A convicted sex offender has been indicted in five cold case rape investigations as well as the 1997 murder of one of those victims. The indictment of Larry McGowan is the 100th brought about by the work of the DNA Cold Case Task Force.
The grand jury indicted McGowan on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of murder, seven counts of rape, eight counts of kidnapping, three counts of aggravated robbery and two counts of aggravated burglary.
DNA tied McGowan to five rapes of Cleveland women in 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2010. McGowan, 38, has now been indicted in all of those cases. In addition he has been indicted for the murder of one of those victims, Maxine Pratt, 41. Pratt was raped and murdered on Feb. 2, 1997 on East 87th Street. Prosecutors say her head was driven over by a car.
"McGowan is a one-man crime wave, a cold-blooded killer and a psychopath who destroys human lives," said Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty.
McGinty says the Task Force is now re-examining unsolved cases in the neighborhoods in which McGowan operated.
McGowan has served seven stints in prison. During his prior prison stays, the prosecutor says prison officials failed to obtain a DNA sample for the state offender database. In a release the prosecutor's office says: "Had they done so, some of his crimes might have been solved sooner and his latest victims would have been spared altogether because he would have been in prison."
Over the past 13 months the DNA Cold Case Task Force has launched 835 investigations as the state crime lab works through a backlog of more than 4,000 rape kits from police agencies in Cuyahoga County that have never been submitted for testing.
Prosecutor McGinty says he expects there could be more than 1,000 indictments by the time the Task Force completes its work.
To date, roughly one-third of the DNA Cold Case Task Force indictments have involved serial rapists--those connected to more than 1 victim.