Annapolis Rape Survivor Reacts to Discovery of Additional Victim
Cold case DNA testing connects another woman to the man that raped Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf in 1988.
Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf was raped by a man whose face she never saw at her home in Eastport in the summer of 1988.
It would take police more than 20 years to find her assailant, William Joseph Trice, and to bring him to trial for his crimes through DNA and fingerprint evidence.
Despite his conviction, Wheatley-Wolf still felt a little unsettled because she was sure he had more victims.
"I had no doubt," Wheatley-Wolf said. "Having been too close to this guy, he was way too calm and practiced by the time I met him."
Trice hung himself in 2010—six days after his conviction—and before he could be tried for the rape of an Arnold woman—whose case was also solved using the same DNA.
Wheatley-Wolf said she felt like he died leaving behind a lot of unanswered questions. One of those questions was answered Monday when Montgomery Police announced that Trice's DNA had solved another rape case from 1987 in Silver Spring.
Wheatley-Wolf was in her garden working when she got the news from David Cordle, the Chief Investigator for Anne Arundel County State's Attorney's Office, who spearheaded the cold case.
"My first reaction was I knew it. One of the first things I said back when I was giving my statement back on that August morning was he’s done this before," Wheatley-Wolf said. "I always felt a kinship, but I didn’t know if I would ever meet her."
She said, "I honestly wasn’t expecting it. It was a big surprise."
The two women haven't spoken yet, but Wheatley-Wolf said she's learned that the other woman would like to talk. She hopes finally knowing the name of her attacker will provide closure.
"For the first couple of years it was horrible I didn’t know who he was or how he knew me," Wheatley-Wolf said. "Was he following me? Was he keeping track of me?"
Wheatley-Wolf said she thinks the community hasn't heard the last of Trice.
The similar patterns in the rape cases and the relative short window of time between them has led Anne Arundel County's State Attorney Frank Weathersbee to encourage jurisdictions in the area with unsolved rapes from the mid to late 1980s to review the evidence and determine whether a DNA profile can be run for a CODIS match.
"I’m hoping they do it because I’m sure there are a lot of women out there who would like to have an answer," Wheatley-Wolf said. "It’s unbelievable. It’s life changing, but in a good way."
You can buy Wheatley-Wolf's book entitled One Voice Raised, which chronicles her rape, recovery and Trice's trial, by clicking here.