The so-called "teardrop rapist" appeared to stop in 2005 — at least no victims have come forth. Now the Los Angeles Police Department says that DNA evidence ties the same criminal to a sexual assault last November around Adams and Normandie. "All of the crimes occurred in the early morning hours between 5 a.m. and 8 a.m.," the LAPD announced. "The suspect typically walked up to each victim and engaged them in conversation before producing a knife or firearm. He would then walk them to a secluded area and sexually assault them. The victims ranged from 14 to 41 years of age."
A top department official warned women not to walk alone in Los Angeles right now, especially in the morning. More from the LAPD website
From Richard Winton in the LA Times:
The assailant, sometimes described as having a teardrop tattoo below one of his eyes, targeted girls and women walking alone in the early-morning hours. He would force them into a secluded area at the point of a gun or knife before raping or sexually assaulting them.
There were 27 reported rapes or attempted assaults between 1996 and 2005. Then the crimes seemed to stop.
But on Tuesday, police announced that DNA evidence indicates that the attacker is prowling the streets again. Last November, a 15-year-old girl walking to school early one morning in Southwest L.A. was pulled into a yard by a man brandishing a gun. He sexually assaulted her. Samples of DNA linked the case to the earlier teardrop rapes.
Officials issued a blunt warning, urging women and girls to walk in pairs, especially at night and during the early morning.
The original crimes were strung along the Vermont Avenue corridor from East Hollywood as far south as Manchester Boulevard.
Composites from the LAPD