40 years later, the “pillowcase rapist” was identified in the US

Robert Koeler was wanted for four decades as the “pillowcase rapist”

From the early ’80sSouth Florida authorities have been searching for the so-called “pillowcase rapist”, a serial sex offender who covered his face – or the victim’s – with a pillowcase before raping them. In the six reported cases, the victims were women, who were in their homes when the stalker entered.

Forty years later, thanks to the sophistication achieved by DNA testing technology, the police managed to link the six cases with Robert Kohler.

Koeler, 62, was already in a Miami Dade County jail accused of raping a woman in the early 1980s.. But according to what the police chief of neighboring Broward County reported at a press conference, when comparing his DNA with the database of unsolved crimes, it was found that Koeler was linked to five other rape cases.

But police believe the case is even more disturbing and that Koeler was involved in at least 40-45 rapes.. The attack mode was repeated. He entered the victims’ homes with his face covered by a pillowcase, tied up the victims, raped them, and then robbed them.

In fact, it was these cases at the beginning of the ’80s that, due to the great media attention they generated, led the Miami Dade Police Department to form a team dedicated exclusively to investigating sexual crimes.

Pillowcase Rapist
Koeler is detained in Miami

The cases were not resolved at the time, but they were not closed either.. Because the evidence was meticulously guarded, four decades later it could be used for genetic testing. Investigators reviewed more than 500 boxes of evidenceover thousands of sex crime cases to identify those they believe are linked to Koeler.

One agent in particular, Sgt. kami floydhas been obsessed with the case since 2019. The first victim he focused on was a woman who had been raped in June 1984 in her Pompano Beach apartment., Broward County in South Florida. Unraveling that case led the sergeant to realize that there was a pattern that was repeated in several other cases.

In 2020, Miami Dade police arrested Koeler for another rape case, announcing that they believed he might be the so-called pillowcase rapist, who had first been reported in 1981. But even then they didn’t have all the pieces of the puzzle.

It was then that Floyd obtained a court order that allowed him to collect genetic material from Koeler to compare it with evidence from four decades ago that they had stored in Broward. On scientific evidence, Koeler has now been linked to six rape cases, although these are believed to be just the tip of the iceberg.

Those six victims managed to be contacted and returned to face their attacker. Koeler will now go to trial for these new cases charged to him.


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