In early December, law enforcement officers in Houma, Louisiana, just over an hour's drive south of Baton Rouge, arrested Ronald Joseph Dominique (pictured above) for the rape and murder of 23 men. Dominique was the third suspected serial killer arrested in south Louisiana in the last four years.
Sheriff Larpenter said Dominique prowled the streets of Houma and nearby towns at night, usually between 10 p.m. and 2:00 a.m., looking for men who were down on their luck. Homeless men, drug addicts, alcoholics, men trying to make a quick buck—these were the kind of people Dominique sought. "He's offering them money," Larpenter said. "He's offering them money either to come have sex with him, or he's offering them money to come have sex with a female."
Once the victims accepted Dominique's offer of money for sex, he took them either to his home, a camper trailer parked on family property in the community of Bayou Blue just east of Houma, or to another location that Sheriff Larpenter refused to identify. Dominique then persuaded the victims to let him tie them up as a prelude to sex.
Not all of the victims were gay, Larpenter said. Some of them thought they were about to have sex with Dominique's wife. Although Dominique wasn't married, he told potential victims that he was, and as part of his ruse he may have shown a photograph of an attractive woman to his victims.
"Every one of them was voluntarily tied up," Larpenter said. Once Dominique had his victims trussed up and defenseless, he attacked—raping them, murdering them, and then dumping their bodies, often in roadside ditches.
Dominique dumped the bodies of two of his victims, Manuel Reed and Oliver Lebanks, (pictured above) in neighboring Jefferson Parish in the 1990's. The deaths of Reed and Lebanks were among the first in a string of nearly two dozen unsolved homicides of mostly young men that occurred between 1997 and 2006 in and around Houma.
Jim Bernazzani, special agent in charge of the FBI in New Orleans, said, "This was the most significant serial killer case in the country in terms of the number of victims and the length of time he was at it."
Source: Chuck Hustmyre @ Crime Libary
A rapist (pictured above) who has struck at least five times since April in and around Baytown has not only spread fear in this working-class community but also piqued the interest of those who study the criminal mind. The reason: He preys on other men.
That makes him something of a rarity in the world of crime.
"It's the least prevalent kind of serial rape, and largely underreported," said Jack Levin, a leading criminologist and director of the Brudnick Center on Violence at Northeastern University in Boston.
Levin and other experts say male-on-male rape sometimes stems from sexual encounters gone bad. But that does not appear to be the case with the rapist in this oil-refining town of 70,000 people about 30 miles east of Houston.
Instead, he methodically identifies and stalks young men and attacks them at gunpoint or knifepoint in or near their homes, according to police Capt. Roger Clifford. Sometimes he robs his victims, too, but rape appears to be the primary motivation, police said.
"This is certainly of interest, an interesting case," Levin said.
The U.S. Justice Department says one in 33 men in the United States has been a victim of a rape or attempted rape, compared with one in six women. Experts say men are far less likely to report a rape to authorities, because they fear being perceived as weak or see the attack as an assault on their masculinity.
In fact, investigators in Baytown fear there may be other victims of the rapist who are too ashamed to come forward.
"There's a lot of emotional damage that goes with being raped, especially when the victims are men," said Lynn Parrish, a spokeswoman for the National Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network. But she added: "The best way to get this rapist off the street is for more people to come forward."
Three of the attacks have occurred in the city, the other two on the outskirts of town. The most recent attack was Nov. 30. Clifford would not give details of the rapes but said at least one victim managed to thwart the attack.
No one has been seriously hurt.
"But it's only going to take one victim who resists enough or in the wrong way until the gun is going to go off, the knife is going to be used, and we're going to have a victim with serious injuries or who's dead," Clifford said.
Criminologists have seen cases of serial killers who raped or otherwise had sex with their male victims — among them, John Wayne Gacy and Jeffrey Dahmer. But psychologically, this is a different phenomenon.
Levin said it is rare for a serial rapist to become a serial killer.
"I think the reason has to do with the absence or presence of a conscience," he said. "A serial rapist is more likely to have a conscience. Otherwise they'd take the life and silence the victim."
Victims have described the Baytown attacker as a clean-shaven black man, 18 to 21 years old, 5-foot-10 to 6 feet tall and about 200 pounds, with a shaved head. Police have released a sketch and are working with the FBI's behavioral sciences unit to develop a psychological profile. DNA testing also is under way.
Fliers with the sketch have been circulated around schools and Baytown's Lee College, with an enrollment of about 6,000.
Jay Ali, an 18-year-old who works at the local mall, said he has been spreading the word among friends. "There's a loose psycho running around raping men," he said.
The local paper, The Baytown Sun, has run the sketch and details of the crimes at the top of its front page nearly every day since the most recent attack, and an electronic bulletin board on its Web site is filled with discussion about the rapes.
