Saturday, April 2, 2011

Westside rapist, serial killer sentenced to life (coldcase): John Floyd Thomas Jr. pleads

"Thomas, who went to prison in 1978 for a rape in Pasadena, had two waves of rape-killings. The first was on the Westside before he was caught. After serving time, he moved to Chino and another wave began in Claremont. Through all this, Thomas was never connected or suspected by police, despite leaving 20 survivors. After he was arrested, more DNA results came in connecting him to four other deaths. Thomas would prey on older woman living alone. He would rape and strangle them and leave a pillow or blanket over their faces. Police said the former insurance claims adjuster who was born in Los Angeles and attended Manual Arts High School, targeted women ranging in age from their 50s to their 90s, breaking into their homes at night to rape and choke his victims.  pictures HERE
After being dishonorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force he was sent to jail for nearly ten years after being convicted of burglary and attempted rape, Following his release, 'authorities noticed a string of assaults on elderly white women', reports the LA Times. In 1978, when Thomas was convicted and sentenced to prison again, this time for the rape of a Pasadena woman, the Westside attacks appeared to stop. He moved to Chino after his release in 1983, 'coinciding with a wave of rapes and killings that began in the Pomona Valley area.' Now he is sentenced: excerpt from  HERE : rapist sentenced to life

Alleged 'Westside Rapist' John Floyd Thomas Jr. pleads guilty to seven slayings
John Floyd Thomas Jr., 74, who Los Angeles police cold case detectives said was the notorious "Westside Rapist," pleaded guilty to the murders that took place in two waves, the first in Inglewood, Lennox and Los Angeles in the mid-1970s and the other in the Claremont-Pomona area a decade later.

PHOTOS: California's most notorious killers
The soft-spoken insurance claims specialist is described by the LAPD as one of the region's most prolific killers, responsible for as many as 30 slayings and about two dozen sexual assaults. But his plea in court Friday is for only seven killings. The slayings involve Ethel Sokoloff, 68, in the Mid-Wilshire area in 1972; Elizabeth McKeown, 67, in Westchester in 1976; Cora Perry in Lennox in 1975; Maybelle Hudson, 80, Miriam McKinley, 65, and Evalyn Bunner, 56, all in 1976 in Inglewood.

But in 1999, the story was different: a man named King was arrested: i need to look into this one.
arrest in westside rapist case
"King is also suspected of committing up to 40 other crimes since October, including several burglaries, assaults and prowling incidents near UCLA.

LAPD Chief Bernard C. Parks called the arrest a "fantastic bit of police work" in which detectives spent thousands of hours investigating "400 clues." But he declined to reveal what clues actually led detectives to make the arrest.
For months, residents in some parts of West Los Angeles were shaken by accounts of the serial rapist. Some considered moving; others said they avoided going out alone at night and took extra safety precautions at home."

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