US pervert Koehler, accused of raping 45 women, was caught after 30 years!
Robert Eugene Koehler, accused of assaulting and raping at least 45 women in the US state of Florida in the 1980s, has finally been caught. Here are all the details.
Women living in the south of Florida, USA, slept with one eye open for years because of Robert Eugene Koehler. The women felt the need to lock the doors of their house not once, but three times.
They all had a common fear: An unidentified person was breaking into women's homes, attacking them with a knife and raping them. Meanwhile, the attacker, who covered either his own face or his victim's face with a cloth, became publicly known as the "Pillow Cover Rapist".
An extensive manhunt was launched for the attacker, who is suspected of raping at least 45 women in the 1980s. Authorities assigned 50 police detectives to investigate the case.
Sketches of depictions of the women who had been attacked were posted on the streets all over Florida. It was even agreed with a sculptor to make the bust of the attacker.
The investigation continued for years, with police evaluating more than 1,000 reports. However, all efforts were futile and the task force formed to catch the attacker ceased to work in 1987.
Caught 30 Years Later
On January 22, 2020, something happened that no one expected. Police officials said they had a trail of a suspect in connection with the attacks in the 1980s.
In the statement, it was reported that the suspect is Robert Eugene Koehler, who has a criminal record for sexual assault crimes. Police said Koehler was detained at his home in Palm Bay the previous weekend.
An indictment was filed against Koehler, who is 63 years old today, on two separate charges of sexual assault on December 28, 1983, for stabbing and raping a 25-year-old woman in Miami-Dade's home.
At a press conference after the police statement, Miami-Dade Attorney General Katherine Fernandez Rundle stated that thanks to the DNA sample they obtained, they managed to associate Koehler with 24 separate sexual assaults that occurred during the same period.
The key incident that brought law enforcement to Koehler, more than 30 years later, occurred in 2019, the prosecutor said.
At that time, Koehler's son was arrested on domestic violence charges.
In this process, the police had a little surprise when they uploaded the DNA sample taken from his son Koehler to the database where the genetic data of the criminals were kept. It turned out that there was a very close relationship between the suspect of the rape incidents in the 1980s and the unidentified suspect.
“This family bond was the breaking point for us. That was the missing piece of the puzzle,” Rundle said.
Building A Dungeon At Home
Prosecutor Laura Adams, who appeared before the press with Rundle, said that during an examination of the father Koehler's home, the police found various cases containing women's jewelry and a metal rasp placed in a protective sheath.
Adams added that Koehler built a dungeon in the basement of his home, which is believed to have taken these items from his victims as souvenirs.
"When we saw this, we were very worried, 'If we don't arrest this man now, he could do much worse things to other women,'" Adams said.
Authorities said Koehler planned to track his victims between May 1981 and February 1986. Most of the victims were young women, but there was an 82-year-old man among them.
"Koehler has literally horrified women in South Florida," Rundle said.
Caught Before But Released
In fact, Koehler may have been caught before. Because he was convicted of sexual assault in the Palm Beach neighborhood due to an incident in 1991 and was included in the list of such criminals.
However, Köhler's data was not added to the system since there was no practice in those years to take DNA from criminals. "He's managed to hide like that for all these years," Rundle said.
His DNA was Found on the Doorknob of The Grocery Store
Police tracked down Koehler after family ties emerged with the arrest of his son in 2019.
When Koehler went grocery shopping one day, the detectives were given the opportunity they were looking for. In the first analysis of DNA samples from the grocery store's doorknob and shopping cart, samples from the 1983 crime scene partially matched. This allowed the police to issue the necessary arrest warrant to arrest Koehler.
Thanks to the large amount of DNA samples taken during his detention, Koehler was also confirmed to be the perpetrator of 24 other attacks in the 1980s.
The Jury Found Koehler Guilty
Rundle's wish came true last Wednesday. After the trial in Miami-Dade was completed, Koehler was found guilty of his 1983 assault.
According to the news of The New York Times on Miami's local television channel WPLG; In his defense during the hearings, Koehler said corrupt cops threatened, conspired and coerced him into committing crimes.
Koehler also claimed that a police officer threatened him by holding a gun to his temple and saying, "You won't tell anyone about this."
"The page of horror that women in South Florida have lived through for a very, very long time is finally coming to an end," said Prosecutor Rundle, after the jury found "guilty" after three hours of deliberation.
The Lawsuits Will Continue
Facing a life sentence, Koehler is on trial in a similar case in the neighboring county of Broward. Broward State Attorney General's Spokesperson Paula McMahon said that Koehler was charged with 6 incidents here as well, and that they will demand the transfer of the prisoner after the judicial process in Miami-Dade is completed.
One of the victims in Broward said he was attacked shortly after midnight on June 23, 1984, when Koehler approached from behind and held a knife to his throat, saying, "If you see my face, it's all over."
According to court documents, another victim stated that he slept in the same bed with his 5-year-old daughter at the time of the attack and said, "He pulled me out of my bed, attacked and raped me."
Source: The New York Times