In 1989, Matias Reyes was working in a deli in Manhattan packing shelves.
The muscular 18-year-old was a loner, and his only real acquaintances were his customers.
He had a low IQ and dropped out of school in ninth grade.
His reports noted that he was “emotionally disturbed”.
Despite moving from Puerto Rico to New York City to be with his mother as a child, as an adult he slept in his van around the corner from work.
Watch the trailer for When They See Us based on the story of the Central Park five below, post continues after video.
In late 1988, he committed his first attempted rape.
Armed with a knife, he attacked a 27-year-old woman in the pews of a street church, choking her.
She persuaded him not to rape her.
In the April of 1989, he attacked, beat, and raped a 26-year-old woman in Central Park, before being disturbed by a passerby.
The victim noticed he had stitches in his chin, and a detective tracked down a medical centre and Reyes’ name, but that evidence was never followed up and went cold.
That name and that strikingly similar attack was never linked to the attempted rape, sodomy and brutal bashing of Trisha Meili, aka the Central Park jogger, two days prior.
Meili’s case went on to become “one of the most shameful miscarriages of justice in New York State’s history”.
The day after Meili was attacked, five black and Latino boys were arrested over the 29-year-old’s rape.
Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise became known as the Central Park Five, and were all convicted of the crime despite there being no physical evidence tying the boys to the scene, and despite the prosecution coercing confessions from the young men.