Likely Suspect

Three years after his conviction for rape, local DJ Gary "Babyfase" Faison speaks out to proclaim his innocence. What are the odds he's right? One in 300 million.

Early the following week, the KKDA-AM station manager entered the control room while Faison was on the air, asking if there was someone who could sit in for him for the remainder of his show. There were, he explained, detectives in the lobby with a warrant for his arrest.

Soon after being escorted away from the station, Faison was fingerprinted, a blood sample to be used in DNA testing was taken and he was placed under a $1 million bond.

During the mid-to-late '90s, police were convinced that not one, but several, serial rapists were terrorizing northeast Dallas. Ultimately, a 34-year-old man named Ollie Ray Diles, who had been labeled "The Box-Cutter Rapist" after victims described the weapon used to subdue them, was caught in 1997, convicted for three sexual attacks and given three life sentences. Next to be apprehended was Sammie Luckus Cook Jr., 31, who was linked by DNA evidence to as many as 15 rapes dating to 1995.
Mark Graham
Former KKDA-AM (730) DJ Gary "Babyfase" Faison speaks for the first time since his conviction for rape. He has lost about 100 pounds in jail. "Today, I actually fit the description those women gave of the man who attacked them," he says.
Mark Graham
Former KKDA-AM (730) DJ Gary "Babyfase" Faison speaks for the first time since his conviction for rape. He has lost about 100 pounds in jail. "Today, I actually fit the description those women gave of the man who attacked them," he says.

The litany of details provided by Cook's victims was numbing: Their assailant, each reported, had worn a bandanna over his face and either gloves or socks on his hands to prevent leaving any fingerprints. Purse straps, belts or electrical cords were used to bind their hands and feet, and they were threatened with a knife or scissors. In one case, a woman told of coming out of her bathroom to find a man holding a kitchen fork to the throat of her 6-year-old daughter. The mother managed to grab the youngster but was eventually raped as the terrified child looked on. Another had been eight months pregnant at the time of her attack.

Police, however, were convinced Diles and Cook were not the only rapists terrorizing northeast Dallas.

There had, for instance, been the young woman who, after returning from a week's vacation, was awakened at 2 a.m. by an intruder who entered her apartment bedroom and placed a towel and a gloved hand over her face before raping her. During the attack he had threatened to cut out her eyes if she screamed or resisted. When he asked for money, the victim provided him with her ATM code number. Then, before leaving, he had forced her to shower in an effort to do away with any physical evidence of the attack. She would later tell police that she never saw the assailant's face.

There would, however, be a photograph of a man using the automatic teller machine near the woman's apartment after the assault. Additionally, a palm print was lifted from a window screen that had apparently been removed from the victim's apartment and found nearby.

Two weeks before Christmas in 1995, a 26-year-old SMU graduate student was attacked in the early morning hours by a man who had entered her apartment through a sliding glass door. The assailant covered her head with a pillowcase, bound her hands with a pair of pantyhose and raped her. Throughout the attack, he warned that if she screamed, he would cut her. Following the rape, he had also demanded that she shower before he disappeared into the night.

The victim, who never saw her attacker's face, could only describe him as being 5-foot-10 and weighing approximately 190 pounds. The only clues left behind were partial prints left by the intruder on the front-door deadbolt and a strip of tape used to disable a locking bar.

Unfortunately, as with the previous case, the police had no suspect with whom to compare the prints.

The following July, a young married woman whose husband was out of town on business was dressing for work when a man burst into her apartment bedroom and threw a blanket over her head before sexually assaulting her and taking $20 and a Discover card from her purse. Through the traumatic event, she later told investigators, she had talked of being the mother of a young son and begged that her life be spared. She also asked that her attacker use a condom during the rape. All she could remember the man saying in response was for her to "settle down and shut up."

Though she was unable to provide police with a description of the man who attacked her, a neighbor later told authorities of seeing a black man looking into the woman's apartment window. Another resident said she'd been walking her dog two days earlier and saw an unfamiliar African-American male near the rape victim's apartment.

While relatively certain the same person had committed all three rapes--and perhaps as many as a half dozen others--frustrated investigators had no real suspect on which to focus. The man they had been desperately searching for was little more than a faceless ghost. Until Gary Faison was arrested.

A year had passed since her attack when Gina Cotroneo received a call from DPD Detective James Skelly, informing her that the police had a suspect in custody. He asked if she would come to the station and look at a photo lineup. Despite arguing that she had not gotten a look at her assailant's face, she carefully studied the pictures of six young black men placed on a table in front of her. None looked familiar.
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