The University Record, May 23, 1994

Caution urged until serial rapist is apprehended

By Deborah Gilbert
News and Information Services

Students, staff, faculty and campus visitors are urged to take extra safety precautions until the alleged serial rapist, who is believed to have attacked a number of Ann Arbor women over the past two years, is apprehended.

On May 7, Christine Ann Gailbreath, a member of the Office of Undergraduate Admissions staff, was killed near her home on the west side of Ann Arbor. This attack may have been committed by the same person.

“As members of the Ann Arbor community, we at the University are profoundly saddened and outraged by these attacks, and extend our deepest sympathies to the family of Christine Gailbreath,” said President James J. Duderstadt. “The University will do everything it can to assist the Ann Arbor Police to apprehend the perpetrator.”

“Although the assaults and attempted assaults have not occurred on campus or University property, we are concerned about the welfare of women in the University community and throughout the city,” adds Debi Cain, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC). “We encourage them to be particularly vigilant and to take precautions to reduce the risk of an attack.”

SAPAC is distributing safety information and key-chain whistles to faculty, staff and students.

Maureen Hartford, vice president for student affairs, echoed Cain’s concerns and also urged members of the Univer-sity community to take advantage of University resources to increase their personal safety. “While the entire student affairs staff is available to students who are concerned,” she said, “I urge members of the community to direct their concerns and questions to SAPAC at 763-5865.

“The University is attempting to provide as safe an environment as it possibly can. While it appears that the perpetrator has preyed only on women, it is important that we all increase our awareness to maximize the safety of the entire community.”

Since this particular rapist preys on women alone in secluded areas during daylight and nighttime hours, Cain urges women to walk or run with others and to be especially cautious in secluded areas.

“We also are encouraging students, staff and faculty to take advantage of Safewalk, the nighttime safety walking service. Co-ed or all-female pairs of trained walkers will accompany you from anywhere to anywhere within a 20-minute radius of the Undergraduate Library,” Cain said.

Safewalk is available to anyone—faculty, staff and students. Its spring-summer hours are 9–11:30 p.m., Sunday–Thursday. Safewalk, headquartered in the Undergraduate Library, can be reached by calling 936-1000. Officers from the Department of Public Safety (DPS) also will provide rides to students and staff in the evenings. To arrange a ride, call 763-1131. In emergencies, call 911.

“We also encourage everyone to become aware of the location of the blue emergency phones located throughout the campus,” said DPS Director Leo J. Heatley.

Maps that show locations of the emergency phones are available at the Campus Information Center desk in the Michigan Union, the North Campus Public Safety Office, and at the Campus Safety Services Building at 1239 Kipke Drive.

“Also, our safety officers will hand-deliver maps and other safety information. Our staff has been fully briefed by the Ann Arbor Police and we are working closely with them,” he added.