On Tuesday, the New York Police Department detectives publicly announced that the Prospect Park Rape, a case put on ice for more than 20 years, has been solved and the perpetrator identified. The case was heavily mediatized back in 1994, culminating with a New York Daily Times columnist calling it a major hoax.
Prospect Park Rape Case – A Brief History
Robert Boyce, NYPD’s Chief of Detectives, recalls the story of the notorious Prospect Park Rape Case. In 1994, on the 26th of April, a 27-year-old woman, later identified as Yale graduate Jane Doe, was strolling through Prospect Park after returning from the grocery store when she was accosted by a man.
According to the Doe’s affidavit, without uttering a single word, the man grabbed her, dragged her into the thickest bush, and raped her.
Naturally, the sought the help of the New York Police Department which began an official investigation. DNA traces were discovered on the Doe’s body, but the evidence could not be held in court at that time since there no technology capable of separating the victim’s DNA from the assaulter’s DNA.
The Prospect Park Rape case made headlines and was extensively covered by all major publications, including New York Daily Times. However, not all of the headlines were partial to the woman’s account.
Mike McAlary, a columnist for New York Daily Times, wrote several articles in which he refuted Doe’s claims. More than that, McAlary stated that Doe made up the whole story in order to enforce her position at an upcoming lesbian rights rally, facts corroborate by sources inside NYPD.
Martin Garbus, Doe’s appointed attorney, reacted and slapped McAlary with a 12 million dollars libel suit. The case was later dismissed in court by Supreme Court Judge Charles Ramos who said that McAlary was indeed in possession of information from the NYPD officials.
Using cutting-edge DNA manipulation technology, NYPD forensic experts managed to separate the two DNA strands and to discover the identity of Doe’s rapist. The man they were searching for was none other than 67-year-old James Edward Webb, currently serving a 75-year sentence for the rape of four other women.
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