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Kansas College Rapist Still Sought

Todd PittengerDecember 8, 2022

Authorities  continue to investigate past cases believed to involve the Kansas College Rapist. Almost all cases coincided with a break from classes at KU or K-State.

According to the Riley County Police Department, between 2000-2015, there were 14 completed or attempted rapes of female college students inside their off-campus homes in Manhattan and Lawrence believed to be committed by the same man.

These incidents occurred beginning in October of 2000 and ending in December of 2008, and they involved the victimization of 14 women and ultimately two communities, as all those subjected to these crimes were students of either Kansas State University or the University of Kansas.  An attempted attack in 2015 is also attributed to the same suspect.

Each incident involved a masked intruder entering the victim’s off-campus residence, mostly between the hours of 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. as the victim slept, and all but one coincided with a break in the academic calendar. The residences themselves varied from apartment complexes to duplexes to single dwellings. While the point of entry was frequently identified, the means by which the suspect made entry were sometimes unknown. Many of the victims reported having locked their door(s), yet there were no signs of forced entry. There were also indications that victims were surveilled by the assailant prior the incident. In all but two cases, the victim was alone.

The assailant was typically described as a white male between 5’9” and 6’0”, with various descriptions of build and estimations of weight and age. There is no confirmed description of the assailant from anyone other than the victims. In most cases a handgun was displayed, which the assailant threatened the victims with as a means to gain compliance. While the physical violence of the assailant was usually limited to the rape itself, these were all very violent acts carried out by an assailant who did so in a cold, calm, calculated manner.

Manhattan and Lawrence Police continue to jointly investigate cases believed to involve the Kansas College Rapist. With the exception of the very first incident, each rape coincided with a break from classes at the University of Kansas, or Kansas State University.  

Both agencies encourage all residents to be vigilant in exercising personal safety and report any suspicious activity during the Winter break. For those who do not travel, it is important to pay extra attention to activities surrounding your home.

As always, to report crimes in progress, call 911 immediately. For non-emergent reports call (785) 537-2112 in Manhattan and (785) 832-7509 in Lawrence. You may also contact Crime Stoppers by calling (785) 539-7777 in Manhattan and (785) 843-TIPS in Lawrence.

RESIDENTIAL SAFETY 

  • Keep doors and windows closed and locked.
  • Install good quality locks on doors and windows. Deadbolt door locks are always best. Sliding glass patio doors are frequent points of entry for burglars. They should always be reinforced by wedging a stick or pole firmly in the lower track behind the door.
  • Unplug your automatic overhead garage door opener when leaving for an extended period of time.
  • Install peepholes in doors.
  • Keep shrubbery trimmed so doors and windows are not obscured.
  • Ask reliable neighbors to watch your residence when you are away. Keep newspapers, handbills, and mail picked-up while you are gone.
  • Keep valuables well hidden especially checkbooks and extra checks. Record and safely store serial numbers from valuable items, such as electronics and firearms.
  • Keep premises well lit at night.
  • Never let strangers into your home
  • Never give information indicating when you will or will not be at home to those you don’t know or through social media.
  • Never let strangers know if you live alone.
  • If you are gone overnight, use automatic timers on interior lights to give the appearance that the residence is occupied.

PERSONAL SAFETY

  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Never open door to strangers; require ID of service or repair people.
  • Plan several escape routes from your home.
  • Park in well-lit areas.
  • If you come home and something looks wrong or different – do not enter, go to a safe place and call police.
  • Keep money in a pocket instead of a purse or wallet.
  • Portray a confident and self-reliant person, walk like you have a mission.
  • Do not walk or jog alone at night.
  • If someone makes you feel uncomfortable or the situation just does not seem right, trust your instincts and leave.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
  • If you are attacked or robbed, or you witness violence, contact the police immediately.
  • Immediately report anyone seen watching people or acting suspicious.

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Copyright © Meridian Media, 2023. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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