Internet bid to snare Night Stalker rapist

PUBLISHED: 11:34 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 15:00 25 August 2010

THE anguished family of an 88-year-old woman raped twice by a psychopath who attacks the elderly have created a website in the hope it will lead to his capture.

THE anguished family of an 88-year-old woman raped twice by a psychopath who attacks the elderly have created a website in the hope it will lead to his capture.

In 1999 Lillian Wilde was attacked so viciously by the prolific rapist burglar, dubbed the Night Stalker, that she suffered a perforated bowel and almost bled to death.

After spending a month recovering from an emergency operation in hospital, she moved to a nursing home but never returned to her bungalow in Orpington where she had lived for nearly 30 years.

When she died in September 2006, she was still haunted by the knowledge that her attacker was free to strike again which, her family say, ruined the rest of her life.

Now her niece, Jenny Malin, 53, has set up the website to find answers to how someone could commit such heinous crimes against vulnerable old people.

She said: "All that my aunt really wanted was for him to be caught and it caused her great sadness that he wasn't.

"He ruined her life. She became a different person. She had been independent and very outgoing and we always used to laugh about her social calendar.

"After the attack she became a recluse and never left the nursing home. She saw shadows everywhere and was very nervous. She became very wary of people and always wondered why they had come to see her even if she had known them for years.

"Aunt Lillian was very sexually unaware so after the attack she felt she had been involved in something dirty and horrible. She was also in a lot of pain because of the huge scars from the operation. They were a constant reminder for her.

"It affected the whole family. We hope that the website will help jog someone's memory or pick someone's conscience. These are real people with real lives that are being wrecked.

"Someone must know something or think 'that person's acting oddly'. They shouldn't be afraid to give names to the police because innocent people can quickly be eliminated."

There is a £40,000 reward offered for the capture of the Night Stalker who is thought to have committed up to 108 offences in the South London area including four rapes and 24 indecent assaults since the early 1990s.

He often enters houses by removing panes of glass and cuts the electricity cables or removes light bulbs so his victims can't see him. It's thought that he stalks victims before the attacks and watches them from the street or even in their gardens.

Mrs Malin said: "It's horrible to think that someone could be watching you. This person is obviously sick, he can't be a happy person. We wish he could see the pain and suffering he has caused us. Perhaps then he might stop doing this."

Somebody who commits sexual offences against elderly people is called a gerontophile. Psychologists say geronto philes have often had a strict upbringing and some have been abused by older people as a child.

The man the police are looking for is a light-skinned black man, with markings on the side of his face, which could be either freckles, scarring or spots. He is around 40, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft 2ins, slim athletic build, softly spoken and polite.

Police believe he is using or has used a motorcycle, has a connection with Brighton, Honor Oak or Forest Hill and that his mother died in 2000.

The man in charge of the largest hunt for a sexual offender ever, Operation Minstead, Detective Superintendent Simon Morgan, said: "We have a DNA profile of the offender and therefore anyone who is innocent can easily be discounted. "

The website address is and visitors can see pictures of Mrs Wilde and leave comments on the blog.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Bexley Times. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Bexley Times