Benedict Jackson: What Happened to the Serial Rapist?

Investigation Discovery’s ‘Homicide Hunter: Lt. Joe Kenda: The Monster Awakes’ covers the story of serial rapist Benedict Jackson, known as the “East Side Rapist,” as he committed at least 17 rapes in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in the early 1990s. However, the authorities nailed him down using the relatively new forensic technology back then.

Who is Benedict Jackson?

On July 1, 1991, the Colorado Springs Police Department received a sexual assault complaint from a young mother in the eastern end of the city. According to police reports, the witness testified it was around 7:30 am when she was assaulted by a masked rapist holding a knife. He threatened to harm her baby in the next room if she did not comply with his orders, and she duly stayed quiet during the ordeal. She alleged he rummaged through the room and went off with some jewelry after committing the rape.

The victim offered the officers a very vague description of the rapist – an African-American male, muscular, average height, wearing an army PT t-shirt, gloves, and a ski mask with white patches around the eyes. While comparing notes, the police discovered similar crimes in the area bearing the same modus operandi. The investigators pulled all sexual assault complaints in the past year and studied them minutely until a pattern emerged between some.

According to the show, the officers found nine cases between November 1990 and February 1991 where the women victims were attacked inside their residence, thrown onto the bed, and threatened similarly to stay quiet or he would kill them. Concerned that there might be a prowling sexual predator in the city, the detectives tried to locate more leads and evidence to capture the perpetrator before he struck again. Weeks later, another woman called 911 and alleged the rapist was still inside her home.

Officers immediately responded to the scene and discovered the alleged rapist had escaped through a bedroom window. They interviewed the residents to learn one of the females found an unknown African-American male in the bed with her, holding a knife. As she started to scream, her sister rushed in and got a good look at the unmasked perpetrator’s face. One of the responding officers found the description to be vaguely similar to a suspect in a June 1991 robbery of a clerk at the Vicker’s Service Station at 432 N. Circle Drive.

When presented with the suspect’s photograph, the women confirmed it was the same perpetrator who had tried to rape one of them. Armed with a possible identity, the detectives visited the Fort Carson army base and asked the army personnel for help to identify the alleged rapist. The army circulated the image among all platoons and battalions, and the individual was soon identified as Benedict Jackson, an active army sergeant. He came down to the station and confessed to the convenience store robbery.

According to the show, Benedict was very cooperative, showed remorse, and claimed he did the shameful crime to support his family. He asserted he was between paychecks and had to buy diapers for his child, thus stealing approximately $140 from the store. When the detectives asked for a blood sample, he readily complied. Very few people had heard about DNA evidence at that time, and Benedict seemed rather eager to help the authorities. However, his demeanor changed when the detectives asked him about the sexual assaults taking place.

Where is Benedict Jackson Now?

Benedict denied all allegations, and he was arrested on robbery charges. The Colorado police sent his blood sample to the FBI lab in Virginia, the only lab in the country with the technology to run DNA sampling then. However, due to limited resources and hundreds of requests from all over the nation, the police estimated it would take around a year before they get the lab results back. Meanwhile, Benedict went on trial on the robbery charges and was put on three-year probation in November 1991 after paying back the stolen amount.

The investigators interviewed his girlfriend to learn she could account for his daily whereabouts except for the one or two hours he went out for physical training. They also went through his army logbook and attendance records to find he was traversing to the base from his home around the time when all the assaults took place. The officers also discovered all the rapes happened in an area roughly bounded by North Carefree Circle on the north, Fountain Boulevard on the south, Murray Boulevard on the east, and Academy Boulevard on the west.

The concerned area fell in the path taken by Benedict from his apartment in the 200 block of North Murray Boulevard to the army base. After the robbery trial, he seemed to lay low for some time before the officers received another assault complaint on May 8, 1992. However, the assailant could not commit the rape as he was scared away by noise from a neighboring apartment.

Within weeks of the report, the FBI lab contacted the Colorado Springs police and informed Benedict’s DNA matched the forensic evidence found at the crime scenes. The officers arrested Benedict, then 32, on May 21, 1992. He was deemed to be involved in at least 17 rapes at the time. The military was also investigating 21 more alleged victims while he was stationed in Germany.

According to reports, he had resigned from the army in March 1992 and worked for a local company. He was found guilty of eight counts of rape and one count of attempted rape and sentenced to a total of 598 years in prison. It was the longest sentence in Colorado history. Official court records state the 63-year-old is serving his sentence today at the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility in Cañon City, Colorado. 

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