Power trip: Police release rapist's words
It was almost a year ago, following a brutal November 11 attack of a woman in her Willoughby home, when police alerted Charlottesville that a serial rapist was on the loose.
DNA from that rape has been linked to five other attacks, and police suspect more than a dozen other attempts could be the work of the same perp.
After investigating over 1,000 leads, assigning two full-time detectives to the case, spending thousands of man hours, and eliminating 315 people as suspects, police seem no closer to making an arrest than a year ago.
But far from burying the case, police are beating the bushes for any clues that would lead them to the serial rapist, and they're determined to keep him in the news.
On October 31, Charlottesville police Chief Tim Longo called a press conference to release remarks the rapist has said to his victims. He also announced that a questionnaire will be given to Willoughby subdivision residents, and he released a profile of the man who's terrorizing the community.
"Okay, I'm happy now. I can leave." That phrase was used in one assault, but Longo points out that a large number of sexual assaults go unreported. "We hope this will trigger the memory of a family member or an ex-girlfriend who've heard that before."
"Don't be calling the police now, ya hear?" was used on more than one occasion, say police.
And there are other, more graphic, comments the rapist has made that police are not releasing. "We don't think that would be a benefit to the victims and their families," says Longo.
On November 3, police blanketed Willoughby with questionnaires they hope will jog the memories of residents about contractors, repairmen, and lawn maintenance workers who may have been in the neighborhood before the 2002 Veteran's Day attack.
Longo calls the 9am Willoughby attack an anomaly. "It's a departure from the area where he'd been before and the time of day. I have to question, what brought him there? ...It's the only one that occurred at that time of day."
Longo concedes that it may be difficult for people to remember what was going on in their neighborhood a year ago– unless they had work that cost a lot of money done on their house.
"Even if it may not bear a lot of fruit, it's important to put as much information in the public's hands as possible," he says.
Police have consulted geographic and behavioral profilers about the rapist. "I think his geographic profile suggests he's extremely familiar with the area around the university," says Longo.
And profilers have pegged the assailant as a "power reassurance" rapist. "It's someone who needs to be reassured of his manhood," says Detective Blaine Cosgro.
He describes characteristics of the rapist according to profilers: "He has an inadequate personality. He keeps to himself. He may still live with his parents. He's a low achiever in an occupation without a lot of public interaction."
Longo says the community is starved for information about the rapist. And efforts to keep the attacker in the public eye seem successful. "Since we've been aggressively talking about this case, we've gotten more calls, especially on weekends," he says.
The Hook's January 16 cover story on the case.
Victims have described the rapist as having "unnaturally" white eyes that are "slightly bulging." Police are still looking for clues that will lead them to this man.
COURTESY CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE DEPARTMENT