Ex-forensics police officer recalls hunt for Edmonton serial rapist


July 30, 2016

Larry Takahashi, also known as the 'balaclava rapist.' PNG

Takahashi, dubbed the Balaclava Rapist for his use of a ski mask during his crimes, was granted day leave from a B.C. prison this week. The now-retired Edmonton police officer responsible for finding the crucial clues that put Takahashi behind bars is now looking back on the investigation.

“For the number of victims and the impact of the victims, this was probably one of the most prolific (cases) that I’ve ever dealt with,” said retired Supt. Joe Rodgers who, in 1983, was a constable with the crime scene investigations team.

“Because he was such a prolific offender for such a long time, there was a lot of fear in the community back then,” Rodgers said.

Takahashi began his offences in the mid-70s, masturbating outside of women’s apartment windows. Wearing nothing but a mask, he first attacked a woman in a parking lot in 1975. That behaviour escalated to breaking into apartments and raping women at knifepoint.

Despite his numerous offences, he was diligent in covering up his identity.

“There was not a lot of forensic evidence at a lot of the scenes,” Rodgers said.

In 1983, Rodgers was called to an apartment near 104 Avenue where a woman named Erica Hammermeister had been sexually assaulted in the utility room of her apartment.

“We knew that the light bulbs had been all unscrewed in the mail room, I think there was 12 or 14 light bulbs. I guess the intent of that was somebody couldn’t turn the switch on,” he recalled.

“It looked like he was wearing gloves and they had started to melt as he did more light bulbs. Eventually we got enough of a fingerprint to identify him,” he said.

It wasn’t as easy as modern crime dramas might suggest, though. The service didn’t have an automated fingerprint searching database then so Rodgers took the print and began looking for others to compare it with.

Going on a tip that Takahashi may have been involved in an earlier crime in which he had handled some mail, Rodgers dove into the evidence of the older case, found the envelope and looked for prints.

“Sure enough, there was a match,” he said. “The detectives were very pleased. They had spent lot of hours and you go through a lot of potential suspects and a lot of work and certainly the victims.”

Takahashi was sentenced to three life sentences in 1984 after admitting he had raped 30 women.

On Tuesday, at 63-years-old, he was granted day leave in the Lower Mainland, B.C., community where he has been serving his time. Rodgers says he can’t say whether he agrees with the decision to grant the leave without knowing how Takahashi’s treatment in custody has gone.

In general, though, the idea of someone who caused such damage to a community and took so much police work to put in prison getting day parole doesn’t sit well with him.

“It’s always concerning. Taking the most optimistic view, you would hope that things went well with his treatment … The only way you ever know is in hindsight,” he said. “If Somebody’s adamant that they’re going to reoffend, they’ll find an opportunity to reoffend.”




Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre

There is nothing worse than a rapist, male or female and in Canada there is NO recognition or prosecution of Rape by women who are effectively encouraged to rape men with impunity, a fact ignored by the extreme feminists who don't believe in equality but Female Superiority and the enslavement of men.

True Feminists who genuinely seek equality of genders are to be admired, there is a distinct lack of men who are willing to step up to the plate and argue for equality of men.

This is another classic example that an oath to serve and protect or be any other trusted occupation provides no protection against being a criminal.

The more power in Canada equates to skills to evade detection and create a veneer of trust.

The worst abusers of power in Canada are Judges, Police Officers, Prosecutors, lawyers, probation officers and most dangerous of all, Child Protection Workers for Ontario's Gestapo, the Children's Aid Societies of the Fascist Province of Ontario that believes in Female Superiority and the promotion of violence by women towards children and fathers.


Ottawa Mens Centre