and officers than students. A second forum was scheduled for Kansas State University in Manhattan for later in the day.

Students received information from a Lawrence police officer about protecting against sexual assaults, including information about making a decision on submitting to an attack or resisting it.

“If you decide to submit to the attack, you need to make that decision quickly, because your life may depend on that,” said Tina Shambaugh, Lawrence police officer.

Students were told they should make themselves less vulnerable, by screaming, for example. Forum leaders also suggested other, less well-known ways to possibly deter an attack — such as the victim vomiting or defecating on herself or telling the attacker that she has AIDS.

The forums at KU and K-State were scheduled for students in response to the new school year and the ongoing problem with sexual assaults in the community, which Six called “a very concerning situation.”

Lawrence police have connected five rapes in Lawrence, which have occurred between about 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. In the most recent attack, which occurred Dec. 1, 2008, a 19-year-old KU student was attacked by a man who entered her home with a handgun.

Authorities have said the victims, time and manner of the attacks are similar in the string of rapes. All of the rapes in Lawrence and a majority of the rapes in Manhattan have occurred while students were on a break from school.

The suspect has always had his face covered in some way and has been armed during the attacks.

Six would not comment Wednesday on the status of law enforcement officers’ investigations in the string of rapes. A Kansas Bureau of Investigation representative confirmed the agency was in Manhattan last month investigating the case.

Lawrence police have said the case is one of their top investigations.

“It is something that we’re putting a lot of resources toward,” said Sgt. Bill Cory, Lawrence police spokesman. “We have a lot of investigators working on it, and it will continue to be that way until it’s solved.”

Comments

Richard Payton 5 years, 6 months ago

Suggestions if attacker ask you for your name do not give real name. Give the attacker a middle name (that's if you do not use your middle name) so if attacker ever says hi using your middle name then you have a good idea of who attacked you. Also, tell attacker your friends or parents are on the way over if attacked at home so to make attacker more likely not to want to stay around. Tell attacker that your boyfriend works at night and his shift got over 20 minutes ago and will be home shortly. Hopefully, this person gets caught soon.

Sharon Roullins 5 years, 6 months ago

Okay, scratch the last comment. The coward doesn't want to be identified. I think I'd run the risk of getting injured and yank off his mask or whatever he was wearing.

gsxr600 5 years, 6 months ago

How many college girls have AIDS? Really? Is that the best you can come up with? I also think if you tell your attacker someone should be over soon, they're going to say something to the extent, "Ok, let's go for a drive." Then, you'll probably getting murdered along with the rape.

cthulhu_4_president 5 years, 6 months ago

"How are bodily fluids and aids more effective then mace or eye poking?"

Because your hands may not be available to you to use for those activities.

Regardless of how we may feel about these tactics, they actually do work. Vomit and stool could also contain DNA evidence that the attacker will probably not be able to avoid getting on them, and can be used to establish a timeline.

Also, don't scream for help. People are less likely to respond. Screaming 'fire' has been shown to be more effective.

beawolf 5 years, 6 months ago

"I'd rather my wife have her .38 than a laxative when I'm out of town."...

And if she misses or isn't quick enough, you would rather have a dead wife?

BigPrune 5 years, 6 months ago

This guy WILL get caught. I've never heard of a serial rapist that has gotten away with their crimes.

Jaylee 5 years, 6 months ago

i dont understand how none of the victims had any of the guy's DNA on them? usually some skin under the nails or hairs on their clothes or something..... right? im not the pro, six, but nothing on a single one of these many victims?

Practicality 5 years, 6 months ago

They probably do Jaylee, but they still have to match it with someone and that is where the problem comes in. But, once they find him, and they will, it will be enough evidence to convict him.

I found this statement disconcerting,

"In the past five years, more than 450 adult sexual assaults have been reported in Lawrence. There's a rape in Lawrence every four days. "

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

"who would you put money on when we have an old-fashioned duel at dawn?"

Big-man talk aside (and don't you sound so tough), you're comparing a rape to a duel at dawn, as if a rapist would loudly announce his attentions, stand back to back, walk 5 steps, etc.

Why do you even try, fool?

Steve Jacob 5 years, 6 months ago

450 "reported" does not mean 450 assultst all happened.

denak 5 years, 6 months ago

First and foremost, trust your instincts. Women are taught to not trust our instincts. To be accomadating. To be nice. If something doesn't feel right, fight back......but up to a point. There will become a point in the rape where fighting might actually get you killed. Again trust your instincts. If you think fighting him is going to piss him off more because he is losing control of the situation, submit to the rape. The important thing is that you get out alive. Not always a guarentee.

--Do not plead with your attacker. Rapists get off on control. The more you plead, the more the rapist will hurt you to hear it.

