The Legend of the Bunny Man
In Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. there is an urban legend about a Bunny Man who commits crimes ranging from vandalism to assault and murder. In some stories he is an escaped mental patient, in others he is someone who snapped and went homicidal on his family one Easter Sunday. In these tales the psychopath runs around in a bloody bunny rabbit costume, armed with an ax or other weapon. In still other versions of the Bunny Man tale, the bunny man is dead and continues to haunt a bridge in Fairfax County in Virginia (see Bunny Man Bridge).
In researching the legend of the Bunny Man, historian Brian Conley (see Related Sites below) discovered what appears to be the earliest written account of the Bunny Man. While some versions of the tale extend all the way back to 1904 in their narrative, there appears to not be any record of the story dating prior to October of 1970. The articles in question appeared in the Washington Post at that time. According to the articles, this location on Guinea Road is the location of the second documented encounter with the Bunny Man.
The Second Encounter With the Bunny Man
A Washington Post printed on October 31, 1970 was titled The "Rabbit" Reappears. The article follows up one from nearly two weeks earlier dealing with a man in a rabbit costume assaulting a vehicle less than a mile away further up Guinea Road (see Bunny Man: First Encounter at Guinea Road). According to the article printed on Halloween of that year, a security guard watching over a housing development had a Bunny Man sighting of his own on the night of October 29. The guard spotted a man who appeared to be in his early twenties, wearing a bunny costume and wielding a long-handled ax, lurking on the porch of one of the homes under construction in the Kings Park West housing development. The guard describer the man as being "5-feet-8, 160 pounds" and wearing a " gray, black and white" rabbit suit.
When addressed by the security guard, the Bunny Man began chopping at the support post of the house's porch with his ax, while stating, "All you people trespass around here. If you don't get out of here, I'm going to bust you on the head." The guard ran back to his vehicle to fetch the gun he'd left behind. By the time returned, the Bunny Man had already left, leaving behind eight ax marks in the wooden post. The guard then called the local authorities.
A police report apparently still exists for this incident. One doesn't seem to exist for the Bunny Man's assault on a car earlier that same month, though police officers who served during that time recall that incident. The report for the vandalism at Kings Park West states that six officers responded to the scene. They were unable to locate the suspect. The case was assigned to an investigator from the Criminal Investigation Bureau named William L. Johnson. During the course of the investigation an employee of the housing development received a menacing phone call from a person claiming to be the "Axe Man." The caller identified the employee by name and stated, "you have been messing up my property, by dumping tree stumps, limbs and brush, and other things on the property." The caller, who sounded like a white male in his twenties, told the employee that he wished to meet with him that night. The police set up a stake out in the area designated for the meeting but the caller never made an appearance. On March 14, 1971, the Investigator Johnson marked the case as being inactive.
The Bunny Man story apparently made it into the Washington Post twice more on November 4 and 6 of that year respectively. The content of these articles is unclear, and they may have just been follow-ups on the two previous incidents. The news coverage appears to have caught on with the imaginations of youths local to the area, possibly leading to a variety of urban legends detailing the exploits of the Bunny Man. There are some, however who still believe that the Bunny Man existed previously to the incidents on Guinea Road and may have just been inspiration for that particular vandal. However, it is likely that the Bunny Man was just an anonymous local citizen expressing displeasure over changes in his neighborhood in an unusual and moderately illegal manner.
Visiting the Second Guinea Road Location
Should anyone visit the location of the alleged second encounter with the Bunny Man, care should be taken not to disrupt the neighborhood or trespass on private property. The house which the Bunny is said to have attacked is someone's home and their privacy should be respected. Trespassers are more likely to have run-ins with the local police than to have an angry man in a rabbit suit throw a hatchet at their vehicle.