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'Westside Rapist' Arrested, Blamed for 30 Murders

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A 72-year-old man suspected of raping and killing at least 30 women was arrested last month for the killing of one woman who was part of a serial spree that lasted around 15 years. John F. Thomas was matched to an old case via DNA after police began swabbing registered sex offenders. Thomas, who went to prison in 1978 for a rape in Pasadena, had two waves of rape-killings. The first was on the Westside before he was caught. After serving time, he moved to Chino and another wave began in Claremont. Through all this, Thomas was never connected or suspected by police, despite leaving 20 survivors. After he was arrested, more DNA results came in connecting him to four other deaths. Thomas would prey on older woman living alone. He would rape and strangle them and leave a pillow or blanket over their faces.