Decades-Old Cold Case Resolved: Baltimore County Police Arrest Serial Rape Suspect


70-year-old James Shipe Sr. has been arrested in connection to a decades-old cold case. (Credit: Baltimore County Police Department)

BALTIMORE COUNTY - The Baltimore County Police Department's Special Victims Unit has made an arrest in a series of cold case rapes that took place between 1978 and 1986.

On Wednesday, police announced the arrest of James Shipe Sr., 70, who has been charged with sexually assaulting five women in Baltimore County.

According to police, the breakthrough in the case was achieved after investigators sifted through mountains of police records, including victim statements and arrest reports. On June 13, search and seizure warrants were issued to obtain DNA from Shipe. Detectives used the forensic evidence collected under the Greater Baltimore Medical Center Slide Project to match the DNA swab from Shipe, confirming his involvement in the crimes.

"While we know today's arrest cannot erase the harm Shipe inflicted upon The Survivors, the Baltimore County Police Department has removed a dangerous threat from our communities," Police Chief Robert McCullough said in a statement.

The assaults were reported to have taken place within a one-mile radius, with the first incident occurring in a woman's apartment in Cockeysville in September 1978, according to charging documents obtained by WJZ. The subsequent assaults happened in different apartment units in December 1978, September 1982, May 1986, and September 1986.

Shipe is currently being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center without bond. CBS reports that Shipe's lawyer requested in court on Thursday that he not be granted bail.

Police are urging anyone with information about other sexual assaults involving suspect Shipe to contact them at 410-307-2020.

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