NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The so-called Wooded Rapist was like a shadow, always one step ahead of police, but Jason Burdick finally slipped up. He was caught, convicted and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison.
In person, Jason Burdick works hard to earn people's trust. During a NewsChannel 5 exclusive interview before his first trial, he tried to convince the reporter he was harmless.
"I didn't have a problem with hurting women or even tying people up or something like that. No. I had good relationships - good relationships with all my ex-girlfriends and ex-wife," said Burdick during the interview.
Police called Burdick the Wooded Rapist, a sexual predator known to attack at night in wooded neighborhoods.
They said he committed at least 13 rapes in Davidson, Williamson and Wilson counties dating back to 1994. For years, detectives had a DNA profile of the rapist, but no DNA match.
Then Burdick, a man who seemingly could vanish into the shadows, slipped up. In 2008, an alert couple spotted him lurking in a Brentwood neighborhood and called 911. The DNA matched, and police finally had their man.
District attorneys lined-up to begin prosecuting Burdick. The first trial in Davidson County in April made for little drama. The science of the DNA had a jury deliberating fewer than three hours to convict.
The judge sentenced Burdick to 42 years in prison, but his attorney Fletcher Long did not give up hope.
Just six months later, yet another Davidson county jury convicted Burdick of attempted aggravated rape. They did so thanks to DNA evidence supplied by the victim Pat Young who had bitten a chunk of skin out of Burdick's hand during the attack.
Young was thrilled with the verdict, and she hoped the verdict will ensure Burdick never gets out of prison
Two trials and two convictions may put Burdick away for life, but prosecutors are not finished.
Even if it takes years, they vowed to try the Wooded Rapist for every crime to seek justice for each and every one of his victims.
Burdick's next trial is scheduled for early next year in Wilson County.