Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Latest update on the serial rapist case in Waldo/Brookside

I wanted to give you the latest update on the case of the serial rapist who has attacked five women in and around the Waldo area of town since last fall. The last attack was Feb. 22 near 69th and Oak streets. To date, we have received 590 tips that our detectives are investigating. More detectives have been added to work on this case full time for a total of 16, as well as three sergeants. Two officers on limited duty because of injuries have been assigned to the Sex Crimes Section to take phone call tips. Many are being referred from the TIPS Hotline because these tipsters don’t want to remain anonymous. They want to tell police who they are and everything they know. You can submit tips either way – calling 816-474-TIPS or Sex Crimes at 816-234-5220.

Police continue to offer personal safety classes. The next one is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 15, at the Central Patrol Division at 1200 Linwood. Because of the small meeting location, only eight spots are still available. To claim one, e-mail Master Patrol Officer James Schriever at james.schriever@kcpd.org. Officer Schriever said if that class fills up, he’ll schedule another class. Last week alone, 225 people attended KCPD’s safety classes. That’s compared to two people in the same week last year.

Finally, there has been a lot of racial tension involved in this case. Rumors have flown around on social networking sites and in e-mails regarding possible suspects. Yes, the suspect in this case is a black male, but that does not mean every black man who frequents the Waldo area should be treated as a suspect. People should familiarize themselves with the information available and look for suspicious behavior that matches the information, not just skin color.

And remember, the descriptions victims have given police of the suspect include some very distinguishing features like pitted cheeks, a bald head and a 6-feet, 250-pound frame. They also said he has a deep, smooth voice. One said he smelled like smoke, and another said he smelled like exhaust fumes.

Stay tuned to this blog for more updates on the case.

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