Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Andrzej Kunowski: The Little Doctor

Numbing Attacks

Kunowski wasn't a clever criminal. But he didn't need to be smart, as his rap sheet and prison record display.

His first reported rape came in June 1973, when he accosted a neighbor girl in Mlawa. He dragged her into the bushes and forced himself on her. The victim was acquainted with Kunowski and readily identified him as her attacker.

Two other teenagers stepped forward to accuse him in similar attacks, but he was prosecuted for just the one case and sent to prison for three years.

On July 16, 1977, a month after his parole, he struck again, attacking a girlish-looking 24-year-old. He choked the woman until she lost consciousness and likely would have killed her had witnesses not intervened.

He spent less than nine months in jail after that attack, then went on a violent tear, traveling back and forth between Mlawa and Warsaw to find victims.

On April 12, 1978, he attempted to rape a 22-year-old woman who fought him off. Later the same day, he succeeded in raping a 27-year-old.

On June 23, he robbed and raped a 22-year-old woman, dragging her into bushes. Eight days later he raped a 16-year-old, followed by the rape of a 12-year-old on July 21.

Kunowski's violent urges seem to ramp after those attacks. Most of his rapes after July 1978 involved choking. He often left his victims unconsciousness, although none died.

Experts recognize choking and strangulation as a singular form of criminal pathology. It is considered the most intimate variety of assault or murder — more personal and hands-on than the use of a gun or a knife. And it gives the assailant an unparalleled sense of domination and control.

On Aug. 4, Kunowski choked and raped a 19-year-old, then pulled identical crimes against a 22-year-old a week later; a 20-year-old on Sept. 6; a 17-year-old just two days later, and another 17-year-old on Sept. 20.

In October 1978, he raped, robbed and choked at least four women in one week—ages 17, 20, 28 and 30. He accosted four more women and girls in November, ages 19, 21, 15 and 11—the latter his youngest victim yet.

He raped and choked a 16-year-old on Dec. 14, then victimized another 11-year-old three days before Christmas.

On Jan. 25, 1979, Kunowski stole a car that he used for a rampage of sexual violence the next day.

One Jan. 26, he robbed and attempted to strangle a 41-year-old woman; robbed and groped a 36-year-old woman, then raped, robbed and choked a 20-year-old woman.

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