Real Name: Wadada (Last Name Unrevealed)
Aliases: Gerald, Jae-Soon, or Anthony Merris (possible aliases)
Wanted For: Attempted Murder, Rape
Missing Since: December 1988
Details: Seventeen-year-old Sarah Beard was a freshman Sociology student at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. At 4PM on December 8, 1988, her mother Susan arrived at her off-campus apartment. Throughout the day, Sarah had not responded to repeated calls from her parents. Susan obtained a key from the landlord and entered the apartment. She called out to Sarah but received no response. She then heard a rasping noise coming from the far side of Sarah's bed. She was shocked to find her daughter laying there, beaten and unconscious. She had been raped and struck in the back of the head with a hammer approximately eleven times. Three of the blows were strong enough to fracture her skull and jaw. She was rushed into emergency surgery, which lasted until 1AM on December 9; miraculously, she survived.
At first, she was unable to verbally communicate due to the injuries to her jaw. Wanting to identify her attacker, her parents decided that they would ask her questions and have her respond by squeezing her father James's hand. When she answered several questions correctly, they decided to ask her to identify her attacker. James did this by going through the alphabet, asking her to squeeze his hand when he got to the first letter of her attacker's first name. After going through almost the entire alphabet, the Beards feared that the hand squeezes were a fluke. However, she finally squeezed his hand again when he reached the letter "W". They then asked her if the attacker was her friend Wadada; she confirmed this by squeezing his hand again.
Wadada, whose full name is unknown, was a hang-around at the university. He considered himself to be an artist and often lived and asked for money from various students, including Sarah. However, police could not press charges based on the strength of a hand squeeze. They needed her to verbally name her attacker. Doctors feared that she would never be able to speak again. However, as the weeks passed, she began to recover from her injuries. Finally, in January of 1989, she was able to speak and give investigators a full account of what had happened to her.
She said that on December 7, 1988, she was planning to go over to the university to study for finals when Wadada came to her apartment. He asked to borrow a paintbrush and she told him where it was located. She also told him that she had to leave soon. As she turned to put her shoes on, he came from behind and put a knife to her throat. He ordered her to take off her clothes. She banged on the floors and walls, screaming for help; however, no one heard her. Wadada hit her and then brutally raped her. Afterward, he began chanting wildly and made her join him. He also told her to apologize for what happened to her. He then struck her repeatedly with the hammer and left her to die.
Wadada has not been seen since the attack. He is described as between 5'7" and 5'9" with a thin build. He speaks with an accent that might be described as French Caribbean or Ethiopian, but he is apparently fluent in Spanish. His right hand is deformed; the fingers are crabbed together forming a claw like shape. His right arm is also deformed and he has burn scars on the front and back of both hands. He has listed his birthplace as Guyana. He had previously lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Miami, Florida; and Brooklyn, New York. He is wanted for rape and attempted murder.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the February 2, 1994 episode.
Wadada was played by actor Jeffrey Anderson-Gunter.