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1975: 'Cambridge rapist' strikes again

VIDEO : `Cambridge rapist' arrested

Police believe a woman attacked in the early hours of Sunday morning was the sixth victim of a serial rapist operating in Cambridge.

The man wearing black leather trousers and jacket and a leather hood with eye-slits forced his way into the 22-year-old woman's bed-sit in the city.

She awoke to find him holding a knife to her throat.

He then raped her and left her naked, bound and gagged.

She managed to raise the alarm four hours later.

As in previous attacks, the man spent several minutes talking to his victim, asking if she was willing to have sex and describing what he was going to do.

The attack was the first after a lull of four months.

Police blame the same man for five other attacks in Cambridge since October last year.

Another woman fought him off after he attempted to force his way into her flat.

Most of the rapist's victims have been students at the university.

'Local man'

The woman he attacked today is one of the first to have got a good look at him.

He has generally managed to keep his face hidden but some victims said they believed he was wearing a wig and a false beard.

One woman who did see him told police he was in his mid-twenties and about 5 ft 4 in (1.63 metres) tall.

Detective Superintendent Bernard Hotson, who is leading 60 officers hunting for the rapist, said he is convinced they are dealing with a local man.

"We are certain that someone in the city knows of this man's different disguises and his peculiar moods in the early hours of the morning.

And he urged anyone who suspected they knew the rapist to turn him in.

"His sadistic tendencies must have shown themselves before he started raping innocent girls," Mr Hotson said.

In Context
The attacker became known as the "hooded rapist" because of the distinctive leather mask he wore.

He struck again in Cambridge in May 1975 but was caught the following month after attempting to break into another woman's flat.

A police officer tackled him as he cycled away disguised in a long blonde wig.

He was revealed to be Peter Cook, 47, from Cambridge already known to police as a professional thief.

Police discovered a cache of women's wigs, clothing and make-up in a shed at his home.

He also had a supply of ether for subduing his victims.

In October 1975 he was sentenced to life imprisonment.


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