Courts & Crime

K.C. serial rapist undeterred by publicity, stepped-up patrols

KANSAS CITY — An onslaught of publicity and extra police patrols apparently did not deter the Waldo rapist. Police think he attacked his fifth victim early Monday.

A man climbed through an unlocked window about 1:30 a.m. in the 300 block of East 69th Terrace and awakened a woman in her 30s, police said. After sexually assaulting the woman, he fled about 2:55 a.m.

Police did not release additional details but said the victim’s description of the man and his methods matched four previous attacks in or near the Waldo neighborhood in five months.

The latest attack was in the Armour Hills neighborhood, which is adjacent to Waldo.

“I’m scared, and I’m not scared easily,” said Eula Inloes, the president of the Waldo neighborhood association. “Every noise I hear at night wakes me up. I open my eyes and hope no one’s standing there. I’m sure there are other women doing the same thing.”

All the victims were white and lived alone. Police said they think the suspect entered the homes of the first two victims through unlocked doors or windows. In the third case, the rapist broke a bathroom window. In the fourth attack, he rushed the victim as she let her dogs outside, police said.

Police spent more than 12 hours looking for evidence at Monday’s crime scene. Investigators took casts of footprints in the snow and hired a crew to dig a hole about 6 feet deep in the victim’s front yard. Workers used circular saws to cut into a pipe, but police declined to specify what they were seeking.

The activity drew the attention of neighbors who were walking their dogs along Rockhill Road, not far from the site of Monday’s attack. The neighbors said they were surprised the attacker picked a home close to Rockhill, which has a lot of pedestrian traffic, even at night.

“This has got to be the most-walked street in the neighborhood,” said Mark Firestone.

Lise Copeland said she has told her children to keep the house locked at all times. Copeland said she also is worried for her sister, who is single and lives in the neighborhood.

“It’s really starting to hit me,” Copeland said. “I feel awful for these victims.”

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