Who is the Teardrop Rapist?
As far as authorities know, the sexual assaults by this particular individual began sometime in 1996, and his modus operandi hasn't changed over the course of approximately 16 years. However, the rapes did appear to cease for a brief period of time from 2005 to 2011 -- a six year gap. In the year 2011, a 15-year-old teen was attacked by a man who matched the description of the prolific rapist, and DNA confirmed that he was back on the prowl after his mysterious hiatus.
All but one of the victims that have come forward have noted that their attacker had teardrop tattoos under one of his eyes. His latest victim did not notice the tattoo, but it could have been removed. LAPD detectives have run out of leads in this case, and are focusing heavily on Hispanic neighborhoods, in hopes of finding the man responsible for years of sexual assaults.
It seems that detectives could look at men who were imprisoned between the years 2005 to 2011, as it seems that six years time is a really specific gap between sexual assaults. With more than 36 victims, the Teardrop Rapist doesn't seem like a character that has a lot of self control. So it seems that something would have to be forcing him to stay off the streets for six years -- and that would most likely be due to incarceration.
It should be noted that detectives have been overzealous in the past when it has come to finding the Teardrop Rapist. A man by the name of Luis Lorenzo Vargas was wrongfully convicted in association with the rapes in 1999. He has always vehemently denied any involvement in the unsolved rapes, but still spent 16 years behind bars. His conviction was finally thrown out in 2015, but that doesn't erase the years he spent in prison for crimes he did not commit. While he sat behind bars, wrongly convicted, the actual rapist continued racking up his victim count, evading arrest.
I want to also note the oddity of the imprisonment of Vargas, when only 3% of all rapists every see jail time. Not only did this man serve time, but he spent the better part of 20 years in prison, that's so much more than most rapists get, statistically -- which makes it all the more disappointing that his conviction was false, and that he turned out to be completely innocent.
In collaboration with the FBI, the LAPD is offering a reward in the amount of $100k, for anyone with information that leads to the arrest of the Teardrop Rapist. If you think you might know the man responsible for dozens of rapes in the Los Angeles area, please do not hesitate to call the LAPD at (877) 527-3247.