Decades-Old Rape Kits Point to a Serial Rapist
Houston PD IDs Herman Ray Whitfield, links him to 4 rapes thanks to newly tested kits
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2014 10:06 AM CDT
   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – It's been a recurring chorus nationwide: a clamor over rape kits that have sat on dusty shelves, untested. Houston was no exception, with some 6,600 kits having been kept in an HPD property room since 1987. About a year ago, two outside labs started going through the backlog at the city's request, and the Houston Chronicle reports that the efforts to turn over old stones has not been a fruitless one: The department's sex crime team yesterday said it has IDed and charged a possible serial rapist. Herman Ray Whitfield Jr., 43, who is currently behind bars, has been hit with four counts of aggravated sexual assault dating to 1992.

The four rapes he is currently charged with occurred in 1992 and 1993, and 2008, which syncs with Whitfield's time behind bars. He went to prison in 1994 on a kidnapping conviction and was released in 2006; he returned to prison in 2009 after violating his parole (during his parole, his DNA was put in a national database), and will be there until 2016. KHOU reports that police say his list of victims, which is believed to include a 12-year-old, could be even longer: His DNA matched kits from a number of other victims that HPD hasn't yet been able to track down. Though HPD earlier this year said the renewed testing had allowed it to make a number of arrests, it didn't get much more specific than that.
 

My Take on This Story
Show results without voting  |  
1%
5%
6%
82%
3%
3%