Investigators hunted one of Florida’s most prolific serial rapists for decades. A true crime podcast uncovers new details

“Be a good girl, and you won’t get hurt.”

Those are the words a young secretary heard as she was jolted awake in the early morning hours of May 1, 1981, by an intruder who had slipped into her Miami apartment through a balcony door.

He yanked a pillowcase over her head and raped her in the darkness.

Before the summer was over, police would investigate the rapes of four more women by the same assailant in the same apartment complex, called Alisian Lakes.

They were the first of what investigators believe to be more than 40 attacks over five years by the predator who became known as the Pillowcase Rapist — one of Florida’s most prolific serial rapists who led police on a manhunt for nearly four decades.

A new season of the podcast “Felonious Florida: In the Darkness,” released Thursday exclusively on the Wondery podcast network, pieces together for the first time the dozens of rapes that were believed to have been committed across South Florida by the same man, and investigates how he managed to evade capture for years.


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The podcast, produced by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, uncovers new details in the investigation, including a rape that took place years after the previously last-known attack in 1986. The series also reveals how it took both science and luck to finally crack the case.

Listeners will follow detectives, led by then-Sgt. Dave Simmons of the Miami-Dade Police Department, as they investigated the dozens of attacks in Miami-Dade and Broward counties that were believed to have been committed by the same man between 1981 and 1986.

The rapist stalked women — most of them single professionals — and waited until late at night when they were alone in their apartments and townhomes. He usually broke in through a balcony door or window, even scaling buildings to reach units as high as four stories up.

By the end of the spree, the rapist’s attacks were spread out over 500 square miles of South Florida.

Through interviews with victims, investigators and others, the Felonious Florida series examines the multiple suspects Simmons and his investigators looked into, including a disgraced killer cop and a burglar who brutally murdered a young woman in South Miami.

Listen to the new season of Felonious Florida to find out how this extraordinary case unfolded over four decades and came to a remarkable and unexpected conclusion. LISTEN HERE.

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