Real Name: Unrevealed
Aliases: Bike Path Rapist
Wanted For: Rape, Murder, Attempted Murder
Missing Since: 1994
Details: From 1986 to 1994, the police in Buffalo, New York have been pursuing a man who raped and left several women and young girls for dead. The first victim was attacked on June 12, 1986, in Delaware Park, New York. The second victim was attacked on July 14, 1986 in Hamburg, New York; she was seventeen-year-old who was walking to her summer school along a bike path. While walking, she heard someone behind her. She turned around and noticed a man who said "Hello" to her. Just seconds later, the man put a rope around her neck and dragged her into the woods. He then raped her and left; according to the victim, he almost sounded sorry.
The third victim was a sixteen-year-old who was walking to school along a railroad track when she was attacked on June 10, 1988, in Riverside. In this case, he double-wrapped a rope around her neck and taped her eyes shut. The fourth victim was attacked on May 1, 1989, again in Riverside. She was also walking along a railroad track when the rapist double-wrapped a rope around her neck and raped her in the nearby woods. He also placed tape over this victim's eyes. Two of the victims said that he was wearing a blue baseball cap. All of them described him as a short, stocky, mustached man in his mid-30s.
The fifth victim was attacked on August 24, 1989, in Willow Ridge. Once again, he double-wrapped a rope around her neck. Somehow, he was able to lift her over a fence; he then took her into a wooded area where he bound her hands, put surgical tape over her eyes, and raped her. The sixth victim was a thirty-two-year-old female who was attacked on May 31, 1990 in Elliott Creek. The victim immediately lost consciousness when the rapist tightly placed a rope around her neck. She was found one hour later, still unconscious. This time, the rapist had nearly killed his victim. On September 29, 1990, the rapist's seventh victim, twenty-two-year-old Buffalo University student Linda Yalem, died as a result of suffocation during the attack. The rapist had placed duct tape over her mouth and nose.
For four years, there were no more attacks by the rapist; some began to speculate that the man either was arrested, moved away, or even died. Then, on October 19, 1994, an eighth victim, a fourteen-year-old in Buffalo, was attacked by the rapist. Dubbed the Bike Path Rapist, this assailant was described as a short stocky bald man with a mustache, but the infrequency of his attacks made him hard to catch. He left victims in Buffalo and in Amherst.
Extra Notes: This segment originally ran on the February 23, 1996 episode.
Results: Captured. After the story aired, the rapist was linked to two more murder victims: Majane Mazur, who was found dead on November 22, 1992, in Buffalo, and Joan Diver, resident of Clarence, who was found dead on September 29, 2006, on Newstead bike path, two decades after claiming his first victim.
In 2007, investigators re-examining the case found a statement from one of the victims who was attacked in 1981. She said that she had seen her rapist at a shopping mall a few days after she was attacked. She wrote down the license plate number and gave it to police. At the time, investigators determined that the car belonged to Wilfredo Sanchez Caraballo. However, he claimed that it had not been driven at the time.
When Caraballo was re-interviewed, he told them that he lied back in 1981; he had actually let his nephew, Altemio Sanchez, use the car at the time. Investigators were able to obtain a DNA sample from Sanchez; this conclusively tied him to the crimes committed by the "Bike Path Rapist" and he was arrested. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations had expired on the rapes; however, Sanchez pleaded guilty to the three murders. He was sentenced to seventy-five years to life in prison.
Investigators learned that Sanchez had committed two other rapes in the same park where he assaulted his first victim. Anthony Capozzi had been wrongly imprisoned for twenty-one years for these rapes; he was soon released.
- Bike Path Rapist at Unsolved.com
- The Bike Path Rapist on Wikipedia
- The Bike Path Rapist on Murderpedia
- Hunt for the Bike Path Killer: The Linda Yalem case
- Buffalo "Bike Path Rapist" Pleads Guilty
- Killer of 3 Women in Buffalo Area Is Given a Life Term
- Documentary on the Bike Path Rapist