Attention: Sex Crimes and Robbery Units. (ViCAP Alert)

The FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, February 2003 | Go to article overview

Attention: Sex Crimes and Robbery Units. (ViCAP Alert)


Unsolved Sex Crime

The Madison, Wisconsin, Police Department requests assistance in an ongoing serial sexual assault investigation. Since the spring of 1999, nearly two dozen unsolved sexual assault attacks have occurred at southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois mall and strip mall stores and parking lots. In all cases, a lone white male stalked and attacked young white female store clerks working alone or customers and clerks as they walked to their vehicles in the late afternoon or evening hours. The suspect selected, stalked, and spoke to the victims before attacking them from behind. In many cases, he used a knife to gain control and compliance in getting victims into their cars or a store bathroom.

Crime Scenes

The suspect appears comfortable traveling long distances between attack sites and has selected victims in malls around the Madison area, as well as in the jurisdictions of Janesville, Fond du Lac, Johnson Creek, Cottage Grove, and Monona, Wisconsin, and Roscoe, Illinois. For the past 3 years, he has effected a pattern of discontinuing the attacks in Wisconsin around the month of September and returning in late January or early February. For this reason, investigators believe that he may be traveling for work or other reasons and perpetrating elsewhere.

Law enforcement officers should pay particular attention to all calls dispatched to mall and strip mall stores and parking lots between 1 p.m. and 10 p.m. In previous cases, officers received dispatches of armed robberies, domestic disturbances, suspicious person complaints, and exposure incidents, as well as sexual assaults. As a result of this initial call confusion, response sometimes was slow or given low priority, resulting in the suspect's escape and loss of evidence from the scenes. Therefore, regardless of the nature of the dispatched call, if it occurs at a mall or strip mall store in the afternoon or evening hours, responding officers should remain alert for this suspect fleeing to a nearby highway.

Officers should consider this suspect as armed and dangerous and preserve all possible evidence at the scene, including soft drink cans, cigarette butts, chewing gum, coins, videotapes, latent fingerprints on doors, and any other items of DNA or evidentiary value. …

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