Cindy Horswell, Houston Chronicle, Dec. 16, 2006
The serial rapist-robber began his attacks in east Harris County in April and his assaults have occurred every 30 to 60 days.
But what makes this case so unusual is that women are not the target. So far the five victims have all been young, white males in their late teens or early 20s, mostly students still living at their parents’ homes.
The attacker is described as a light-skinned black male, clean-cut and nicely dressed, in his late 20s. He stands 5-foot-6 to 6 feet tall and weighs about 200 pounds.
Investigators have released a composite sketch, based on victims’ recollections, and are working with the FBI to develop a profile to determine whether the crimes are racially motivated or what other forces might be driving them.
Investigators also hope the profile paints a picture of the lifestyle of the attacker who has cleverly eluded them.
Baytown Police Captain Roger Clifford agreed, “It’s not a typical thing. We’ve never had something like this in Baytown. But it’s no difference whether the victim is male or female, the attacker still has assaultive, dominating needs that he is trying to fulfill.”
Investigators warn men who might fit the victims’ profile to be watchful and aware of their surroundings.
The most recent assault occurred on Nov. 30 in Baytown’s Tanglewilde subdivision, and investigators are worried about when the next one will be. The four other attacks occurred in April, May, July and September in the Lakewood and Chaparral Village subdivisions in Baytown and in the Highlands area of east Harris County.
Investigators, who would not be more specific on the dates and places, are concerned that there may be other victims who have not come forward because of the embarrassment or attack on their masculinity. But Clifford stresses their identities will be kept confidential.
Investigators first realized they were dealing with a serial offender when they noticed strong similarities in the cases that went beyond the attacker’s description.
Victims were always accosted at their parents’ homes. Sometimes he confronted them in the driveway or yard and then usually forced them to go inside. Sometimes he would simply surprise them by breaking into the homes.
The attacker would demand money, but seemed more interested in sex, investigators said.
The attacker uses his gun to gain control and sometimes uses a knife to prod a victim to go where the attacker wants, investigators said.
They believe he carefully selects, then stalks each victim.
In the first assault the attacker wore a mask, but he has not worn any disguises since, investigators said.
The attacker vanishes as quickly as he appears, taking with him any valuables that he can find — from cash and ATM cards to laptop computers and jewelry.
With each attack, investigators get a few clues such as DNA and footprints. But to date, they have not been able to match them to any individual.
The attacker also may have been driving a blue or silver sport utility vehicle, reports say.
About 3 percent of American men have been victims of sexual assault or an attempted sexual assault, according to a 1998 study cited on the National Sexual Assault Hotline Web site. One in 10 rape victims are male, according to the Web site, citing the National Crime Victimization study of 2003.
Clifford asks anyone with information to contact Houston Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.
(Posted on December 18, 2006)
Composite sketch of serial rapist.
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