The DPD is not alone in its efforts to catch a serial rapist. The Highland Park PD is involved because one of the victims was taken there. The rapist’s attacks have also invoked the jurisdiction of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department and the FBI. Of critical significance is that community activists, including the Detroit 300, have chosen to become involved.
The stakes are high. Though officially the DPD has been silent concerning the number of victims and and the sites of their abduction, the Detroit Free Press cited an unnamed officer close to the investigation as claiming that the latest victim is number 8, and that the rapist became active on New Year’s Day, one day earlier than officially reported. This sociopath probably won’t stop by himself. He knows he’s looking at natural life for what he’s already done, and he’s addicted to the act. He hasn’t fired his weapon yet, but there’s no guarantee that he won’t.
The value of having the Detroit 300 on the case can not be underestimated. Founder Raphael Johnson said Wednesday: “We’re definitely going to go after this guy.” That means something because the energy and information-gathering ability of the group was proven when they solved the rape of a 90 year old woman on the city’s northwest side.
Johnson and the Detroit 300 will impact this case in three ways. First, they will gather with the DPD and as many as 200 men and women from the northeast side; the object is to bring information about the suspect, pass out copies of his likeness, and pass along information on how women can avoid becoming victims. For one thing, Johnson will advise women not to walk the streets after 9:00 PM. The rapist has been cruising in his vehicle searching for women waiting at bus stops or walking alone in the dark hours between 10 PM and 6 AM.
Next the Detroit 300 will patrol affected neighborhoods, which should help prevent attacks from this suspect, or anyone else with ill intent.
Third, they will canvass neighborhoods for information. Johnson defined this function in the following terms: “We’re going door to door, house to house, vacant home to vacant home, abandoned building to abandoned building, car to car, looking for him.” Even if the suspect is a loner, there has to be useful information out there, and the Detroit 300 has already proven it can gather information.
In the meantime, women will do well to heed the safety advice given by the authorities and community groups until this predator is caught.