Crime - Sacto 911

What happened to the ‘Woolly Rapist’ arrested in Sacramento County in 1978?

Q: In August 1978, Jack Allen Jessup was arested at the Coralaire Apartments on Fulton Avenue for being the “Woolly Rapist.” He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 18 years at San Quentin. Was he released after serving the 18 years?

Jan, Sacramento

A: Jack Allen Jessup, then 34, was taken into custody following a 30-minute chase in August 1978 at the Coralaire Apartments on Fulton Avenue in the Arden Arcade area.

He was known as the Woolly Rapist because of the woolen gloves he wore while assaulting eight women in Sacramento in 1978. He pleaded guilty to seven counts of rape, seven counts of armed robbery, nine counts or burglary and one count of attempted burglary.

Authorities said he also admitted to 25 to 30 other attacks on women and may have been the “pillowcase rapist” sought for attacks in an area from South San Francisco to Monterey in the early 1970s, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee. At the time he raped the Sacramento women, Jessup was on parole after serving 4-1/2 years of a sentence for forcible rape in Santa Clara County.

He was sentenced to 18 years in prison for the Sacramento County rapes.

A probation report on Jessup said, “Briefly, he stated that he did not know why he committed the offense and his conduct frightened him,” according to an account in The Bee.

Ten years later, in August 1989, he was again headed for prison on rape charges, this time in Utah. A story in the Deseret News said Jessup was arrested in February of that year after a Provo woman reported being raped by a man who had hidden in her car while she was in a convenience store. In statements to investigators, Jessup admitted committing four separate rapes in the Provo-Orem area between October 1988 – a month after he was paroled from prison in California – and February 1989.

He was sentenced to 30 years in prison for the Utah rapes. Now 74 years old, he is in Utah State Prison in Draper, Utah, according to inmate information available online.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy