"High Desert Rapist" from Los Angeles gunned down in Ohio -- Grim but not the Grim Sleeper
Besides the truly strange way in which Abram Bynum died -- shot to death after he careened down the I-70 freeway in Columbus and smashed into a big-rig -- was news that cops in Columbus spent time following Bynum around and finally got hold of some bit of his DNA, possibly from a paper coffee cup or the like, sending it for DNA testing in L.A.
That's truly in the category of Weird Police Work. Bynum was right here, in Los Angeles County, jailed with a huge bail amount of $3.4 million, according to the NBC affiliate in Columbus. Two questions: Why on earth did a judge even set bail if prosecutors thought he was the horrific High Desert Rapist (believed to have raped four or five women and teens in the Antelope Valley area)? Why didn't L.A.-area cops get a DNA swab while they had this apparent creep behind bars? What on earth went down?
Here's what we know from WYSX-TV, the ABC-Fox affiliate, and other media in Columbus:
The report from WSYX-6 TV is especially troubling, with reporter Jake Whittenberg interviewing a pleasant woman who lived in Bynum's pretty, columned brick apartment building. She was never alerted about Bynum and let him inside her apartment.
UCLA Bruins Women's Basketball vs. Arizona Wildcats Womens Basketball
TicketsSun., Jan. 29, 2:00pm
Anaheim Ducks v. Colorado Avalanche
TicketsTue., Jan. 31, 7:00pm
Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets - Verified Resale Tickets
TicketsTue., Jan. 31, 7:30pm
CSUN Men?s Basketball vs. Long Beach State Men's Basketball
TicketsWed., Feb. 1, 7:00pm
Here's her direct quote:
Bynum and his roommate, believed to be his brother, who lived together in Franklin County, Ohio, were, the neighbor says, "nice quiet guys, kinda shy really. ... I mean he's come in my house...I would never have thought he possessed a gun."
Somehow, Bynum yesterday caught on to the fact that he was under surveillance by local cops and the FBI -- yet another bizarre twist in this FUBAR incident. Even as L.A. authorities were flying in to the Columbus airport with his DNA test hot in their hands, Bynum jumped in his white Cadillac and sped away.
Somebody in Columbus screwed up. Somehow, Bynum knew he was being watched. We'll hear why later. But the question now is: why was a guy worth $3.4 million in bail allowed by Los Angeles authorities to blithely travel back and forth between Los Angeles and Ohio, to innocently visit inside an unsuspecting women's apartments, and to so on?
He's now being linked to rapes in Ohio. Big surprise!
Bynum's final moments, as described by 10TV News in Columbus, went like this:
"He was under surveillance when the pursuit began, which
led to his white Cadillac colliding with a tanker on I-70 near State Route 256 around 4
"According to police, the chase started in the area of James Road and later continued eastbound
on I-70. The Cadillac apparently crossed the median and traveled eastbound in the westbound lanes
before striking the tanker.
"Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner said officers opened fire on the man as they approached the
wrecked Cadillac. Six officers fired their weapons, he said."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Los Angeles, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.