The Bunny Man Unmasked - Page 5
The Bunny Man Unmasked:
The Real Life Origins of an Urban Legend
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The Fairfax County Police Department has no official record of the
October 18 assault on Robert Bennett and his fiancé, but they do have an
Investigation Report relating to the October 29 vandalism incident.
Although FCPD is not required to release any information relating to
misdemeanor offenses, they kindly supplied a redacted36 copy
of the report for this project.
The investigation report confirms the basics of the event as told in the October 31 Washington Post article. At 10:30 p.m. on October 29, 1970 six officers responded to 5307 Guinea Road for "a subject dressed as a Rabbit with an Ax."37 The officers found no rabbit and the case was turned over to Investigator W. L. Johnson of the Criminal Investigation Bureau.
Johnson began with a visit to the construction offices of the Kings Park West Subdivision on October 31. He found no rabbit, but did receive a call shortly after his visit from someone who worked at Kings Park West.38 The caller claimed to have just received a telephone call from someone identifying himself as "the Axe Man." The Axe Man allegedly said "Mr. _____, you have been messing up my property, by dumping tree stumps, limbs and brush, and other things on the property." The Axe Man further stated that "you can make everything right, by meeting me tonight and talking about the situation." The representative from Kings Park West stated that the caller sounded to be a white male in his late teens or early 20s. The police set up a stake out, but the "Axe Man" never materialized.
On November 4, Investigator Johnson received a call from a resident of the area who informed him that her son claimed to know the identity of the "Bunny Man." She stated that some of the neighborhood children "who have seen or been with the Bunny Man" described him as an older teenager. Johnson interviewed the son (age 8) and eventually learned that he had not actually met the Bunny Man but "had only heard of the Bunny Man at school, from the rest of the children talking about him."39 Interviews with other neighborhood children had similar results.
On March 14, 1971 Johnson wrote the following summary:
"After a very extensive investigation into this and all other cases of this same nature,40 it is still unsubstantiated as to whether or not there really is a white rabbit.
The only people who have seen this so-called white rabbit have been children of rather young ages, and the complainant in this case.
Upon interviewing every one in this case that may have had any knowledge of any incidents concerning a white rabbit, that has been no significant information uncovered that would lead to the identity of the person or persons that were posing as a white rabbit.
This case will be marked as inactive."41
36All names and identifying information have been removed.
37Brown, Officer J.S. Investigation Report 858-748. October 29, 1970. Fairfax County Police Department.
38The name was blacked out of the report.
39Johnson, William L. Investigation Report 858-748. March 14, 1971. Fairfax County Police Department.
40While the written report makes no specific reference to the assault on Robert Bennett and his fiancé, William L. Johnson confirmed that he investigated that incident as well. He recalled that there was physical damage to the car and that the couple seemed genuinely frightened by the event. Telephone interview with William L. Johnson, December 5, 2001.
41Johnson, William L. Investigation Report 858-748. March 14, 1971. Fairfax County Police Department.