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Chicago Tribune

Hypnosis, Work Net Rape Suspect

By Douglas Frantz
      A SESSION WITH a hypnotist and hours of combing more than 900 car registration records led two Chicago policemen to a suspect in the "plumber-rapist" case, a series of rapes and abductions on the North Side and in four suburbs, police said Sunday.
      Brad Lieberman, 19, of 9008 N. Lamon. Av., Skokie, who is a part-time security guard rather than a plumber, was charged Sunday with six rapes, a kid naping, an attempted rape, battery, and two counts of unlawful restraint. All the crimes occurred over the months, police said.
      In most of the incidents, to gain entry to apartments, the rapist posed as a plumber assigned by building management to check for leaks, said Lt. James Cusack of the Rogers Park District tactical unit.
      Police said the kidnaping charge and two charges of unlawful restraint resulted from indents in Evanston luring which women were held against their will by a sex attacker.

      OTHER SUBURBS that broght charges against Lieberman were Des Plaines, Prospect Heights, and Skokie.
      According to Cusack, two Rogers Park District tactical officers, Ernest Halvor sen and William Miller, first stopped Liebcrnian on Dee. 10 in his car after receiving a prowler call on the North Side. He did nut exactly matched the description of the prowler, so the officers let him go.

Officer Ernest Halvorsen Officer William Milter

Tribune photos by Anne Cusack
Rogers Park District tactical officers Ernest Halvorsen and William Milter
submitted to hypnosis to help apprehend a suspect in nine rapes.

      But they wrote down the license plate number of tile car.
      The next day Halvorsen and Miller saw a composite drawing of a suspect in several rapes and the drawing matched the man they had stopped the night before.
      "However, their squad car had been
      cleaned and the paper with the information on Lieberman had been thrown away.

      "We RACKED our brains trying to remember the guy's name and license number but we came up cold," said Halvorsen. "All we remembered was that he drove a red and white Pontiac and told us he was a security guard."
      A week later a North Side woman was raped in her apartment by a man who flashed a badge and said he was a policeman working as a plumber in his off hours. The assailant matched the composite drawing and the incident added urgency to efforts by the policemen to locate their prime suspect.
      Stalemated by their inability to remember the man's name, the officers went to a nightclub magician and hypnotist, Al James, who is a friend of Miller.
      On Dec. 20, while in a trance, Miller recalled the first three digits of the licence plate on the man's car.
      Five days later a Cook County sheriff's deputy told Halvorsen and Miller that on Christmas Eve a suspect who fit the composite drawing was chased away by a woman's boyfriend after an attempted rape in Maine Township.

      THE SUSPECT fled in a Pontiac, and the boyfriend remembered the first three digits of the license number. The numbers matched those recalled by Miller.
      "The officers then spent hours going through files of the Secretary of State's Office searching for a Pontiac with the three matching digits," said Cusack.
      Halvorsen and Miller found two Pontiacs in the Chicago area that fit the puzzle. Saturday night the two officers and their sergeant, John Kachka, checked out the first car. It belongs to Lieberman and he was arrested at his home when he returned from a rock concert, Cusack said.
      "WHEN HE saw us waiting for him In his living room, he said, 'Hey, man, what's happening?'" Miller said. But afterward, Lieberman declined to make any statement.
      Nine victims of attacks dating as far back as last August identified Lieberman in lineups as their assailant, Cusack said.
      "I would say the officers went out of their way to do this thing, over and above what is called for," said Cusack.

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Version: 2.1   Release: 09.10.31