VICTIM FEELS CHEATED AFTER ACCUSED RAPIST’S SUICIDE
Jennifer Schuett won't get to face her attacker in a courtroom but she will have the finalword. The man who is accused of raping her, slitting her throat, and leaving her to die whenshe was only 8 years old has committed suicide, and Schuett says she wanted the opportunity toconfront him in court. Dennis Earl Bradford, 40, was found hanging from a noose in his jail celllast week. Schuett, 27, had waited nearly two decades to find her attacker and bring him tojustice. At age 8, she was kidnapped from her family's home in Dickinson, Texas, on Aug. 10, 1990,taken to a field, and raped. Schuett's attacker then
slit her throat and left her lying naked on top of a fire ant hill. The attack had tornSchuett's vocal chords, and so when she woke up hours later and tried to call for help, she foundshe could not make a sound. In the years after her assault, however, Schuett regained hervoice. She became an advocate for victims of violent crime and launched what she once calledan all-out manhunt for her attacker. In September, Schuett's case appeared on America'sMost Wanted. And then, one month later, a breakthrough. DNA evidence compiled by investigators hadonce been too little material to make a match in the database. But with new technology,investigators were suddenly able to find a match: Dennis Earl Bradford, a husband and father livingin Little Rock, Ark. Bradford's name was in the database because he had been convicted in1996 on rape charges, and had served three years of a 12-year sentence before he was paroled andreleased in 2000. Last year, the Galveston County district attorney charged Bradford with attemptedcapital murder in the Schuett case. You chose the wrong little 45-pound, 8-year-old girl totry and murder. Because for 19 years I've thought of you every single day and helped search foryou. Schuett said she will continue to use her voice to stand up for other victims. His plan failed, Schuett said of Bradford. These days it's hard to get me to be quiet.