The man police refused to name: Victim welcomes unmasking of serial attacker
A rape victim has blasted police for refusing to reveal the name of the man linked by DNA evidence to a series of horrific sexual attacks on women.
Mark Allan Nixon can today be revealed as the former bouncer who police say was the prime suspect in a series of attacks which terrified Hamilton women eight years ago.
Nixon, who fled to Australia eight years ago amid a manhunt for a serial rapist, died suddently a few weeks after he was arrested for a minor offence in Western Australia where his DNA was taken.
Police announced they had closed the case after the DNA link was confirmed, but chose not to reveal his name, infuriating one of his victims.
The 51-year-old Hamilton woman said she felt sick knowing police would not release her attacker's name.
"This is the only justice I'll get, having the bastard's name out there," she said.
"I have to live what he did, everyday. He's dead now and he'll never be charged. But why treat him like a victim?"
Nixon's first two victims were coaxed into a car by the young man.
But the 51-year-old, Nixon's third victim, was approached as she sat in the central business district in the early hours of a Saturday morning.
DNA taken from her at the time of the attack has been matched to Nixon, who was then aged 28 and working as a doorman in Hamilton nightclubs..
The attacks sparked a nationwide manhunt, dubbed Operation Phil, led by Hamilton Police Detective Inspector Chris Page.
A DNA profile lodged by police earlier in the investigation was matched to a Perth-based New Zealand man in 2015.
Page requested the details of the DNA identity and, last Saturday, it was confirmed the identity was the Hamilton serial rapist.
Nixon's biological father, Lance Henwood, was taken aback to hear about the investigation.
Henwood, who lives overseas, said he had first met his son when he was 16 years old.
"He left home and decided to find out who his real father was. So I became friends with him and we spent some time together and became mates really," he said.
"He was troubled. He basically was one of those guys who had depression. Apart from that, he was a friendly, nice guy. He was a rough kid at school, he had a rough upbringing."
Henwood said when his son died in 2013, he left behind a fiance who was "still mourning".
"She's still struggling with it even now."
- Sunday Star Times