The Other McCain

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Rapists Rape and Rape Again

Posted on | January 16, 2015 | 42 Comments

Serial rapist DeShawn Starks

Here’s the headline:

100 serial rapists identified after
rape kits from Detroit Crime Lab
are finally processed

In 2009, more than 10,000 untested rape kits (i.e., vaginal swabs from victims, containing the DNA of rapists) were found abandoned in a Detroit Police storage facility. Some cases dated back to the 1980s:

Not long after the rape kits were discovered, [Wayne County Prosecutor Kym] Worthy pushed to start the processing with Michigan State Police.
So far, 1,600 rape kits have been processed, resulting in the identification of about 100 serial rapists and ten convicted rapists, according to Worthy.
Worthy told reporters that perpetrators have moved on from Michigan to commit similar crimes in 23 other states.

This is mind-boggling. Processing roughly 1/8th of these DNA samples (1,600 out of 10,000) has identified 100 serial rapists who have committed sexual assaults in 23 states. So by the time they’re through processing the entire backlog, the pattern of Detroit’s previously unknown rapists could look like a national crime wave. And if you think about it just a little, you realize how, prior to the development of DNA testing, such serial rapists faced a comparatively low risk of apprehension. More and more women are victimized the longer the predator remains on the streets:

Fourteen prosecutions have resulted from what is being called the “Detroit Rape Kit Project”, including the case of DeShawn Starks, 32.
On February 19, 2003, Starks pretended to be having stomach pains as he approached a woman who was returning to her home in Detroit, according to prosecutors. Starks pulled out a gun, robbed the woman, then drove her to a wooded area where he raped her. The woman’s unprocessed rape kit remained in storage for ten years until Worthy’s office launched their investigations into the abandoned rape kits. DNA linked Starks to that case.
Prosecutors says Starks went on to rape another woman in 2003. That rape kit was also placed in storage and left unprocessed for ten years.
On November 19, 2013, investigators say Starks struck again, raping two friends as they were walking home from a family gathering.
Starks was just sentenced to 45 to 90 years in prison.

That’s four rapes by one criminal over a period of 10 years. Horrifying. The good news is that law enforcement agencies have spent years developing a national DNA database of criminal offenders. States are beginning to recognize the importance of expanding this database. In Nevada, lawmakers in 2013 passed “Brianna’s Law” which “requires law enforcement officers to take a DNA swab test for all felony arrests.” A suspect arrested in Nevada for any felony — assault, burglary, car theft, drug trafficking, etc. — will automatically be tested.

Brianna Denison (left), James Biela (right)

“Brianna’s Law” is named for Brianna Denison, who was kidnapped, raped and murdered in 2008 by serial rapist James Michael Biela. Before he killed Denison, Biela had raped 19-year-old Amanda Collins in a parking lot near the campus of the University of Nevada-Reno:

Amanda Collins, 25, is a wife and new mom, and a concealed weapon permit holder for years. At her father’s law office in Reno, she showed us the 9-mm Glock she carries for her safety.
“It’s got a pretty standard magazine,” she said, “and night sights so you can see in the dark when you’re aiming.”
However, Collins couldn’t aim her gun at the serial rapist who attacked her at the University of Nevada at Reno, where she was a student. That’s because, like most public colleges outside of Utah and Colorado, UNR is a “gun free” zone. The rule required her to leave her gun at home, leaving her defenseless the one time she needed its protection most.
In October of 2007, while walking to her car after a night class, Collins was grabbed from behind in a university parking garage less than 300 yards from a campus police office. The school’s “gun-free” designation meant nothing to James Biela, a serial rapist with a gun of his own, who saw Collins as an easy target. “He put a firearm to my temple,” she recounted, “clocked off the safety, and told me not to say anything, before he raped me.”
The university has since installed more emergency call boxes and lights in the parking structure, but Collins says that won’t stop an attacker who knows the campus is a gun-free zone, a policy she believes invites crime, and may have even emboldened the man who raped her.

DNA testing is important, but the right of self-defense is more important. A woman with a gun can stop a rapist — permanently.




  • M. Thompson

    In addition to a robust law enforcement effort, there needs to be an effective means of self-defense.

    The ideas the laws are based on need to be from people.

  • Evi L. Bloggerlady

    What fraternity did he belong to?

  • Bob Belvedere

    Ah, Detroit! The great urban triumph of Leftist Governance.

  • Greg Toombs

    Not processing 10,000 rape kits? Let’s keep bragging about record-low crime rates. Keep up the good work!

  • joethefatman

    “A woman with a gun can stop a rapist — permanently.”

    That is part of the reason the left hates the Second Amendment so much. The ability to defend oneself is anathema to their need for us to rely on the state for everything in life à la the life of Julia. A gun is one of the most potent symbols of the freedom the left hates and the best way to shorten the career of rapists and other criminals.

  • RS

    The narrative must be about Victims. Practitioners of self-defense refuse to be victims. Thus, the Left cannot abide them and will do everything in its power to impede them

  • Jeanette Victoria

    I was just going to ask the same question.

  • Alan Markus

    I can never understand this “backlog” thing – seems like here in Wisconsin we occasionally hear about that (but not like this case!).

    Most times, a backlog results in demand exceeding available resources. Then a concerted effort is made to eliminate the backlog by temporarily ramping up “production” until the demand is satisfied, and in the future resources are made available to match the anticipated demand, so that a backlog never builds up again. It’s like an automaker – if a certain vehicle becomes popular, they adjust by adding 2nd and/or 3rd shifts, if that doesn’t suffice they add production at alternate plants that have excess capacity, and ultimately they even build new plants if the demand will be sustained.

