Trespasses: Portrait of a Serial Rapist

Howard Swindle, Author
Howard Swindle, Author Viking Books $22.95 (320p) ISBN 978-0-670-85879-8
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-14-024971-2
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Gilbert Escobedo confessed to 48 rapes in Dallas between 1985 and 1990, although authorities conjecture that he may have committed twice that number. Physically attractive, compulsively neat, obsessive in every aspect of his life, Escobedo fit exactly the psychological profile used by forensic experts to identify a power rapist, whose crimes are marked by anger and sadism. In this searching analysis, Dallas Morning News editor Swindle (Deliberate Indifference) traces the influences that may have converted his vain, selfish and manipulative subject into a victimizer who sought out only young, beautiful and often well-to-do women as his prey. He shows how Escobedo's careful modus operandi enabled him to avoid arrest even after the police were certain of his guilt. Most intriguing are observations that upset widely held views about rape, such as the profile of a typical rapist, the contention that rape is not a sexual crime and the assumption that every victim is scarred for life (some are, some are not). Most depressing is the estimate that there are over half a million rapes in the U.S. each year, with only a small minority reported. Readers interested in true crime won't want to miss this one. (Apr.)
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