‘Potomac River Rapist’ suspect found dead in DC jail cell

Giles Warrick, accused of raping and killing a woman in D.C.’s Georgetown and sexually assaulting several others throughout the District and Montgomery County, Maryland, more than two decades ago, was found dead in his jail cell early Saturday.

Warrick, 62, suspected of being the man once dubbed by the FBI as the “Potomac River Rapist,” was found dead in his cell at the D.C. Jail around 8:30 a.m. Saturday, two law enforcement sources told Paul Wagner, host of the podcast “American Nightmare: Unknown Subject.”

Reporter Paul Wagner breaks the news of Warrick's death in a D.C. Jail cell.


Prosecutors have already reached out to victims to notify them of Warrick’s death.

A victim of the “Potomac River Rapist” referred to only as “Kelly” sat down for an interview with Wagner after she received a phone call with the news. She said she expected the call to be an update on Monday’s hearing and was shocked to learn of Warrick’s death.

“And as much as I wanted that day in court, it’s just going to be a different way of closure,” Kelly said.

Officials believe Warrick took his own life, and an investigation will soon be underway involving D.C. homicide detectives. Warrick was set to go to trial by the end of this month, and a court hearing was set for this Monday.

Warrick maintained innocence throughout the lengthy legal procedures. However, Kelly said she was certain authorities had the right man.

“I just recently heard his voice for the first time since my attack. And you know, some things never leave your head. And that’s something that sadly, even though he’s gone now, I’ll probably never be able to get his voice out of my head,” Kelly said.

Season three of Wagner’s podcast is centered around the crimes committed in this case.

“What’s really shocking about this is that he was arrested back in 2019, and went through all the procedures, all the way up until this trial, so it’s been almost three years now,” Wagner told WTOP’s Luke Lukert. “It’s really an incredible ending to this story.”

Warrick stood accused of a long string of brutal attacks against women in the ’90s — including the rape and murder of a woman in Georgetown, and six rapes across Montgomery County — and made his first appearance in a courtroom in September 2021.

In October, Warrick’s legal team argued that DNA evidence connected to the murder of Georgetown intern Christine Mirzayan was “coerced” and shouldn’t be admissible in court. Just two weeks ago, a judge had ruled prosecutors would be able to use the DNA collected when police arrested him at his South Carolina home in 2019.

Ciara Wells

Ciara Wells is a freelance digital writer/editor at WTOP. She is a recent graduate of American University where she studied journalism and Spanish. Before joining WTOP, she was the opinion team editor at a student publication and a content specialist at an HBCU in Detroit.

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