Homeless man was murdered, autopsy shows - Denver, CO, USA FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 27 Oct 1999 21:58:20 -0700 (PDT)


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FWD  Associated Press - AP Wire Service - Oct 26, 1999 16:19

     MAN WHOSE BODY WAS FOUND IN DENVER BEATEN TO DEATH

DENVER (AP) _ Preliminary autopsy results show a transient man
whose body was found last week in a field in lower downtown was
killed by a blow to the head, police said Tuesday.

Police have said it appeared Kenneth Rapp, 42, had been dead
three to four weeks when workers clearing weeds from a field found
his body Friday.

Four other transient men were found beaten to death in the
downtown area in September.

>Sgt. Tony Lombard said for now, each of the five deaths is being
investigated as a separate case.

``The reason we are sort of categorizing this as the same is
basically due to several factors: one, the location; two, the fact
that he was a transient; and three, the fact that the cause of
death was due to blunt trauma,'' he said. ``We are investigating
this as a separate case with an eye toward connectivity toward the
other four, and we are doing the same with all of those.''

On Sept. 7, the bodies of George Worth, 62, and Donald Dyer, 51,
were discovered beneath a loading dock in lower downtown. The next
day, Melvin Washington, 47, was beaten while lying on a sidewalk in
the area. He died a week later.

On Sept. 26, the body of Milo Harris, 51, was found floating in
the Platte River.

The killings have left many homeless people in the area shaken.

``I don't have any idea who did it,'' Jim Iddings, 47, said
Monday while standing with his wife outside the Denver Rescue
Mission. ``But it sure as hell worries us.''

Mayor Wellington Webb on Monday decided to extend through Dec. 2
a zoning change for homeless shelters to exceed normal capacity,
spokesman Andrew Hudson said Tuesday. The extension was approved to
enhance the safety of homeless people in light of the beatings, he
said.

Earlier this month, the mayor told shelters that because of the
killings, they could use their overflow capacity through Nov. 2, a
privilege normally allowed only during cold weather.

Rescue Mission Executive Director Del Maxfield said during a
cold snap, his shelter's capacity of 110 people might be exceeded
by 30. Despite the recent warm weather, the shelter has as many as
80 people over capacity.

``Those guys are coming in because of the fear factor,''
Maxfield said.

At the nearby Samaritan House, clinical supervisor Felecia
Mahaffie said homeless people have been advised to take precautions
such as traveling with a friend and running errands during the day.

AP-WS-10-26-99 1719EDT
Received  Id AP99299998EF6E0 on Oct 27 1999 20:14

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