Fairmount Park rapist still out there, cops warn

Fairmount Park rapist
Composite of the Fairmount Park rapist

The Fairmount Park rapist remains unidentified and uncaught, so Philadelphia police will be out educating sunshine-seeking park-goers about his savage spree tomorrow, distributing leaflets and cautionary advice and hoping to generate new tips.

The Special Victims Unit officers will be on East River Drive, West River Drive and Forbidden Drive and Bells Mills Road in Fairmount Park and at Rhawn Street in Pennypack Park from 10 a.m. until dusk.

DNA evidence confirmed that the monster is responsible for three attacks on female joggers between April 30, 2003, and Aug. 11, 2007, including the July 2003 murder of Rebecca Park, a petite medical student raped and strangled during her daily run.

Police are looking into whether the serial rapist attacked a 17-year-old Chestnut Hill girl earlier this month in Fairmount Park. That girl was attacked about 8 a.m. April 11 when she went for a jog in the Wissahickon section of the park. She told police a man dragged her into some brush and tried to remove her shorts; she fought him off and fled, calling police when she encountered a trio of women some distance away who had a cell phone. A sergeant in the special-victims unit said yesterday that it's too early in their investigation to link the teen's attack to the Fairmount Park rapist. However, any time a woman is attacked in the city's sprawling parks, detectives consider any possible ties to the elusive serial rapist, he said. 

Contact the Special Victims Unit at (215) 685-3263/64 with questions or tips.