How a Touring Comedian Became a Serial Rapist

“Unlike most black comedians, I don’t have a white girlfriend,” came Vinson Horace Champ’s tired and usual remark, a mean stereotype for African-Americans. In the words of the great comedian Norm MacDonald, who recently passed from cancer, Vince Champ was “a real jerk.” It turned out he was more than just that; he was a serial rapist.

Vince Champ does stand-up at a local comedy club.
Source: YouTube

Vince Champ was born on September 6, 1961. There is little information about his family background. At the age of 24, Champ began performing stand-up comedy, which he continued until 1997. To borrow from comedians’ jargon, Champ’s performance was so-called “hack” or “hacky” due to its predictability.

He Tried To Keep a Clean Image

Champ tried to maintain a squeaky-clean image throughout his comic career. However, this polite and clean facade seemed to be a means to get women to go out with him, as he was seen with a new one almost every night.

A headshot of Vince Champ.
Source: Twitter

He had no problems getting a girl, yet he still committed sexual assault, which showed that he was the kind of predator who sought gratification for a pathological need for dominance. Champ, though, already had a few creases in his pristine exterior. He was sentenced to probation and made to go to domestic violence counseling in 1996 for assaulting his 17-year-old girlfriend.

Crime in Omaha and Pasadena

On the evening of March 5, 1997, at the University of Nebraska in Omaha, Champ raped a part-time graduate student teacher working alone in a computer lab. Throughout the heinous crime, he appeared strangely composed and polite, asking his victim questions.

A mugshot of Vince Champ.
Source: Tumblr

A couple of months later, on May 6, 1997, Champ attacked a female student walking on campus at Pasadena City College in California. She let out a scream, and fortunately, two people heard her. When one of them shouted at the man, he fled right away. As he rode past his BMW, one of the witnesses noted Champ’s plate number. The next day, he was apprehended at his apartment. He was charged with attempted rape and posted his bail.

How He Was Arrested

On February 16, 1997, in Davenport, Iowa, Captain James van Fossen looked into a campus rape. He had considered a traveling serial rapist but suspected a waiter, a professor delivering seminars on the road, or perhaps an athlete moving from school to school. He never thought to investigate the comic who just had an act there.

Vince Champ does a stand-up routine on stage.
Source: YouTube

Investigator Mike Hoch had the idea to teletype other police stations in the Mid-West to inquire about similar incidents with the same modus operandi following the rape case in Omaha. Over the following months, the attack connected to others in Lincoln, Kenosha, Omaha, and Davenport. Seven rapes and attempted rapes were related to the unidentified offender.

Putting Him Behind Bars

When Champ was apprehended, they looked at his tour schedule between September 1996 and May 1997 and concluded that it looked like a roadmap of the rape incidents. The Mid-West police knew they finally had their man.

A newspaper headline talks about Vince Champ's arrest.

Vince Champ was conclusively connected to the crimes in 4 of the 8 cases via DNA testing, sufficient for him to be found guilty and given a life sentence. He was sentenced to the Nebraska state prison and 30 to 40 years for the Lincoln rape and 25 to 30 years for the Omaha attack.