Man detectives identify as serial ‘pillowcase’ rapist testifies in Miami-Dade case

MIAMI – The man who detectives identified as the serial “pillowcase” rapist testified in Miami-Dade County court Monday.

Detectives said Robert Koehler used a pillowcase to cover the faces of dozens of his victims in the 1980s from Miami-Dade to Palm Beach counties.

Koehler, now a 63-year-old grandfather, denied it all, as he testified in the case of a victim prosecutors said he raped when she was 25 in 1983. She is now 65.

Detectives used DNA from Koehler’s son to associate him with the rapes and arrested him in 2020.

Koehler claims he is innocent and accused corrupt Miami-Dade police officers of sexually torturing him and forcing him to commit crimes. He said he was abducted, threatened, and tortured from 1981 to 1986.

“I received an electrical shock in my hand,” Koehler said later adding, “I was shocked over and over,” “I started screaming and throwing up,” “they had IVs in me,” and “the pain was excruciating.”

Koehler said the attackers had information on him and his loved ones, showed him corpses, and later “summoned” him, and gave him orders under threat to take off his pants.

“I was there maybe 45 minutes to an hour,” Koehler said.

During cross-examination, Koehler said his adoptive father abandoned him and he dropped out of high school when he was in ninth grade to work to help his mom. He said he worked at restaurants and as a tow truck driver.

Koehler said he later moved to Palm Beach County where he met his ex-wife, the mother of his son and daughter. He also said he met another woman from California and also had a daughter with her.

Testimony is set to continue on Tuesday and Wednesday. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Daryl E. Trawick is presiding over the case.

About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.