Important Element Missing From The Description Here


This is a rapist who`s been climbing balconies and assaulting women in the Houston area:

Madden said workers at his complex posted letters after the attack warning tenants to lock their doors and windows and to contact the leasing office if they had questions.Police said victims the describe the man as 24- to 30-year-old, about 6 feet tall and 150 to 180 pounds, slender and clean-shaven. He usually wore dark-colored clothing, including a hooded sweatshirt or a turtleneck.

Do you think that if they could see that he was clean-shaven, they could tell what color he was? And do you think that that might help women know who to watch out for, and police who to suspect? I`m pretty sure the victims noticed, and I`m pretty sure they told the police. (There`s always a space for it on the form.) It`s even likely that the police told the Houston Chronicle, but that`s where it stopped.

Perhaps we should send the Houston Chronicle a copy of the Hardy Boys Detective Handbook, which included, when I read it in 1968, the technique of describing a suspect, starting from the top down, and not omitting any vital details like this. If the Hardy Boys could explain it to a ten-year-old, perhaps the J-school graduates on the Chronicle staff can grasp it without too much difficulty.

Police said the man, who may live in the area, is apparently motivated by the sexual assault. The only reported theft occurred during the Sept. 27 attack when he took a few small items.

“There`s enough there that we`re looking at that it could possibly be the same person,” Lt. Mike Waterwall, with the Houston Police Department`s sex assault unit.

The victims are 22 to 32, police said, and included an Anglo woman, a Hispanic woman and two black women.[Houston apartments tighten security after sexual attacks | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle, February 28, 2008]

I suppose they were willing to identify the races of the various victims, if not the suspect, as a way of showing that even if he was a vicious rapist, at least he wasn`t racially profiling.