Tulsa Police Use Knowledge From Previous Cases In Hunt For Sexual Assaulter
TULSA, Oklahoma - Police are looking for a man they say sexually assaulted at least eight women in June and they want to put him behind bars before there's a ninth. Police are using what they've learned in the past to help them in this investigation.
It's not the first time a serial rapist has had Tulsans living in fear, but Tulsa police have a good track record when it comes to catching the predators.
Gary Graham had the city on edge for four years before he was caught. He sexually assaulted eight people between August of 2001 and February of 2006; before him, there was the Brookside rapist, the Southside rapist, the shower stall rapist, the trash man rapist and the rainy day-flashlight rapist.
There are a lot of similarities between Graham's case and the current one. Graham hit in different neighborhoods and it was difficult to get a good description because most of his victims were children; two, four, nine, and 13, but went up to 36.
He most often went in through a window or a patio door and sometimes held a knife to the victim's throat.
Tulsans were holding town meetings and going door to door with safety information. Police released a composite sketch and created a task force before they arrested him.
In an interview I did with him jail, Graham denied it all, "I didn't do it. I have kids of my own and I would kill someone if they harmed them."
However, police had the fingerprint and DNA evidence, and Graham pleaded to 13 of the counts and got two life sentences plus 180 years.
Police said that case put them in a better position to investigate the current attacker, because they now have a system in place to collect and organize all the information coming in, into a useable form.
Not only are they getting citizen tips, but, they are also looking at recently released sex offenders, plus all the leads generated by the task force officers along with the field interviews.
If an officer sees someone prowling around or gets a call about a suspicious person, they can ask questions, a field interview. They can ask for their name, where do they live, and why are they over there.
Graham had been field interviewed twice.
Sometimes, it's just a matter of going through the information that's already compiled. Detectives are doing that now and believe it will be one of those tips that will break the case.
Until the attacker is caught, citizens need to do everything they can to protect themselves. Be vigilant and keep all your doors and windows shut and locked.