Alleged ‘Wooded Rapist’ indicted in Wilson County

Wednesday, May 14, 2008 at 2:31pm

The alleged “Wooded Rapist” has been indicted by a Wilson County grand jury.

Robert Jason Burdick, 38, of 314 Ash Grove Court in Nashville was indicted by a grand jury in Wilson County on one count of aggravated rape and a separate count of aggravated kidnapping.

Staff with the 15th Judicial District Attorney’s office confirmed the indictments but said the document is still under seal pending Burdick being officially arrested and processed in the Wilson County system.

Burdick is accused in Wilson County of the rape of a teenage girl, which he allegedly restrained with duct tape and then raped at knifepoint after a school dance.

Burdick is the sole suspect in one of Nashville’s long-standing unsolved crime sprees spanning 14 years and three counties — Davidson, Williamson and Wilson.

Burdick, a Nashville business owner, is charged in Davidson County with five counts of aggravated rape, one count of attempted aggravated rape and one count of attempted rape in addition to six aggravated burglaries, police say.

The first known attack was March 1, 1994, when a man allegedly broke into a home in the 5000 block of Franklin Pike and raped a 38-year-old woman in the early morning hours, according to police reports. The nature of the crime and its close proximity to Radnor Lake, a popular forested hiking spot, sent shock waves through the community.

The next two attacks, according to police, apparently took place about five weeks apart in late 1998. In the first case, a man allegedly broke into an Otter Creek Road home on Nov. 20 and raped a 22-year-old woman; then on Dec. 29 the same man allegedly raped a 36-year-old woman in a Priest Road house. Police linked the crimes and media dubbed the attacker, which they now believe to be Burdick, as the “Wooded Rapist.”

Burdick is accused of attacking three other Davidson county women in their homes in 1999, 2000 and 2005 and police suspect he was involved in three other Nashville rapes — two in 2006 and one in 2007.

The Wilson County case is the most recent alleged rape by Burdick, taking place in February.

In all, Burdick is suspected in at least 13 rapes cases with victims ranging in age from 16 to 61. He is also facing likely indictments this week in Williamson County.