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If Juliette's rapist had other victims in Kansas City, Kansas, a matching DNA profile may still be waiting to be discovered. Jerome Gorman, the current Wyandotte County district attorney, says he has a backlog of rape kits from crimes in Kansas City, Kansas, that have never been examined for DNA. The backlog is big enough to keep one forensic lab tech busy for a while, he says. But there's not enough staff to tackle the problem, he said, blaming cutbacks in the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and personnel shortages in his office and in the statewide forensic lab. "We don't have the luxury ... of our own DNA technicians," Gorman says. "It's not like we can monopolize all their [the KBI lab's] time."
A hit on the DNA profile is the only way the crime will be solved, says Capt. Vince Davenport, who commanded the homicide unit during the investigation of Juliette's case in 1999 and now oversees the police academy for the Kansas City, Kansas, Police Department.
His detectives pressed every lead, Davenport says. "I will tell you that for many months after this crime became known to us, we continued to stop people in the area around her home. We were constantly looking for anyone that might have information that might match the description that she had given. You really never forget about cases like this."
The case still haunts Davenport. "There's only so many leads that you can run down, and after that, you really are stuck," he says. "Even now, 10 years later, it sickens me to know that this person has yet to face justice for this. It sickens me and it sickens all the detectives who are involved in these types of cases, that evil can sometimes prevail. And in this case, for the last 10 years, this perpetrator, this evil, has won so far."
Juliette had always been the "fun" sister. "She painted her living room bright-blue," Jill says of her sister. "Mine's beige." It pained Juliette that her young nieces and nephews sensed a change. Bold and adventurous Aunt Jul was suddenly scared of everything.
"I don't think she can live the way she wants to because of her illnesses and chronic pain," Jill says. When Jill suffered a short bout of tendonitis, she says, it was "a little, tiny glimmer for me of what she feels all the time."
Her fear subsided slowly. Juliette's brother-in-law installed a security system in the new house, and a friend gave her a big dog, a trained Akita, who went everywhere with her and Molly at first. When Juliette didn't want to sleep alone, friends took shifts staying over.
Certain men found her fragility attractive during those first few years. A guy whom she and Jane met at the 75th Street Brewery became a steady sleepover buddy. "I must have had a sign over my head that read, 'Victim Needs Someone to Stay the Night at Her House for the Next Year,'" Juliette says.
Intimacy wasn't impossible, but the rules had changed. In the past, she had been attracted to tall, physically strong men. Now, she prefers the opposite.
"For the most part, I lost the desire," Juliette says, glancing at the friends in her living room. "It just really sort of killed that part of me. Which, as these girls can attest, was a pretty important part at one time."