Episode 90 – Originally released January 2020
Content warning: this episode contains discussions about sexual assault and murder. Listener discretion is advised.
Between the summer of 1997 and August 1999, six women in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood in Center City, Philadelphia, were raped by a man known only as the Center City Rapist. One woman, Shannon Schieber, was murdered in May 1998. All of these attacks occurred within about five blocks of one another. The first two attacks were little more than one block apart, yet it took years before these assaults were linked by the Philadelphia Police Department.
In the spring of 2001, a series of assaults in Fort Collins, CO, almost mirrored the attacks in Philadelphia. The trail of the Center City Rapist went cold until police from different states worked together to identify the man who terrorized two cities thousands of miles apart over a span of five years. This is part two of a two-part episode about the victims and survivors of the Center City Rapist.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of sexual assault, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
Research sources for this episode include:
- The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)
- The National Sexual Violence Resource Center
- The Philadelphia Inquirer Archives 1997 – 2004
- The Philadelphia Daily News Archives 1997 – 2004
- Inquirer Magazine Archives: A Baffling Case, by Barbara Boyer, July 21, 2002,
- The Guardian: Investigating Rape in Philadelphia: How One City’s Crisis Stands to Help Others by Joanna Walters
- The Daily Pennsylvanian: The Story of Shannon Schieber by 34th Street, January 22, 2004
- The Marshall Project: Rape isn’t rape, is it? by Christian Miller and Bob Meagher
- The Washington Post: Maryland Politics by John Wagner, February 13, 2013
- People Magazine Investigates: Terror in Philadelphia (available for purchase on YouTube)
- The Fort Collins Coloradoan Archives 2000 – 2004
- Catholic Mobilizing Network
- The Catholic Review
TwistedPhilly is researched, hosted, and produced by me, Deana Marie, and available biweekly wherever you listen to podcasts. Follow me on Tiktok and Instagram at twistedphilly to see many of the locations and histories I discuss in the show.