Saturday, February 16

Serial Rapists in Fayetteville, Reno

Serial rapists commit two or more crimes on unrelated victims at different times. They usually begin their crimes more cautiously, and get more and more bold as their confidence in their abilities to commit their crimes increases. Serial rapists differ from spree rapists, who usually commit several rapes over a very short period of time (for example, Omar Sharpe).

Fayetteville authorities are reporting that there is a serial rapist in the area after reports of three rapes in the area in the last 18 months. The suspect is also linked to a series of peeping tom incidents throughout 2004. Police are not confirming how they have linked the rapes, but believe the suspect stalked the victims in preparation for the attacks.

A 23-year-old woman was jogging near the Ramsey Street and Oates Drive area, was attacked from behind and raped in August 2007. In February 2007, a 45-year-old woman was sleeping when the suspect broke into her house, woke her up and raped her. A third rape occurred seven months later, when a 21-year-old woman's apartment was broken into, and she was raped.

On January 26 of this year, a sexual assault occurred when a woman living on the same street where one of the previous rapes occurred was attacked. Between 2:15 and 3:15 a.m., a suspect broke into the home of a 29-year-old woman and sexually assaulted her.

The suspect was wearing a dark clothes: black shoes, dark jeans and a dark hooded sweatshirt with “Notre Dame” across the chest. This last attack has not been connected to the previous rapes, but police are looking into the possibility.

With the media attention these cases are receiving, every woman needs to be on the lookout. Police have released this information about the suspect:

* White or Hispanic male
* Early 20s or 30s
* Between 5-foot-8 and 6-foot-3
* Medium, slightly muscular or athletic build
* Close-cut, or shaven dark hair

In a related case in Reno, Nevada, Brianna Denison's body was found yesterday; it was confirmed that it was her body today. Denison disappeared January 20 from a friend's house. She was strangled.

Her attacker has been linked to several other rapes and sexual assaults in the area from DNA found on the pillow Denison was using the night she disappeared:

* On October 22, a University of Nevada, Reno student was attacked from behind by a white male, who forced her to the ground in the Brian Whalen Parking Garage on campus. Some reports have said that parking garage is where campus police officers park their vehicles. The victim said the suspect held a black-and-silver handgun to her head while assaulting her.

* November 13: a female was battered and sexually groped in the 400 black of College Drive

* December 16: a female was battered and kidnapped from the 1400 block of North Virginia Street, sexually assaulted and returned home

* January 19: an unknown suspect unsuccessfully attempted to break into the home of the December victim

* Jan. 20: Denison goes missing from a friend’s home. Her body is found February 15.

All of the above-mentioned crimes, with the exception of the October rape that has not definitively been linked to the same suspect, occurred between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m.

The suspect in the Reno case is described as a while male between 28 and 40 years old with a long face and square chin, and facial hair between one-quarter and one-half-inch long. He had brown hair, and was taller than 5 foot 6 inches but not excessively so. His body build was strong but not significantly muscular. He had an "innie" belly button and a shaved pubic region.

Sources: Nevada Sagebrush,, Fayetteville Observer.

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