LAPD warns women after notorious rapist strikes again
For nine years the “teardrop rapist" was one of Los Angeles’ most prolific serial predators, preying on women from Melrose Avenue to Manchester Boulevard.
Until 1995, the suspect, sometimes described as having a teardrop tattoo below one eye, targeted girls and women walking alone in the early morning hours, forcing them into a secluded area using a gun or knife before raping or sexually assaulting them.
There were 27 reported rapes or attempted assaults between 1996 and 2005, then the crimes suddenly seemed to stop.
But on Tuesday, police announced that DNA evidence shows the suspect is prowling the streets again. Last November, a 15-year-old girl walking to school early one morning in southwest L.A. was pulled into a yard by a man brandishing a gun. He sexually assaulted her, and samples of DNA linked the case to early “tear drop” rapes.
Officials issued a blunt warning, urging women and girls to walk in pairs, especially at night and during the early morning hours.
“The crimes have been rape, sodomy, oral copulation, kidnapping…the MO is very distinct…these are women walking alone,” said LAPD Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese at a news conference.
With 11 of his 28 victims being minors, Albanese said parents need to take particular caution with their daughters.
“As the father of a teenage daughter I would not want her in the described area walking alone.”
He also warning against wearing headphones for women walking alone in the early hours of the morning.