David Hawkins

David Hawkins

BENTON, La. – Another local law enforcement agency has joined in with an ongoing investigation of a Texas man authorities say is connected through new DNA evidence to the rapes of two Shreveport woman in the 1980s.

Bossier Parish sheriff’s investigators traveled to Dallas to talk with the 74-year-old David Hawkins, of Keene Texas, which is near Fort Worth, to see if he could be linked to any unsolved rapes or other serious crimes in the parish such as missing persons cases or even homicides.

The move comes after Shreveport police, as part of a federal task force, traveled to Dallas to interview Hawkins two weeks ago. They got a break in the decades-old rape cases because of DNA evidence developed from family DNA websites.

Hawkins is charged in Dallas with the rapes of four women during the same time frame that the similar crimes were reported in Shreveport. He’s not been charged in Shreveport.

Hawkins has been questioned about other local cold cases because he used to travel to Shreveport for work, according to investigators.

Police and prosecutors in Dallas said Hawkins was a serial rapist who broke into homes and raped women. Dallas police have been public about their investigation. But Shreveport police Chief Ben Raymond said their investigation is still ongoing.

“So really the only thing I can say at this point is it’s an ongoing investigation. We have investigators assigned to the case, but we really don't want to make any comments at this time … before we present something to the district attorney or the U.S. attorney's office,” said Raymond.

Hawkins has been questioned about other local cold cases because he used to travel to Shreveport for work, according to investigators.

Police and prosecutors in Dallas said Hawkins was a serial rapist who broke into homes and raped women. Dallas police have been public about their investigation. But Shreveport police Chief Ben Raymond said SPD’s investigation is still ongoing.

“So really the only thing I can say at this point is it’s an ongoing investigation. We have investigators assigned to the case, but we really don't want to make any comments at this time … before we present something to the district attorney or the U.S. attorney's office,” said Raymond.

Asked if his department is looking at Hawkins and other unsolved crimes, Raymond said, “We’re certainly looking at any cases that that person may be involved with.”

Shreveport detectives obtained a search warrant to get DNA samples from Hawkins. They want additional tests to confirm the findings of those tests in Dallas before filing formal charges against Hawkins, authorities told KTBS News.

The four Dallas rapes linked by DNA testing occurred in 1982, 1983 and 1985 and involved victims between the age of 23 and 35. In each case, police said, the rapist broke into the victims’ homes during the middle of the night, threatened them with a weapon and then assaulted them. 

Dallas police and prosecutors said the man who committed the rapes there remained unidentified until earlier this year, when his DNA was submitted for genealogical research and analysis.

In 2005, Dallas police had announced a new cold-case program and encouraged victims of rapes in the 1970s and 1980s to contact them if they wanted their cases re-examined. A regional task force that includes cases in Shreveport has been conducting testing.

DNA testing over the next few years determined the six rapes in Shreveport and Dallas were committed by the same person, but authorities did not know who that man was. The DNA profiles obtained from those tests were entered into a database as investigators spent years eliminating possible suspects through DNA. Hawkins’ DNA was subjected to genealogical research and analysis earlier this year, authorities said without providing specifics.

Hawkins would be the second man to be linked by that DNA testing to rapes in Shreveport, authorities said.

Broderick McHenry, 35, was extradited from Texas last year and is facing charges he broke into a Shreveport woman’s home the year before and raped her. McHenry, who has pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree rape and aggravated burglary, is held at Caddo Correctional Center under $250,000 bond. 

Hawkins was convicted in 1973 of raping a woman in Fort Smith, Ark. He pleaded no contest and was paroled after serving four years in prison. Texas authorities said he has been living in the Fort Worth area since then.

Bossier investigators were particularly interested in talking to Hawkins about the disappearance of Arrila Vaul in 1979 and Carole Anne Cole, whose body was found in Bossier Parish in 1981. However, detectives said no connections were made with Hawkins and those two cases.

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