In 1990s London, elderly women who lived alone in London were being preyed on.
The Night Stalker, as the attacker became known, first attacked in 1992 and was active until 2009, when Delroy Grant was apprehended.
For 17 years he targeted victims across South East London, in Croydon, Bromley, Catford, Forest Hill, Sidcup, Orpington, Dulwich, and Beckenham.
But what happened to Grant?
Popular ITV drama series Manhunt looked at the events of the case. The series features Doc Martin actor Martin Clunes as real-life former Detective Chief Inspector Colin Sutton.
READ MORE: What happened to DCI Colin Sutton after he caught night stalker Delroy Grant
(Image: Sunday Mirror)
At the time of the attacks, there was increasing pressure to find the culprit for the attacks, and it was DCI Sutton who was asked to take the case on, following his success in apprehending Milly Dowler’s killer.
His oldest known victim was 89, and many had health conditions including osteoarthritis, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It was only in 2009 that Delroy Grant would be arrested, and it wasn’t until 2011 that he was convicted on all 29 counts for which he was charged – including rape, indecent assault and burglary.
But the methods used to catch him were something else.
In 2001, detective superintendent Simon Morgan took over Operation Minstead, the codename for the investigation into rapes linked to the Night Stalker.
Grant was careful not to leave fingerprints, but he left DNA at scenes as he didn’t use a condom when sexually attacking his victims.
Police used this evidence and identified him as being of Caribbean descent.
(Image: Roy Fisher)
They then gathered a list of ‘people of interest’ – with over 20,000 names on it.
But as of 2006 there had been almost 100 attacks, and police were struggling to track Grant down.
In 2009 the investigation was taken over by detective chief inspector Colin Sutton who developed ‘Minstead Lite’.
He constructed a surveillance team using hidden cameras, look-out posts and a helicopter carrying an infra-red camera to see in the dark in and around Shirley, in Croydon, which was one of Grant’s most common haunts.
But on the night of November 14, 2009, an officer spotted a suspicious-looking man run to his silver car parked in the ‘rat trap’ area before driving away.
Everything came crashing down around him when officers pulled him over in his Vauxhall Zafira.
Grant denied the crimes he was being accused of during trial, and sadly many of his victims never saw him be brought to justice, as many were in poor health and had died.
Where is he now?
He is currently serving concurrent life sentences, which he was handed in 2011.
It was recommended that he should serve a minimum of 27 years before being eligible to apply for parole.
However he is thought to have many more victims.
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Police are said to have suspected that he may have committed as many as 600 attacks.
When Grant was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court, judge Peter Rook said: “Your utter depravity knows no bounds.”
“It’s hard to imagine the extreme fear that the feel of your gloved hand and the sight of your masked figure looming above them must have been felt by your victims in their beds.”
The chairman of the Metropolitan Police Authority said at the time that “very significant” changes to policing techniques had been made as a result of their failures to catch Grant earlier.
On Thursday, September 30 you can find out more in ITV documentary The Real Manhunt.