Joseph H. Szaraz has spent much of his life behind bars. Now 70, he's been doing hard time for raping four women in 1986 and 1987, ten years earlier he spent nine years behind bars for raping three others. Now, any hope he had for parole in two years appears to have vanished.
DNA evidence has linked Szaraz to the September 6, 1987 death of Mary Robinson. Akron police said the 41 year old was found naked in her apartment at 364 West Market Street, with a gunshot wound through her left eye.
Biological evidence was recovered at the scene, however DNA testing was not yet available. A cold case investigation was opened and the crime scene samples were analyzed and searched through Ohio's combined DNA Index System (CODIS). The system compares DNA samples to both state and national databases. The genetic machine version of a bloodhound sniffed out Szaraz. Detectives charged him with Robinson's murder and rape.
''I didn't think they'd ever find out who killed my mom,'' said LaWanna Davis in an interview with the Akron Beacon Journal. ''I never understood it. She never hurt anyone. She was always helping people. She was just a good person.''
Szaraz, paroled in 1984 after spending nine years in prison for rape, sodomy and abduction for immoral purposes, worked for a time in an office below Robinson's apartment. Police say he also served as a maintenance man at the complex, giving him access to a master key.
Akron police Detective James Pasheilich visited Szaraz in prison. ''He talked a lot about [Robinson]. He knew her. He just doesn't admit killing her,'' Pasheilich told the newspaper. ''He kind of goes around talking about the other girls he's in prison for raping.''
The homicide case against Szaraz is expected to go to a Summit county grand jury later this month, in the meantime, the serial rapist is eligible for parole in 2012.
Andre Robinson was in prison for murder when he learned of his mothers death, now paroled, Robinson told the Beacon Journal he never gave up hope. "I figured God would answer our prayers when we were ready to handle this.''
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