Why the suspected Potomac River Rapist isn’t charged with all the crimes he’s connected to

Police and the FBI say the Potomac River Rapist is responsible for a murder and more than 10 rapes in D.C. and Montgomery County between 1991 and 1998. (Courtesy FBI)A man known for decades as the “Potomac River Rapist” won’t fight extradition from South Carolina after his arrest on Tuesday, and should be brought back to the District relatively soon, sources told WTOP.

Sixty-year-old Giles Warrick Sr. refused to talk with authorities after being taken into custody this week and, according to sources, expressed no remorse when asked about the crimes he has been charged with.

“The immediate plan is to get him into the District of Columbia,” said police Chief Peter Newsham at a news conference Thursday afternoon. “He will be charged with the murder and sexual assaults that occurred here.

“I know Montgomery County has bent over backwards to ensure that the victims out [there] also get justice for the crimes that were committed,” he added.

But Warrick will be tried in D.C. first.

Authorities have long believed that the same person, now identified as Warrick, is responsible for at least eight rapes in Montgomery County in addition to two in the District, going back to 1991. But he has only been charged with six of those rapes.

“Those are DNA perfect matches that we have at this point in time,” said Montgomery County police Chief Marcus Jones. “Those other cases … we’ll consult with the state’s attorney’s office on how to move forward with that as well.”

The two rapes Warrick has not been charged with are linked to him by the way the crimes were committed. In all eight Montgomery County attacks, the victims were stalked and attacked inside of a residence. Typically the victims would have their heads covered by the attacker, who used a towel or a blanket so they couldn’t see.

But in the District, the two victims Warrick is suspected of attacking were jumped while walking on sidewalks and then dragged into woods.

“It’s hard to say what goes on in the criminal mind, a lot of times it’s irrational,” said Newsham, when he was asked about the discrepancy in tactics. “The chief [Jones] and I were speaking before we came in here, and it does appear that his attacks got progressively more violent. And I think that’s a common thread that you will see with sexual predators.”

John Domen

John started working at WTOP in 2016 after having grown up in Maryland listening to the station as a child. While he got his on-air start at small stations in Pennsylvania and Delaware, he's spent most of his career in the D.C. area, having been heard on several local stations before coming to WTOP.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up