LAWRENCE, Kan. (WDAF) — College students at the University of Kansas (KU) and Kansas State University (K-State) are preparing for finals and the holiday break.
Police in the two college cities are using the time to warn the public about a series of crimes that have haunted both communities for decades.
Investigators say a man either raped or tried to rape 14 female college students between 2000 and 2015.
While police don’t know his name, he is referred to as the Kansas College Rapist.
Survivors provide description
Survivors describe the person as a white man between 5 feet 9 inches and 6 feet tall. In July 2015, the most recent case, the man had a medium to thick build, a slight stomach, and noticeable muscle tone in the thigh area.
Investigators say the description matches frequently mentioned characteristics from other cases.
They believe he is at least 40 years old in 2022 based on the years of the assaults.
Survivors said the man carried out the assaults in a cold, calm, calculated manner.
All of the victims lived off-campus in Manhattan or Lawrence. Most of the crimes happened between 2 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. as the victims slept.
Detectives say that in most cases, the attacker used a handgun and threatened the victims.
In all but two cases, investigators said the victim was home alone.
Officers identified where the rapist entered the house but haven’t always been able to determine how he got inside. For example, many of the victims reported having locked the door the person used to get inside, but there were no signs of forced entry.
Authorities also say there are indications that victims were watched and followed before they were attacked.
Police say all of the cases, except for the very first attack, happened during a break in classes at either KU or K-State.
The cases remain open, but police have not received the key clue needed to identify the suspect and solve the crimes.
Officers are asking all students at the universities to be cautious and report any suspicious activity during the winter break.
Anyone with information about the unsolved crimes is asked to call Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers at 785-539-7777 or toll-free at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). SMS Text tips are also accepted by sending a text to “CRIMES” (274637) and starting the body of your message with “TIP353.” Online tips can be accepted by visiting Manhattan Riley County Crime Stoppers online.