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Sedrick Cobb is an American rapist and murderer. In 1989 he raped and murdered Julia Ashe in Connecticut mere weeks before Christmas.

The Good Samaritan

On December 16, 1989, 29-year-old ex-deliveryman Sedrick Cobb made his way to the parking lot of the Bradlee's department store in Waterbury. Using a valve stem remover, Cobb deflated the tires from two different cars owned by lone females; when they returned to their cars, he offered to help them replace the tires. Both of the first two women he tried this out on declined.

22-year-old University of Connecticut student Julia Ashe was doing some Christmas shopping at Bradlee's that day. Having failed to lure the previous two women, Cobb tried again and deflated one of the tires on Ashe's car. When she returned to her vehicle, she found Cobb waiting for her; he kindly offered his assistance in replacing the tire. Ashe was happy to accept and Cobb fixed his own handiwork. When he was done, he asked Ashe if she wouldn't mind giving him a lift to a gas station as his own car had broken down. Thankful for his help, Ashe obliged.

However, once they had gotten into the car, Cobb revealed his true personality; overpowering the unsuspecting Ashe, Cobb ordered her to drive them to a secluded area. Ashe complied and drove her passenger to a small wooded area just off the I-84 highway, only a mile from the store where they had first met. During the journey, Cobb took her purse and stole $300. When the pulled into the lay-by near a dam on the City Mills Pond, Cobb forced Ashe into the backseat, where he then held her down and brutally raped her.

Murder of Julia Ashe

Cobb then proceeded to gag Ashe with fiberglass-reinforced tape, which he also used to bind her hands and feet. He then carried her to the wall at the edge of the dam and pushed her over. Ashe plunged 23 feet into the icy water below but survived. Thrashing about wildly, she managed to maneuver herself onto a shard of metal jutting from the concrete dam and pushed herself against it, allowing her to cut her wrists and ankles free, although she gouged her skin in the process.

Now free but still gagged, the battered student began to drag herself towards the shore. Tragically, she came face to face with Cobb once again. Having watched her from the dam above, Cobb saw that Ashe had escaped and descended down the dam to finish the job. He grabbed her by her brunette hair and shoved her under the freezing cold water until she was no longer fighting back.

Now certain his victim was dead, Cobb returned to her car and retrieved the clothing she'd purchased at Bradlee's for Christmas gifts. He then walked back to the department store car park where he first picked her up, returned to his own car and drove home.

Aftermath

Ashe's fiancé reported her missing and a search was begun. Meanwhile, police were seeking to question Cobb in relation to several other sexual assaults in the area. While searching his apartment on December 20, officers discovered the articles of clothing Ashe had purchased when she was last seen alive. On Christmas Day, 1989, Julia Ashe's ice-encrusted body was discovered lying in the City Mills Pond by a group of local teenagers.

On December 27, investigators met with Cobb at the Waterbury courthouse, where he was being arraigned for a previous rape in the area. When questioned about the grisly murder, Cobb willingly decided to confess to the crime. He explained that he had been in the middle of a rape spree in the area and Ashe was only his latest victim, but he realized that she simply had to die because she had seen his face.

Sedrick Cobb was sentenced to death on August 13, 1991, but this has since been altered to life in prison.

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