Police Outline Chicago Serial Rapist's Methods; Attempts to Remove DNA Evidence
By Patrick Rucker and Hal Dardick, Chicago Tribune
As officials warned North Side residents to be vigilant, police Tuesday described the chilling methods of a repeat rapist who most recently struck last weekend in Lincoln Park.
The attacker typically enters a victim's home through an unlocked door or window during early morning hours, covers her face as he assaults her and then forces her to bathe, presumably to remove DNA evidence, while he rummages through the home, police said.
"I certainly think he's a serial rapist," Kenosha Police Lt. John Morrissey said, noting that the suspect might have committed crimes police have yet to link to his profile. "He's going to strike again, unfortunately, until we get someone arrested here."
Police said the suspect has been linked to five sexual assaults in Chicago and one each in Lisle and Kenosha since July 1999.
DNA evidence gathered from the first four cases point to the same perpetrator, Chicago police David Bayless said. Details from the last three attacks led police to believe it was the same man, he added.
On Tuesday afternoon, several Chicago Alternative Policing Strategy organizers distributed leaflets with a description of the suspect in front of the Armitage "L" station in Lincoln Park. After an hour, most shop windows around the station carried a description of the attacker.
"This gives everyone pause," said Elizabeth Hrycyk, 34, as she grabbed a flier while walking past the Armitage station on her way home from work. "It's terrible for all women. Everyone is talking about this."
In the last attack, which occurred about 4 a.m. Saturday on the 2000 block of North Cleveland Avenue, the rapist entered the window of a ground-floor condominium. "Physically, she's fine," the victim's father said Tuesday. "She went to work today."
But the victim is "checking her options" on moving, her father said.
Stepping out to feed a parking meter, Katie Anderson, 36, picked up two purple fliers and brought them back to the Starbucks at Armitage and Sheffield Avenues where she was sitting with a friend, Katie O'Donnell, 34.
Anderson said she knew the victim who was attacked on Oct. 15 in the 3500 block of North Greenview Avenue.
"It sounded like the same guy," she said, adding that the rapist entered through an unlocked window. "After he attacked her, he told her to take a shower, but he didn't stay. When he left, the woman called the police."
Although none of the victims could give police a detailed description of her attacker, he has been described at a white Hispanic male, 5 feet 5 to 5 feet 8, 145 to 160 pounds and between ages 25 and 35.
The most detailed description of an attack has come from Kenosha police, where the rapist attacked about 2:30 a.m. Aug. 22 in the 10900 block of 75th Street, about a half mile from Interstate Highway 94.
The attacker entered a shut but unlocked second-story patio apartment window and went to the bedroom of the 51-year-old victim. "He put a pillow over her face and started punching her in the face and stomach," Morrissey said. When she fought back, he said he had a knife, threatened to stab her and raped her, he said.
After that, he forced her to take a shower. While she did, he used a flashlight to search the still-dark apartment and stole $50.
The first reported attack took place at 5:30 a.m. July 5, 1999, in the 1300 block of Dean Street in Wicker Park. The second occurred at 3 a.m. May 26, 2002, in the 1300 block of North Greenview Avenue.
The next attack linked to the rapist took place at about 11 p.m. March 17 in the parking lot of the Four Lakes apartment complex in Lisle.
Though the Lisle attack has been linked by DNA to the first two Chicago attacks and the Kenosha attack, it was substantially different, said Deputy Lisle Police Chief James Kosatka.
In that case, the victim, who did not live at the complex, had pulled into the lot "to look around," he said. The rapist forced her out of the car, dragged her to a nearby wooded area, raped her and fled.
The fourth known attack was in Kenosha, and the fifth took place last October. The sixth attack occurred at 2:30 a.m. Dec. 20 in the 1300 block of West Ohio Street.
Police and community organizers will discuss the Lincoln Park attack at a CAPS meeting at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Lincoln Park Hospital, 550 Webster Pl.