    This should have been one of Obama’s “shovel ready” jobs that the stimulus could have funded. But then again, the 2012 election was 3+ years out – imagine the consequences if the testing had taken some potential voters off the streets. Talk about your “war on women”!

  • Fail Burton

    Lazy social justice warriors like to act like investigators but beyond Tweeting and blogging about it to puff themselves up they’re too lazy to do grunt work or join the police. If Amanda Marcotte is so interested in rape she needs to get off the idea of slowly changing the patriarchy over 10 generations and realize some people are just criminals. She’d probably swab all men on Earth if she could, if not put superglue cameras on their heads and put GPS locators on their ankles.

  • Matt_SE

    The backlogged kits went back to 1980. That means that this was a systemic problem. I would guess the department’s budget must’ve changed over that period, but the kits never moved.
    If more money had been thrown at the problem, there’s no guarantee the extra money wouldn’t have been siphoned off, as I suspect happened to the original funds.

  • Zohydro

    Heh, the rape kits are just DNA—they prove nothing about how it got there… Unpaid prostitutes, drunken bar sluts, remorseful cheating wives, etc., without any other evidence of a crime… Most of these kits probably should have been processed with the trash anyway…

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  • Steve White

    If we really want to liberate women from rapists, issue each woman a dirk, show her how to conceal it on her body, and show her how to use it when attacked by a rapist.

    On a different note: the DNA data, once processed and integrated into the national database, could be treated the way one generally handles epidemics of disease. In that situation, mapping the disease spread, carriers, contacts, etc is essential to containment. Modern software and informatics make this quite powerful. I suggest building a “rape map” that identifies locations, DNA, rapists, their locations, and so on. Curate the data to keep the feminazis away, but use it to identify the rapists and get them behind bars.

  • David R. Graham

    This many non-tests matched to the governing cabal of Detroit at the time suggest a policy (probably both paid[-off] and voluntary) of not sending friends and relations to prison, based on knowing beforehand what the tests would reveal.

  • Southern Air Pirate

    The problem is that we have one time events where CSI scientists corrupt evidence all based on thier own SJW views, or because the scientist “knows the guilty”, or because there was a push for other crime science to be processed first (pick your high crime of the moment) and that having a lab is expensive and more so if you have some labs that serves not only a big city but a slew of burbs and Mayberry like towns.
    It has gotten so bad with ethical lapses like this in the labs (and all labs from the FBI down to Mayberry) that in law schools they are teaching how to beat CSI by showing they aren’t subject matter experts and that there is a growing cottage industry of defense side CSI labs to provide enough science mumbo-jumbo to confuse a jury or judge.

  • Southern Air Pirate

    Just remember that a number of labs have come under fire for the ethical lapses of thier workers. So the political types that own them make the priorities.
    So if you pay out to a bunch of innocent folks because your rape kit scientist is a scumbag. When you fire them it might be a while or even never that you will find a replacement even more so given the crime rates in some of the cities that have massive backlogs like this no matter the size and the budget.

  • tricknologist

    “Not processing 10,000 rape kits?”

    That’s Democrat officials protecting a Democrat constituency group from “racism”.

  • K-Bob

    Detroit has been run like a private ATM by the corrupt Democrats ever since Coleman Young took office. They only got worse once he died.

    The short-lived Archer and Bing administrations tried to fix it, but the corruption runs down through city council, and into every department. There’s no money for state-of-the-art forensics.

  • K-Bob

    About time they got on that backlog. I’m pretty sure the criminal rapists don’t just commit rapes once ever few months or years, though. That defies belief.

    That backlog is a real war on women.

  • RichFader

    Much like the guy in “Blazing Saddles”, they like rape.

  • Dana

    Detroit is broke, and has been broke for along time, so this isn’t a surprise. Nor will I be surprised if we soon discover that there is a similar backlog of unprocessed, untested rape kits in Chicago and Los Angeles and foul, fetid, fuming, foggy, filthy Philadelphia.

    There’s one point on which the feminists have at least half a point: many police forces don’t treat rape as seriously as they should, because it’s a difficult crime to investigate and prosecute; if they didn’t have some evidence or lead narrowing down the search, it was just too time consuming and fruitless to investigate.

    Laws requiring DNA sampling of all felony arrests can now give law enforcement the tools to have away to identify rapists; that’s where the money needs to go, to work through the backlog.

  • Dana

    But there is an obvious point to be made: if we can sample DNA from everyone who is arrested for a felony — and arrest is not conviction, and an arrested man is still legally innocent until tried and convicted — then the next step is DNA sampling from everybody, period. After all, if we get a DNA sample from a rapist’s first crime, why should we have to wait until he gets arrested for something else to be able to identify him through DNA?

  • Earl T

    Also, because of the number of false accusations of rape, running as high as 40% in some jurisdictions. But feminists don’t want to talk about that! Or the impact it has on police investigatory work.

  • Daniel Freeman

    Likewise, if they can seize your assets on an arrest alone — no charges necessary, let alone a conviction — why wait for the arrest? Why not just let the sheriff’s deputies come out to your house, rifle through your stuff, and take what they want, when they want it?

    The answer is because that’s ridiculous. It’s a violation of due process. Asset seizure laws need to be reformed to be stricter, not looser.

    On the other hand, I could draw a distinction in that you don’t lose anything but privacy when your DNA is taken; you still have just as much DNA. And, law enforcement has a legitimate interest in identifying arrestees correctly, no matter how much you might wish to hide your identity from them at that point.

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