FBI launches bid to nab 1990s "Potomac River Rapist"

Reuters News
Posted: Dec 15, 2011 4:43 PM
FBI launches bid to nab 1990s "Potomac River Rapist"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Bureau of Investigation launched a media campaign on Thursday to capture the "Potomac River Rapist" who allegedly attacked nine women and murdered another during the 1990s in the Washington area.

A reward of up to $25,000 is being offered by Washington police for information leading to the arrest. The campaign came after seven of the nine attacks were linked by DNA and all by how they were carried out, the FBI said in a statement.

"One piece of information from the public -- no matter how insignificant it might seem -- could crack this case and allow us to apprehend this killer," U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen Jr. said.

Between May 1991 and November 1997 the attacker sexually assaulted seven women and attempted another sexual assault in Montgomery County, Maryland, an affluent suburb of the nation's capital, authorities say.

The attacker, dubbed "the Potomac River Rapist" by police, also sexually assaulted and killed a 29-year-old woman in the upscale Georgetown area of Washington in August 1998.

Most of the attacks followed a pattern in which the man threw a blanket or towel over the victim's head. All the attacks, except for the murder, took place in the victim's homes or in private residences.

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The attacker was described at the time as a black man of medium build in his late 20s to early 30s.

Anyone with information can contact Washington's Metropolitan Police Department or the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).

(Reporting By Ian Simpson; Editing by Jerry Norton)