Philadelphia Knife Attack Suspect Connected to Long-Unsolved Cold Case Rapes, Murder

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Elias Diaz apprehended for a spate of machete attacks last month in Philadelphia, has now emerged as a person of interest in a harrowing 20-year-old rape case haunting Fairmount Park. 

Arrested on December 17, 2023, after a series of knife assaults on the Pennypack Trail, Diaz’s DNA has surfaced in connection to the notorious Fairmount Park rape cases, notably the tragic death of Rebecca Park in 2003.

On July 13, 2003, while jogging alone in Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park, Rebecca Park was viciously attacked and killed. Diaz’s recent DNA collection has connections to both this case and maybe additional sexual assaults, which has led to a close police investigation.

Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford said, “All the evidence points to Mr. Diaz being involved in Rebecca Park’s murder and possibly two or three other sexual assaults that happened in Fairmount Park.” 

The recent slashing incidents, where Diaz allegedly wielded a machete, occurred in November 2023. Victims encountered a bicyclist, identified as Diaz, who, upon being approached, launched into a violent frenzy, wielding a large knife and inflicting multiple wounds on unsuspecting trail users.

Arrest Reveals Connection to Old Crimes in Philadelphia

philadelphia-knife-attack-suspect-connected-to-long-unsolved-cold-case-rapes-murder
Elias Diaz, apprehended for a spate of machete attacks last month in Philadelphia, has now emerged as a person of interest in a harrowing 20-year-old rape case haunting Fairmount Park.

The fact that these incidents happened close to 2800 Holme Avenue and 2800 Winchester Avenue raised more questions about Diaz’s possible involvement in the earlier attacks and the terrible death of Rebecca Park.

The timeline of assaults and rapes in Fairmount Park over the years seems eerily interconnected.

DNA evidence links Diaz not only to Park’s case but also to multiple assaults in 2003 within the park premises, along with a 2007 assault in Pennypack Park.

The development of investigative techniques in Philadelphia, such as DNA phenotypic analysis and genealogical searches, was essential in determining Diaz’s possible connection to these unresolved instances. 

His arrest for the recent machete attacks has unearthed connections to heinous crimes that have haunted Philadelphia for decades. 

As authorities delve deeper into this troubling revelation, the prospect of justice for past victims seems closer than ever before.

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