"I have selfish reasons for wanting this guy caught," Marie W. wrote in a posting Dec. 12. "I have a son who fits this guy's target group. ... I want him off the streets and locked up like yesterday."
Source: John Poretto (AP) & The SF Chronicle
Police in Baytown, Texas, just outside of Houston, say they have arrested Keith Chester Hill (pictured above) a 19-year-old male suspect who may be the Houston Serial Rapist, an attacker believed to be responsible for the rapes of five men. Authorities say that DNA evidence connects Hill to the sexual assault of a male victim in May 2006. Hill is bigger than the men he targeted, according to detectives, and was identified through information from one of the victims. Allegedly, Hill has confessed to the five rapes but he strongly maintains that he is not gay.
SAN FRANCISCO RAPIST:
A new trend in nightlife fashion is appearing in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood this weekend -- orange clothing.
Anti-crime volunteers will wear orange uniforms as they patrol the area armed with whistles and flashlights. Castro residents organized the community patrol after two men reported to police that they were raped on the neighborhood's streets, one in July and one in September.
"I don't think the Castro is dangerous," said Henry Kennedy, 37, who has lived in the neighborhood for nine years and attended a volunteer training for the patrols last weekend.
"But recently we've had some dangerous things happen, and I want to prevent that from becoming a trend," Kennedy said. "I would hate to see the Castro get a reputation of being a bad or unsafe neighborhood."
Police confiscated a gun at the Castro Street Fair in early October, and nine people were shot during the neighborhood's annual Halloween street party. Some residents also worry that people who want to harass or harm gay men and lesbians are coming to the Castro, although police say crime there is not rising significantly.
"Having patrols on the street sends a message to the world that gay men are not an easy target, that we can take care of ourselves," said Carlton Paul, 35, who lives in the neighborhood and is the chairman of an 11-person board that oversees the Castro Community on Patrol organization.
"Police officers have told me that criminals think gay men and Asian women are the easiest targets," Paul said. "It's my goal to change that in San Francisco."
Paul knows one of the rape victims, a merchant who was hit from behind and attacked by two men as he walked to his car after closing the Rock Hard adult store on Castro Street on a Friday night in September. He told police that the men had called him a "faggot." He threw away his clothing and showered before reporting the crime, not realizing he was destroying evidence.
"I want to make everyone aware that there are things happening in the neighborhood that you weren't aware of," the man told a crowd of nearly 100 people who came to an October community meeting about the incidents and the patrols.
The other man who was raped told police that he believed a man he met at a bar had drugged his drink. When they left the bar together, two other men joined them, and all three attacked the victim just off 18th Street.
Police have made no arrests and say they have no suspects in either attack.
Starting this weekend, three groups of three volunteers each, accompanied by a police officer, will be on foot in the Castro from about 9:30 p.m. until 1 a.m. Businesses have paid for the group's jackets and for whistles that patrollers plan to give to people in the neighborhood, Paul said. Three thousand whistles have been ordered so far.
The patrols could expand to as many as five nights a week depending on the number of people who volunteer.
The patrols are beginning as city officials wrestle with the question of how many police officers should walk the streets and where. The Board of Supervisors approved a measure last month requiring at least two officers to walk a full shift daily in eight of the city's 10 police districts, including the one encompassing the Castro. Mayor Gavin Newsom vetoed the measure, but on Tuesday the supervisors overrode the veto.
Supervisor Bevan Dufty, whose district includes the Castro, was among those backing the police-patrol plan. He said community patrols would be a complement for officers on foot, not a substitute.
"When people see a police officer, they think, 'Good, the city is doing its job,' " Dufty said. "The community patrol is more us as a community taking care of our own safety."
So far, 25 people have signed up and have been trained to monitor and report incidents -- not intervene or become vigilantes, organizers say -- and leaders hope for 50 more. They also plan to instruct people they meet on patrol how to be better witnesses.
"If I've got close to 4,000 people in the Castro trained as good witnesses, my God, who would want to come there to cause a problem?" said Sgt. Chuck Limbert, the police department's liaison to the gay community. "That's a perfect world."
Police and neighborhood watch organizations say the Castro would be the first area in the city with citizen patrols. Pamela Matsuda, program director of San Francisco SAFE, a city-funded nonprofit that focuses on crime prevention, says she is looking forward to seeing how the patrols work.
"We're not going to other communities to advocate they start these things because we really need a successful model first," Matsuda said.
Source: Wyatt Buchanan @ The San Francisco Chronicle
The following story is receiving scarce media attention: A military jury ignored an Air Force captain’s (pictured above) plea for leniency, sentencing him to 50 years in prison for raping four men and attempting to rape two others after drugging them with the date rape drug. Air Force officers serving on Captain Devery L. Taylor’s jury found him guilty of all charges against him for drugging and kidnapping servicemen he met in bars.