Sex offender, 60, is named as the ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ who raped more than 40 women in the 1980s

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A registered sex offender is now accused of being the ‘Pillowcase Rapist’, who used bedding to hide his face before raping more than 40 women in Florida in the 1980s. 

Robert Eugene Koehler, 60, was arrested on Saturday in Palm Bay, The Miami Herald reports. He already has a sexual battery conviction from 1991 in Palm Beach County.

It is not known exactly what led to his arrest but a number of cold cases have been solved in recent years thanks to a breakthrough in DNA testing and genealogical data stored on ancestry websites. 

DailyMail.com has contacted Miami Dade police for clarification. 

The ‘Pillowcase Rapist’ broke into homes in South Florida between May 1981 and February 1986. He hid his identity with pillowcases, towels or shirts before sexually assaulting at least 44 women. 

He had been thought to have been a white male with a size 10 1/2 shoe. Using a series of blood and semen tests, officials early on were able to identify the rapist as having type O blood with subgroupings common only to 1 percent of the population.

But police failed to get any further with the investigation and it was shelved in 1987. 

One woman did see his face, it was reported at the time of his attack. She convinced him she couldn’t see his face without her glasses and studied him during the rape, a knife at her throat.

From the description given by the 36-year-old victim, a police artist created a drawing that was circulated throughout Coconut Grove, South Miami and Hollywood.

Police at the time also commissioned sculptor Tony Lopez to fashion a detailed clay bust of one of the most hunted men in south Florida history. 

Since the first reported attack on a 24-year-old secretary in May 1981, the rapist attacked women, usually entering houses or apartments through unlocked doors or windows and using a knife to terrify them into submission.

In each case the attacker sought to dominate his victims, tying them up, and sometimes using a pillowcase to blindfold them. 

In one incident the rapist attacked a frail, half-blind 82-year-old widow after breaking into her home. She awoke to see the rapist standing next to her bed, a pillowcase wrapped around his head with only his eyes showing.

Following the rape, the outraged woman chased him out of the house.

‘She literally tore a dish towel rack from the wall of her kitchen,″ Simmons said at the time of the 1986 break in. ‘She chased him out the back door, swinging the metal fixture at him and shouting at him to get out of her house.’

The rapist took the woman’s wedding band in the attack and left a bizarre set of clues – a pair of women’s red, bikini-style underwear, a cream-colored women’s sleeveless undershirt, a navy blue leather purse with two crumpled department store bags inside, and an unidentified item of men’s clothing.

 

 

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