BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. (WESH)— A Palm Bay man accused of attacking more than 40 women in South Florida in the 1980s has been arrested.
Police arrested 60-year-old Robert Eugene Koehler, a registered sex offender, who they believe to be the “Pillowcase Rapist.”
Between 1981 and 1986, authorities said the “Pillowcase Rapist” broke into homes and would often cover his victim’s face with a pillowcase.
He is accused of attacking at least 44 women from South Miami to Deerfield Beach.
Officials have not said what led them to arrest Koehler for the attacks, only that he had an arrest warrant out of Miami-Dade County, listed as ‘Sexual Battery Armed.’
WESH 2 News spoke with Alex and Erika Wentzel, Koehler’s next door neighbors, who described how they felt uneasy around Koehler.
“I just always read him as incredibly predatory. Just the way he looked at people, the way that he looked at women, the way that he looked at everything as an opportunity,” Alex Wentzel said.
On Saturday, the Wentzel’s watched as police cars moved in on the home of the 60 year-old.
Koehler’s address on Rostock Circle in Palm Bay is listed on FDLE’s sexual offender website because of a sexual battery conviction from 1991.
“We kind of figured that it had to have something to do with that, but we didn’t know what, and all that we were told was, they just kept saying, ‘It’s very bad, and you’ll find out on the national news, that’s the next time you’re going to see him,’” Erika Wentzel said.
Erika Wentzel told us what she was thinking when she heard about the ‘Pillowcase Rapist’:
“Oh my God, we live next to the devil,” she said.
The Wentzel’s shed more light on what Koehler was like as a neighbor, pointing out cameras to us.
“There’s one in that tree that’s right in his front yard. That is set to watch all of this side, of this side of the street,” Erika Wentzel said.
“I’ve awakened in the morning and he was over working on the pool pump, unsolicited. We had to ask him, put it back together and please leave,” Alex Wentzel said. “He would show up here in the mornings, knocking on the door, trying to get in the house, wanted to show me generators I think, for hurricanes, things like that, always trying to into the house, so finally I said, you’re not getting into this house, go away. He was just always on the hustle and one of the, not physically scary, but there was something in him that just never sat right,” Alex Wentzel said
Koehler is currently in the Brevard County Jail and has an initial appearance court date in Brevard County set for Tuesday.
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