The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Ski Mask Rapist, A new chapter?

If the name Gilbert H. Escobedo doesn't mean a lot to you, then you might want to pick out at least one of the many books that cover his reign of terror in the 80s and 90s. The man dubed "the ski mask rapist" has been mentioned in numerous books over the last few decades, and with good reason.

Escobedo, confessed to 48 rapes, although many people believe that the number is closer to double that.

The plight of one of his victims is unfolded in Whispers of Romance, Threats of Death by Carol Cook (who, it is worth mentioning is one of the victims of Escobedo. Just the overview of the book gives a glimpse into the truly disturbing mentality of Escobedo, despite its assumed purpose of highlighting the fight of his victim to ensure justice:

After Carol Cook was raped in her Dallas home, she had trouble trusting new people. Then she met Gilbert Escobedo, a respected member of the Christian community. He became her trusted business partner, and eventually her lover. But as Carol's feelings for him deepened, so did her suspicions that Gilbert had a secret life-and a dark side. He was not the hero he fashioned himself to be. In fact, he was the Ski Mask Rapist who had once counted Carol among his victims. And he wasn't through with her. Now it was up to Carol to bring to justice one of the most notorious criminals in the annals of Texas crime.

Escobedo's life as a serial rapist likely began after he was release from jail in 1985, where he served time for a burglary conviction. During the years following his release, he would stalk his victims for weeks or months until he found the opportunity to rape them. He also taunted police over the inability to catch him, going as far as to leave a baseball cap with their logo behind at one crime scene.

Among those he confessed to raping were a 19-year-old woman who was baby-sitting a toddler one afternoon and a 41-year-old woman whom he attacked as she got out of her shower one morning.

Escobedo also confessed to dozens of burglaries, during which he took items ranging from electronics to furs to jewelry.

Detectives suspected him not long after the attacks began. They followed him, studied his background and took him in for questioning.

But each time, they couldn't gather enough evidence to charge him. During this period he attended church, using it as one of many venues to pick out future victims.

"Escobedo methodically parlayed virtually every moment of his spare time toward identifying and isolating targets that fit his very precise standards," wrote former Dallas Morning News reporter Howard Swindle, who profiled Escobedo in the book Trespasses: Portrait of a Serial Rapist

Now, 20 after the Ski Mask Rapist was handed 10 life sentences... the great state of Texas has informed the survivors of his heinous crimes that he will soon be up for parole- opening the possibility that he may once again prowl the streets, stalking and raping women.

It seems that despite the confession, Escobedo arranged a plea bargain with then Dallas County District Attorney John Vance, where in he plead guilty to nine rapes and a burglary. Had the cases been tried independently of each other, the 10 life sentences to run consecutively rather than concurrently. Meaning he's now eligible for parole.

Dallas Morning News