DNA Evidence Helps Police Link Neo-Nazi To Unsolved Rape Cases

A neo-Nazi man in North Carolina was arrested in connection with a series of unresolved rape cases and is being held on an $18.8 million bond.

Darold Wayne Bowden, a North Carolina man sporting a Nazi swastika tattoo, has been linked to a series of unsolved rape cases in Fayetteville that were reported between 2006 and 2008.

Using DNA material collected from multiple crime scenes, police asked a Virginia-based company to run genealogy tests that eventually led them to 43-year-old Bowden.

“They were able to triangulate and figure out a strong person of interest for us,” Fayetteville Police Lt. John Somerindyke said. “We were able to obtain his DNA, get it off to the state crime lab, and we got a match yesterday. We got the guy.”

The assaults, which hadn’t been solved until now, were always associated with one man police called the “Ramsey Street Rapist.”

For years, the cases instilled fear among Fayetteville residents. The assaults took place at several apartment complexes during a two-year period, but they started with two attacks that were reported within days of each other in March 2006.

One of the victims was jogging alone near Northwood Temple on Ramsey Street when the suspect tackled her from behind. He then took her to the woods where she was raped.

"I was running seven-minute miles, and he came from behind and just hit me like a Mac truck," the unidentified victim explained.

She told reporters that while it took 12 years for the police to catch him, she’s glad they finally did it.

Victims told police the attacker had musky breath and smelled of machinery oil. Because of the consistent DNA material found in all crime scenes, police knew from the start that the cases were tied to the same assailant.

He reportedly wore hooded sweatshirts during several of his rapes with either the Orange County Choppers logo or “Notre Dame” written across the chest.

In 2016, the Fayetteville Police Department announced they hadn’t given up on the rape cases yet. Now, Somerindyke is glad his department dedicated “thousands of hours” to solve these crimes.

“Our victims are important to us, and we're going to do whatever it takes to get them justice,” he said.

Authorities said Bowden has a history of breaking the law and was arrested in the past for petty crimes. Officers shared several of his mugshots throughout the years so that any other woman who may have been victims can identify him.

Currently, Bowden is being held at the Cumberland County Jail on an $18.8 million bond.

After catching the man, Cumberland District Attorney Billy Porter warned any other wannabe rapist in the region that this type of crime is not tolerated.

"If you commit any crime in our city or in our county, whether you break into a house, rob someone or sexually assault someone or kill someone, we're not going to stop" until we find the criminal, Porter warned.

Considering how the department remained committed all of these years to solving the rape cases involving the “Ramsey Street Rapist,” it doesn't seem that Porter was just making empty threats.

Many people on Twitter used this case to mock President Donald Trump, who used the murder of a young woman in Iowa, Mollie Tibbetts, to demonize all immigrants.

It’s terrifying to think of how many predators out there are never brought to justice. In this case, it took police 12 years to finally identify the suspect. But in 2016 alone, only 36.5 percent of all known forcible rape offenses were actually cleared by authorities, meaning that over 63 percent of cases weren't solved.

This incredibly high rate of unsolved rape crimes should outrage anybody as it proves that, once again, our country does not take the plight of assault survivors seriously enough to bring these criminals to justice.

If police departments across the nation were as diligent as the authorities in Fayetteville, perhaps the staggering percentage of unsolved rapes would change. 


Banner and thumbnail image credit: REUTERS/Go Nakamura

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