The Cambridge Rapist, real name Peter Samuel Cook, terrorised the famous English City of Cambridge, UK, between 1974 – 1985.
Cook began his criminal career as a prolific burglar and was in and out of prison for many years.
In 1974 Cook, 45, undertook what he originally planned to be a burglary at a home in Springfield Road, but was caught by the tenant. Seeing that she was wrapped in just a towel, Cook couldn’t control himself and raped her. He later confessed to police that he “came to rob and stayed to rape.”
He went on to rape a total of 6 women and injured another 2.
His MO was to break into his female victims homes when they were alone and rape them. Usually at night (one victim was raped in broad daylight) If he couldn’t gain entry he would scrawl “sleep tight” in lipstick on the window. As a result many women had their boyfriends or male friends sleep over for protection and police drastically increased the amount of officers patrolling the area.
Cook even went as far as to fashion himself a ‘disguise’ that he wore when attacking his victims, described as a black leather hood with eye slits, a zipper mouth and the word RAPIST written in white across the forehead, black leather trousers and a black jacket. Some reported him as wearing a wig and a false beard and many of them confirmed he had spoken to them during the attacks.
The Man hunt for ‘The Cambridge Rapist’ quickly became the biggest for its time, with Cook’s reign of terror coming to an end in June 1975. He was apprehended by a police officer who spotted Cook as he fled on bike from an attack where he had stabbed a woman. When he was caught he was wearing a blonde wig and had women’s clothing and makeup with him – He had moved on to dressing as a woman because he knew police were patrolling the area looking for a male suspect.
A further search of his home uncovered more female disguises and ether which he had been using to overpower his victims.
Cook, a local delivery driver, pleaded guilty to raping 6 woman, injuring 2 and to 1 act of gross indecency. Ultimately he was sentenced to two life sentences for his crimes. In 1995 opposition from a local MP prevented the possibility of him getting paroled and so he remained in prison until his death in 2004 at HMP Winchester aged 75.