I was given a box of material that was cleaned out of the old press room at the LAPD’s Parker Center headquarters, sometimes called “the cop shop.” The box was a jumble of press releases, photographs, artists’ sketches and other items dating from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. I am organizing and cataloging the material and I’ll be posting selected items on a weekly basis.
The “Remorseful Rapist” is one the oldest items in the “cop shop files,” dating from 1965, as reflected by the LAPD case number DR 65 594-262.
LAPD sketch artist Ector Garcia in an undated photo.
This sketch was done by Ector Garcia, who began his career as a police artist, decided to become a police officer, was shot in the head and blinded in one eye, and returned to being a sketch artist.
Here’s a mini biography I wrote about him in 2009. Garcia also wrote a book with Charles E. Pike titled “Portraits of Crime,” a paperback that is not expensive, but is quite difficult to find. My copy came from book dealer in the UK.
The Remorseful Rapist got his nickname because he usually prayed with the victim after the assault and asked the victim to forgive him. His name was Edward David Apodaca.
According to The Times, Apodaca had been sentenced in May 1966 to three consecutive prison terms on 12 counts of rape. His arrest cleared up 61 rape cases, investigators said in the 1960s, and although it was unclear how many rapes he had committed, police said Apodaca could have committed up to 300 rapes.
Apodaca was paroled in 1972 and began another series of rapes before being arrested in 1973, according to The Times. In 1973, Apodaca was charged with 10 counts of rape, 10 counts of burglary, eight counts of sex perversion and one count of assault to commit rape, The Times said.
According to a 1977 Times feature by Bill Hazlett, the LAPD’s PATRIC (Pattern Recognition and Information Correlation) computer and analyst Alice Pilkington recognized a pattern in rape cases and determined that Apodaca could be the rapist, even before the LAPD learned that he had been paroled.
“The new outbreak of rapes had started almost as soon as he was turned loose and PATRIC picked up the pattern from information fed into its systems in 1966,” Pilkington told The Times.
In 1973, Apodaca was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison.
Garcia’s book “Portraits in Crime” has quite a bit more about the Remorseful Rapist, calling him “one of the most memorable rapists in Los Angeles police history, as well as one of the most evasive and ‘cordial’ rapists Ector Garcia ever encountered. Although, as he is quick to point out, rape is always a crime of violence.”
“He was a bookkeeper, very meticulous, well mannered and quite a good-looking guy and went about his rape activity like it was a business of some kind. He’d spot a girl and he’d follow her home. If she lived in an apartment, which most of his victims did, he’d walk right up to them and act as if he was looking for an address or something in order to determine what apartment they entered.
“Then, having gotten a close-up look at them, where they lived, he’d check the mailbox to see if there was a way to determine if they lived alone. If some girl was stupid enough to put ‘Miss’ on the mailbox, he’d have his answer. Otherwise, he’d stake out the apartment and watch her leave the next day, follow her to her job, and then follow her home again. It wasn’t very hard for him to determine if the girl lived alone, whether she was married or had a roommate.
“Then, being a bookkeeper, he’d keep a ledger on each of the girls he stopped. This log listed every detail he could gather on each of the girls. Consequently, on a day when he wanted a certain type of girl or a specific girl he was particularly fond of, he’d refer back to his notes. He was really methodical.”
There is more in “Portraits in Crime” and I would recommend getting a copy of the book if you can find one.
At this point, you may be wondering what has become of Mr. Apodaca. And that curiosity would be well-placed.
Because if you check California’s sex offender registry you will see that Edward David Apodaca has been released, with an address in Riverside County, although his listing says: “The registrant may have subsequently relocated.”