East Coast Rape Suspect to Cops: What Took So Long?

Investigation may have found 12-time serial rapist
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 7, 2011 6:08 PM CST
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(Newser) – When cops arrested Aaron Thomas and charged him with being the infamous East Coast Rapist, the 39-year-old unemployed truck driver apparently had one question: "What took you so long to get me?" A prosecutor says Thomas has admitted his “involvement in numerous, alleged rapes,” while in custody. He was in court today in Connecticut, reports the New Haven Register, where he faced charges in the rapes of two trick-or-treating teenagers in Virginia, a Connecticut woman assaulted in front of her sleeping infant, and others. Authorities say they've linked Thomas by DNA to at least 12 attacks involving 17 women.

Boasting, at an earlier date, may have done him in: though the task force worked through 700 possible suspects, one caller to an anonymous tip line mentioned him as having "taken credit" for the first attack of the East Coast Rapist—a brutal attack in a Maryland forest in 1997. Police began tracking Thomas, and collected a discarded cigarette butt, which gave them DNA evidence. Click for more on the East Coast Rapist.

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