Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Personal Information May Put You at Risk - Serial Rapist Knew Details

An interesting story this morning, "Serial Rapist May Be Targeting Texas Sorority Alumnae, Police Say"
Police are looking for a serial rapist who may be targeting sorority alumnae in at least three North Texas cities, where at least four women have been attacked in their homes by a man who reportedly claimed he knew personal details about his victims. 
The victims, all members of the predominantly black Delta Sigma Theta sorority, were in their mid-50s to mid-60s and all were attacked late at night in their homes, according to police. It is unclear if the women knew each other.
Salient details:
  • All victims were members of the same sorority
  • All victims are in the same age range
  • During the attacks, "the assailant revealed that he knew personal information about his victims"
Ok, maybe it's just me, but do any of you see a commonality here? To me, it looks like this piece of scum has access to the sorority's membership list. What do you think?

As we give some thought to this, is it possible that too many people have access to our home addresses, phone numbers, etc? The story does mention "avoid being alone or posting information about their day-to-day activities on social networking sites." But why? It could be a factor, for example, people who have wide open profiles on social media (Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter, Google+) sometimes use the "check-in" feature and let the world know that they are away from their homes, or even when they are home - not smart. However, in this case, the rapist knews where they all live, and, likely, that they are home alone.

My after-action for this:
  1. Reduce or eliminate use of personal address and other information with associations. Use a work address if you need to, or a PO Box.
  2. Stop using the "Check-In." I use it, but with a pseudonym, and never check in anywhere near home.
  3. Be more observant of things in the area, for example, someone staking out your home.
  4. Take precautions to give you warning of a break-in (alarm systems and a decent-sized dog). 
  5. Obtain, learn to use, and be prepared to use a handgun.
  6. Take lessons and classes that will give you the proper mentality to defend yourself.
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