As for telling your rapist you have HIV, I think it is a good one. I heard of a rape victim who told her rapist she had AIDS and to please use a condom and he did. She may not have had HIV prior to the rape but she could have had HIV or an StD after it without her quick thinking.

Dena

igby 5 years, 6 months ago

This guy may have went to both schools and is no doubt familiar with both schools areas of student habits. Could be a grad student, professor or even a building and grounds employee or service contractor employee that works or worked in or around both schools.

A lot of rapist seem to have a wife and family and travel in their job.

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, lawrenceguy, I tend to prefer humor past insult comics or Carlos Mencia.

Let's just laugh about rape for a little while longer, that's so classy and understanding.

yoornotmee 5 years, 6 months ago

Palm upward to nose, then knee to groin, then fingers to eye.

Danimal 5 years, 6 months ago

I can't believe that this guy has been actively working the area for 8 years now and no one has anything on him, this is ridiculous. Further, I hope that LPD isn't just coming to the realization that he is stalking his victims before he attacks. It would seem like a no brainer that this guy is careful enough to do some homework and find the easiest target. From what it sounds like, if he goes inactive there's no way they will ever catch him. Especially since he's not a letter writer or escalating like these types usually do.

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

vertigo: I understand perfectly, worry not. I do believe I called him a joke about two or three threads ago. (or maybe that was just Prune, hell so hard to keep these trolls straight) An unintentional joke made out of a Frankenstein mash of idiocy, unjustified contempt, and lack of self-censoring ability, but a joke nonetheless.

/but for some reason, I just can't seem to get into a joking mood on a thread about a serial rapist. I couldn't imagine why

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

"as in most things, you just don't get it!"

Yes, clearly the one who doesn't get it is me.

Oh wait, I did just get it! You. . . having a girlfriend or a wife! kyahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. That is funny.

bondmen 5 years, 6 months ago

Forewarned is forearmed so get a gun girls and if he tries to get you in bed, give his head some lead 'till he's dead.

You'll be doing yourself and US all a big favor!

Bruce Rist 5 years, 6 months ago

I heard a good defense technique. Keep your car keys by your bedside at night. Hit the panic button (hopefully the car is close by) if you here someone. Your neighbors by not like the late night paranoid push, but you never know what you might chance away.

animal_crackers 5 years, 6 months ago

It seems pretty obvious that if the rapist is attacking between 2am and 4am that he picks his victims while they are at the bars (grocery store/gas station/whatever else is open that late) and then follows them home. Be aware of your surroundings!

Hilary Morton 5 years, 6 months ago

Also, this raper has said to women that he chose them because they don't lock their windows. When you get into your house, lock your door right away. Also, make sure your windows are locked at night. I know that sounds obvious, but he isn't breaking anything to get into houses, just opening doors and windows.

sinverguenza 5 years, 6 months ago

Is telling the attacker you have AIDS really the consensus here? I've always imagined that might enrage the rapist and cause him to brutalize even more so.

justthefacts 5 years, 6 months ago

Some people have non-bar related JOBS that take them out that late (nurses, convenience stores, factories, etc.)

If he's stalking first, he thinks he's clever. Think BTK - arrogance finally did him in. Getting DNA from a suspect who uses a condom is harder (unless she can use her hands to scratch). Women living alone or who are alone at night are taking a terrible risk. Pair up ladies! Or keep a big protective dog with you at night!

jonas_opines 5 years, 6 months ago

"Is telling the attacker you have AIDS really the consensus here?"

Sin, I think the consensus is to use whatever mental or physical weapons you have at your disposal, and that we shouldn't just assume that they will, at all times, have weapons at their disposal.

MaryKatesPillStash 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry, but I really don't think telling someone insane enough to rape you that you have HIV is going to detract him from doing it. Or to use a condom.

If I ever feel that I'm going to be murdered, I'm going to tell the person "Hey, wait! Don't! I'll come back and haunt you as a ghost!" I'm sure that will work.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 6 months ago

Mandatory Street Karate training on campus for all new female students. Offer as 3 credit hours of phys ed.

Even with this training a gun says use caution.

AirForce12 5 years, 6 months ago

A gun does you no good when you don't wake up until someone is on top of you w/ a pistol in your face.

Information has been previously released that the attacker is a white male, wears all black including mask, around 30 years old and 160lbs. He wears gloves and also is extremely calm for the situation.

He zip ties his victims and forces them to shower afterwards... it is also a strong possibility he is using some sort of accomplice. He has attacked women that "look" the same, so it could be said they all fit a profile.

He has made it through locked doors and windows... so the comment about "the rapist told a victim her window was unlocked" may not be true.

As said before this person probably has strong ties to one or both areas. Possibly a student/former student(now), work ties, etc. I would even guess that he watches comments on this board...he surely follows the news for various reasons.

