June 28, 1993 : A serial rapist strikes in Allentown

Introduction

A knife-wielding serial rapist and murderer attacks Denise Sam-Cali in her Allentown, Pennsylvania, home. Although he succeeded in raping Sam-Cali on the front lawn outside her house, the courageous woman survived and later proved instrumental in bringing him to justice.

Sam-Cali’s vicious attack was the third of its kind that month in Allentown. On June 9, a 15-year-old girl had been abducted and was later found dead in a reservoir with 22 stab wounds. On June 20, a five-year-old girl was raped by a man who broke into her home and unsuccessfully tried to choke her to death.

But Sam-Cali’s attacker was not through yet: He killed again on July 14. On July 18, Sam-Cali’s house was broken into. Police believed it was her attacker and began a stakeout of her home, leaving a window open to entice the assailant. In the early morning of July 31, the attacker climbed though the window and was greeted by a police officer hiding in the living room. A shootout ensued and he busted through another window to escape.

Hours later, 18-year-old Harvey Robinson stumbled into a local hospital, bleeding from two bullet wounds. Already a career criminal, Robinson had burglarized a home at the age of nine and was constantly in trouble with the law. When he was spotted by a police officer in the hospital, he attempted to flee, but was arrested.

After being identified by his surviving victims and DNA evidence, Harvey Robinson was convicted in 1995 and sentenced to death.

Article Details:

June 28, 1993 : A serial rapist strikes in Allentown

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    June 28, 1993 : A serial rapist strikes in Allentown

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/a-serial-rapist-strikes-in-allentown

  • Access Date

    November 18, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks