A special task force of as many as 40 police officers has begun a nightly stakeout of a neighborhood in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn in an effort to capture a youth suspected of raping two dozen women there since June 1976.
Aged 20 to 89, all were raped in apartments where they lived alone, according to the police, in a neighborhood of tidy prewar apartments and pastel-painted frame houses known as Parkville.
Some women in the community have been alarmed by reports of the rapist, who has been dubbed by the police as “the night stalker” because of this pattern of striking in the early-morning hours.
According to a general description complied by the police, the suspect is a slightly built black youth, between 14 and 20 years old, from 5 feet 2 inches to 5 feet 6 inches and weighing from 125 to 140. Many of the women are elderly and unable to supply a detailed description. About half have been over 50.
“A major problem has been that many of the women have waited a period of time before calling the police – as much as 20 to 40 minutes and this enables the suspect to fell before our cars can respond.”
excerpt from Judith Cummings NYT 11/19/77