It is my feeling that they have some tie to law enforcement/military because of how consistently they get away w/ the act and how they go about the crime.
You all are blasting the LPD but they are diligently working this case. They do not release all of their info to the public because they do not want to comprimise their investigations. There more to this than any of us can understand. It's common sense that they have known the attacker is stalking their victim, the article is just to draw attention to this for the readers. The purpose is to make the public aware and to contact the police w/ any suspicous behavior.

For a long time things were kept "hush hush", now for the good of the community we are being more informed and trained or at least offered the opportunity. Manhattan chose to flood their news w/ info on the perp and it pushed him out of the area for some time. If you go back and look most of his attacks are spanned roughly 4- 6 mo apart and do happen on school breaks/downtime. We are about 9 months from the last attack, so hopefully what's happening is good. That being said people should be extremely aware of their surroundings...probably why this article was released at this time. To prevent complacency by the Lawrence community.

AirForce12 5 years, 6 months ago

Cont' from above:

I chose to write this because I want the people of Lawrence to stay vigilant and be informed. I do not have intentions on starting a war of words w/ the mis-informed. If you truly are concerned take the time to read about the past news articles and released information.

Women, lock your doors and windows please, every night start a routine. Install a secondary lock on your front doors (i.e. deadbolt, chain lock, etc), having a master key to the apartments/homes is attainable by anyone. Put a lock on your bedroom door (change the doorknob when you move in and keep the original for when you move out), this will give you secondary protection, and protect your personal belongings. For a $10 cost you have given yourself more peace of mind and another barrier.

Make sure your roomates are as serious as yourself. Take advice that the police have given us over the past year or two. I hope and pray every day that this individual is caught.

AirForce12 5 years, 6 months ago

Smitty-

Hopefully you did not take my Mis-informed comment to you specifically, there was a lot of BS in the thread and it was directed at no one particular.

I will try and go back and try to find some of the LJworld articles, but many of them released much of the information that I passed on.

My intentions are to try and have people understand that just having a weapon is not a solution. There is likely reason to why this article was printed right now, and that is because of the lack of an attack (i.e. FEAR of another). It's clear they know that he is "stalking" victims and they probably believe he is studying them over a long period of time, not just a random night at a gas station or bar.

I tried to provide some of the facts so that people understand what is going on. This is not some joe schmoe who randomly does this act. I know for a fact some of the detectives have dedicated their lives to figuring this out. You are all sadly mis-informed if you don't think that the dectives are giving every ounce to figure this case out. It has gone fare and beyond the LPD and we still have yet to have any success.

I was angry to read that some people would bash them over trying to find a serial rapist. We as a community are dealing w/ someone who unfortunately knows how to get around the law well. I have absolutely zero ties to any LPD or any LE's in the state of Kansas. Let's come together and try to find this scumbag rather than fight with everyone.

There is some good to this article please read for that and not to criticise law enforcement. These poor girls are put in a life or death situation, and the truth is that vomit or defacation "could" prevent a rape. They are not saying this is a guarantee but a deterrant for a horrific act that will be with them for the rest of their lives. This article is written as a reminder to be aware and that this POS is still out there.

I will not comment on the Whistle Blower comment as I am not educated strongly enough on the entire subject/situation.

AirForce12 5 years, 6 months ago

Sorry I should have been more clear... I have zero ties to any LE agency in the world. It is my opinion he may have LE or military training. Please stop trying to assume instead of looking at what's written. This is my opinion... just like you're free to have yours.

I have knowledge of this situation not because I want to, trust me on that. Has the LJWorld provided out of line incorrect facts? Yes, they have by saying 2 women were raped in one of the accounts... not true.

I simply tried to provide some facts/information and all you've done is chose to argue w/ me instead of trying to listen and help these people out. My original comments had nothing to do w/ you specifically, maybe you should go back and read other comments.

This is a link that describes his attire: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/sep...

This describes the attacker's size/build in 3rd para: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/mar...

That took a couple minutes of searching. Yes, I provided some more info than has been released in the LJworld. I understand that, and it is accurate.

My opinion is direct all of your energy you are using to try and complain about the police and take that and try and help someone. Try and provide help in some shape or form instead of worrying which details are released for an ON-GOING investigation. Give worthwhile advice or something...

Get it through your thick skull.. this article was not designed as a photo op opportunity... This article is to try and keep locals aware and vigilant to the possibility of an attack. This guy attacks when the community lets their guard down and get complacent. Also did you ever consider that there are some people who are un-aware of this situation completely? Students move here from out of state or were much younger and un-aware in general. These forums are an attempt to EDUCATE students... and this article probably only gives a slight insight into everything that was discussed. Unfortunately as stated not many students attended, but how hard is it to see what this was designed for.

You obviously have your problems w/ LE in general and I said I wasn't going to argue. If you don't have anything helpfull to contribute to this article, why comment? The purpose/intention behind this article and forum were for the right reasons.

deskdect 5 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.