The Arlington County Police Department investigated multiple reports of rapes and attempted rapes throughout 1991 involving women walking from the East Falls Church Metro Station. In each reported case, the victims said they were approached by a man who showed a firearm. DNA evidence linked three of the cases and a fourth case is being investigated as part of the series because of similarities to the other attacks.
In the first case, a woman was walking home around 6 p.m. on Jan. 17, 1991, from the East Falls Church Metro in the 4800 block of Little Falls Road. A man approached her, brandished a gun, and forced her into the grassy area between two homes. After raping the victim, the man fled the scene on foot.
In the second case, a female victim was walking from the Metro station around 7:40 p.m., on Feb. 13, in the 2300 block of North Tuckahoe Street, when a man approached her and showed a firearm. He forced her to the side of a residence, where he raped her and then fled on foot.
In the third case, a woman was walking from the Metro station around 10 p.m. on March 6, in the 6300 block of Lee Highway. A man approached her and alleged that he had a firearm. He then forced her to the back of a nearby residence and told her to remove her clothing. Placing the firearm against her head, the man told the victim to remain quiet. He then asked her if she wanted him to leave. When she said yes, he fled the scene.
In the final reported case, a woman was walking from the Metro station around 7:08 p.m. on Dec. 2 in the 6100 block of North 22nd Street, when a man brandishing a firearm approached her. The victim screamed and the man ran away. As he was fleeing, the man dropped a baseball cap that he was wearing. Police were able to recover DNA evidence from the hat, which they linked to DNA evidence recovered after the Jan. 17 and Feb. 13 attacks.
ACPD’s Cold Case Unit initiated a review of all its cold case files in 2017, including crime scene evidence and laboratory results. An additional analysis of the DNA collected in the 1991 cases, including phenotyping and genetic genealogy, resulted in new information that allowed the detectives to identify Thomson as a suspect. After conducting further investigative efforts combined with forensic evidence, detectives were able to link Thomson to the 1991 attacks.
On Monday morning, police took Thompson into custody without incident at his home.
This remains an active criminal investigation. Police ask anyone with information about these incidents to contact Detective R. Ortiz at 703-228-4702 or Rortiz@arlingtonva.us. Information may be submitted via the Arlington County Police Tip Line at ACPDTipline@arlingtonva.us or anonymously through the Arlington County Crime Solvers hotline at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477)