Extra – New DNA Helping Solve Rape Cold-Cases

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ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - Former St. Louis Metropolitan Police Detective (current SLU Investigator) Mark Chambers has seen many DNA matches to cold case rapes.

Investigator Mark Chambers says he’ll never forget what the infamous 'South Side rapist' said about his crimes.

Mark Chambers, Investigator: “I remember Dennis Rabbitt, the Southside rapist, making some profound statement that he never hurt anyone, that he was not violent. And I’m thinking, you know crawling through someone’s window in the middle of the night and putting a gun to their head and covering their head with a pillow… if that’s not violent I don’t know what violence is. Every rape is violent. Even if there’s no physical injury, it’s still a violent act. [10:22] [Flash cut to]

Mark Chambers, Investigator: “That’s how we got him. He gave a DNA sample and it was put into CODIS. Of course we had to release him (earlier) because at this time he was only being charged with attempted burglary. But once CODIS came up and said that was him, then we actively sought him out for that.

Mark Chambers, Investigator: “He raped several women and we had a lot of DNA and that’s why he’s in the penitentiary today and probably will never get out.”

Investigator Mark Chambers talks about a cold case solution that was too much for a survivor.

Mark Chambers, Investigator: “I think I only had one case that I can remember, a CODIS hit where the victim, she wasn’t angry with me, but she had closed that book and she wasn’t sure if she wanted to open it back up again. You know I apologized, but said it’s something I have to do. I have to let you know who the perpetrator is who raped you. And she did appreciate that, but at the same time she wanted to let it go and just close that book. She had moved on with her life.

(Reporter Hayes) And what happened?

(Chambers) I still went to the Pen. and talked to this guy. I still got his statement. It was still presented to the Circuit Attorney for prosecution, but I don’t think she (the survivor) followed through with it. (Hayes) how do you feel about that?

(Chambers) That’s her decision to make. I’m not the one who was raped, you know. I can’t make a decision for a woman, that’s got to be her decision to make. I would like to see all of them prosecuted, but if they don’t that’s their decision and I’m good with that. I’m fine with it.”