A Serial Rapist Among Us
One function of an intelligence officer is to support major case investigations. Although I had previous experience as a burglary detective, my new assignment took some adjustment as I would be performing in the shadows, helping detectives make a case or provide leads.
This marriage of investigations and intelligence would be put to the test not long after my introduction into this new
A rape had recently been reported to our Special Victims Unit. One of our known prostitutes had reported that a suspect had pulled a gun and forced her to have sex. The suspect would then force the victim out onto the street completely nude.
A real nice guy!
This case initially went unnoticed. The detective working the case had his doubts from the beginning. The alleged victim was one of our frequent fliers who had lied to us before. Can you believe people lie to us?
The victim, we’ll call her Jane, had reported various assaults before but would never follow through.
A Serial Offender?
A similar sexual assault had been reported in the adjoining city to ours!
Could this really be happening? A serial rapist?
Even to the most hardened sexual predator.
We all took a collective breath and finally realized that we did indeed have a sexual predator among us.
The details were sketchy. The attacker was described as a black male in his late twenties driving a small red or maroon sedan. One of the victims believed the vehicle to possibly be a Geo Metro. The victims also described him as wearing glasses. They described how he would pick them up and then drive off thinking that he was not comfortable with the location.
After a few miles from the pick up point, the suspect would pull over. He would usually pick a darkly lit, quiet residential section of the city.
Without hesitation he would then pull out a semi-automatic handgun and force the victim’s to undress. He would then stick the barrel of the gun in their mouths assuring them that he was not to be played with!
After gaining their compliance by threatening them with a gun, the attacker would rape and sodomize his victims. After he was done committing these heinous acts, he would force each out of his vehicle onto the streets without a shred of clothing.
Adding insult to what was already a hellish ordeal, winter had gripped the area with unseasonable cold temperatures dipping down into the single digits.
This monster would not stop until caught!
The Digging Begins
I went to work dissecting everything I could about what we knew. We had no name, partial name, nickname or any other obvious leads that would help reveal the attacker. The background investigation began with throwing the widest net possible with the information we had.
I started by performing background checks on all known sex offenders in the area where the rapes occurred and also background history on our victim’s.
We came up with nothing.
Nada. Zero. Zilch.
The forensics would be our best hope in identifying this monster but that would take at best weeks to be completed. In the world of sexual deviants, especially one like this, it was likely that he would continue these attacks.
As was the common phrase among the officers, one of them deadpanned “we gotta get this guy”!
After these failed efforts, I began sifting through mountains of data stored in our various police databases. After a couple of hours of looking through and pouring over endless data, a potential lead was uncovered.
An officer had made a traffic stop on a Geo Metro, (they were still relatively popular at the time), and issued a summons for an equipment violation. The officer also completed a field contact card and documented that the black male driver wore glasses.
In police work, we would generally define these sets of facts as a clue.
I could hardly contain myself but soon came back to earth when looking at his background history. There was next to nothing. By this I mean he had no history of similar behavior or criminal charges.
This is rare. Bad guys like this don’t usually start out as serial attackers. They typically will leave tiny breadcrumbs of infractions that lead up to brazen attacks like these.
I provided this information to the lead case detective, which included a photo of the individual. A photo line-up was made with the individual included. The first victim was shown the photo line-up however could not make a 100 percent identification. The second victim was shown the same photo line-up and without hesitation identified our guy as her attacker!
It is rare to see cops or detectives get excited over much of anything however this was cause for many fist bumps and high fives. I merely applauded the good work and returned to my office knowing that a lot of work still needed be done.
The suspect was eventually picked up later that day and would confess to the rapes and provide a written confession.
Detectives did connect him with other attacks in our neighboring jurisdiction however these victims were reluctant to cooperate and refused to testify in court.
The suspect would later request a bench trial and was found guilty of the two rapes. During sentencing, he read aloud in open court how he should be given leniency due to the fact that his victims were prostitutes.
The Judge was in no mood for his excuses and berated him in open court for such an appalling explanation for his actions.
Joshua Washington was sentenced to 60 years in prison and escorted away by sheriffs deputy’s in handcuffs and shackles. The victims in this case were not the most upright of citizens but were and still are human beings who deserve justice when violated in such a horrible manner.
As mentioned, justice would have not been served if it were not for the incredible job the detectives did in capturing and obtaining a complete confession from the suspect.
It was a good day.