Police hope technology will help nab serial rapist

Police search for man captured in surveillance photo
Police search for man captured in surveillance photo

(WMC-TV) - As the communication era takes a firmer grip on our daily lives, technology is converging to help police.

The photo of the Cordova serial rape suspect is the most viewed image on WMCTV.COM. The photo was captured as he walked through a retail store, carrying bags of items he bought with a victim's stolen credit card.

The news that this serial rapist was linked to six other rapes in the last decade has Cordova women on edge.

"As a woman, that's probably one of the most terrifying things you can hear," said Shatara Moore, Cordova resident.

"It kind of frightens me to hear that news and it's been going on that period of time," agreed Helen Herberts.

Memphis police say DNA evidence released from a September 2011 rape at knife point linked the suspect to the surveillance photos.

That DNA also linked the man to other rapes in Cordova dating back to 2003.

"A lot of times we complain about technology in our lives, how it is Big Brother watching us, but this is one of the times that it's a tradeoff and technology can help us find the bad guy," said Shelby County Crime Victim Services Administrator Anna Whalley.

Whalley hopes more suspects will be identified as technology advances.

"Now we have quick access to videotape, quick access to audio, and faster access to the development of DNA," she said.

Memphis police are still hoping for facial recognition software. Meanwhile, the cameras were able to help them give a suspect description.

They are searching for a white man, about 20 to 30 years old, 5'10" to 6'2" tall, and an estimated 180 to 200 pounds. The suspect has a slim build, medium complexion, brown hair, and a curtain-style chin beard.

"What I hope it will do is encourage people to report rapes. If they know there's a better chance of finding the perpetrator, then it is more meaningful to do the report," said Whalley.

All of the rapes they suspect this man of committing happened in Cordova. If you have any idea who the man is, call Crime Stoppers at 901-538-CASH.

If you are a rape victim, call Crime Victim Services at 901-222-3950.

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