Several months ago, the Los Angeles Police Department released nine composite sketches that had been made of the “Teardrop Rapist,” a man who is wanted in connection with more than thirty sexual assaults. At the time the LAPD held a press conference to share these drawings and accompanying details about his build and distinguishing features, the last alleged attack had occurred in November 2011. Now, authorities believe the Teardrop Rapist may have struck again.
Early on the morning of June 15, a man matching the wanted rapist’s descriptions and standard approach toward his victims started a conversation with a woman in the southeast part of Los Angeles. He quickly showed her his weapon and forced her into an alley. The attempted rape was stopped by an approaching vehicle, and the man fled.
While the capture of a person who is suspected of committing dozens of assaults is going to be a high priority of law enforcement no matter what, the intensity of the search becomes even stronger when a new crime occurs. The public alarm is understandably heightened and any doubt that the threat may be gone has disappeared. This man has left DNA evidence at least ten crime scenes, so detectives are confident that it’s only a matter of time before all of the puzzle pieces come together.
Los Angeles’ finest will work tirelessly with the clues they’ve been given to bring this guy to justice. The search has been ongoing for more than fifteen years and I know this new instance of violence must be so frustrating to those who have been on the case. However, the recent decision to use the new and controversial tool of familial DNA testing, through which the DNA system can be search for similar genetic material and then a family tree is examined to find possible suspects, means that technology may just bring the answers police have long been wanting.
What are your thoughts on familial DNA testing?
Is it OK to track down people with similar DNA, or do you see that as an invasion of privacy that overrides the search for a criminal?