Clayton County, GA — For the last five years, a serial rapist has terrorized the state of Georgia. At least eight different cases of rape and and sexual battery have been tied to 24-year-old Kenneth Bowen III. But until now, he has avoided getting caught. All that changed however, when the very department who was investigating his case, caught him after he began the process of becoming a cop.
“Had he not attempted to join ranks in the Clayton County Police Department, it is questionable as to when we would have apprehended him,” Clayton County Police Chief Kevin Roberts said during a news conference last week.
“WE GOT HIM!” the police department wrote on Facebook last week when they posted a video of Bowen's arrest.
“Citizens of Clayton County can rest a little bit easier knowing that the serial rapist has been CAPTURED! Great investigative skill set and excellent teamwork has brought his terror to an end!”
According to police, Bowen was hired in June of 2018. However, he was fired months later — not for being a serial rapist — but for showing up late to training and lying to supervisors about where he was.
According to police, all the rapes happened within a two-mile radius of Bowen's house. When the Georgia Bureau of Investigation drafted composite sketches of the rapists from these incidents, the case started to gain some ground. Investigators would later find evidence which linked all the cases to the same person.
“We realized that it’s possible that if he was committing these crimes, breaking into women’s windows and assaulting people by buildings near their apartment complexes, then somebody over the last few years must have talked to police and said, ‘This guy is a suspicious person in the area,’” Lt. Thomas Reimers, an investigator in Clayton County said.
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As the AJC reports:
Reimers said detectives reviewed the calls to see if officers had made contact with any of the suspicious people and then got names and birthdays of those people.
Bowen’s name and birthday was among those names related to a call from 2016, Reimers said. When investigators obtained a photo of Bowen, they saw a striking similarity between his visage and the GBI sketch of the suspected rapist, he said.
They then revisited the incident reports filed after the attacks to see if any of the details pointed to Bowen. Victims had told police the attacker had tattoos on his right arm and had left in a gray car with tinted windows. Police found that Bowen had a silver Ford Focus with tinted windows, Reimers said.
While trying to determine if Bowen had tattoos, investigators dug into his social media and found a photo of him with a family member who was dressed in a Clayton County police uniform. That detail, in turn, led investigators to the discovery that Bowen had also worked for the police department.
“And through looking at background information provided, we determined that he reportedly had tattoos on his arm,” Reimers said.
When looking through the police employee records, investigators found the details that linked Bowen to the cases. A search warrant to obtain Bowen's DNA was obtained last week which linked him to at least 8 different attacks on women. He was arrested shortly after.
After he was arrested, Bowen was charged with seven counts of rape and one count of sexual battery.
What this case illustrates is how the position of authority granted to police officers is often sought out by society's worst. This man — who is accused of breaking into the homes of women and raping them at knife and gunpoint — was not joining the police force to help people. He was seeking out a position of authority that would put him in situations in which he could prey on the vulnerable. Had he managed to simply show up on time to training, he would've been hired.
This is the problem with any position of authority, it always leads to situations like these. How many officers are in departments right now who are serial rapists? Judging from the sheer number of news stories, in which cops are accused of the most heinous sex crimes—many of which involve children—that number is likely shockingly high.