For six months in 2011, a criminal the press dubbed the "Butt Slasher" menaced northern Virginia. The facts about the Virginia Butt Slasher were similar in each reported assault. While shopping, a woman would come across a man trying to pick up from clothes. Once they offered to help, they would bend over and feel a pinch on their back sides. Assuming the pain came from a poke from a hanger, they would look up to find the man gone and upon further inspection discover a gash on their rear ends. After being caught in Peru more than a year later, Johnny Pimentel's crimes remained without a confirmed motive, but his strange attacks earned him seven years in prison.
Police Warned Women To Check Their Surroundings - And Butts
According to an email written to the podcast My Favorite Murder, citizens in Fairfax County, VA, during the Butt Slasher era were warned to "basically keep track of their asses" while shopping. Fairfax County Police spokesperson Lucy Caldwell urged women in the area to "pay close attention to surroundings" and to contact police or mall security if they felt they were being followed.
The police also recommended that women not to go shopping alone.
The First Victim Was Actually Pregnant When Slashed
On Valentine's Day 2011, Johnny Pimentel attacked his first victim in the Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax County, VA. The 20-year-old victim was pregnant when Pimentel brushed by her and tore her leggings. After the Butt-Slasher was gone, the victim realized that there was blood on her hand. Closer inspection of her wound revealed a three-inch slice likely made by an X-Acto knife. She reported her attack to police, but the crime wasn't publicly shared until more victims surfaced.
The Attacks Followed A Similar Pattern
Pimentel set up the same scenario for most of his victims. The Slasher would knock clothes or other items onto the floor of a department store and pretend to clean up the mess. The women would then offer to help him pick things up, turn their backs to him, and then feel a sharp pain in their rear ends that they attributed to clothes hangers poking them. The superficial wounds went unnoticed until the victims saw the blood.
The first victim was the only one to report a different pattern during the six-month spree. Pimentel brushed past her and sliced her buttocks as she carried her purchases. She shouted at him as he walked away, thinking that he had only cut her leggings. This could indicate that Pimentel developed his pattern to avoid attention.
Pimentel May Suffer From An Uncommon Sexual Disorder
During the course of Johnny Pimentel's hearing, he only expressed regret and appealed for forgiveness from him victims. He never provided a motive or any sort of reasoning for the nine attacks committed over a six-month period in 2011. His lawyers admitted that they had no idea what had spurred the crime either, referring to the situation only as "bizarre and terrible."
One person to offer a potential explanation for the attacks was a former FBI profiler, Gregg McCrary. He suspected that Pimentel suffered from a sexual disorder known as piquerism, saying:
The offender probably derives sexual gratification from slashing or pricking or piercing women in sexually significant areas of their body. He isn't just going up and indiscriminately slashing women in their face ... back or arms, where someone could say he's just perpetually angry at women. He's targeting a sexually significant [body] area.