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True Crime/Cold Case Files     EAR Crime Index

The Case of the East Area Rapist AKA The Original Night Stalker

261 Rape

Victim No. 11--

Wednesday, January 19, 1977

About 11 p.m.

Grand Rio Circle

  He is the real life Michael Myers. He looked like the average teen, except for his morose eyes. Yet he is the No. 1 serial offender in history. He was so careful, he is known only by his DNA. The East Area Rapist, as he was known, struck California communities for 10 years— 1976-1986. Toward the end he became a murderer now known as the Original Night Stalker. He has 50 rapes and 12 murders to his record. Then he vanished. He would be about 58 years old now, living what appears a normal life. These are the files on his crimes.

Sacramento/La Riviera

Cats and Fields

East Area Rapist

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Narrative

Around 11 p.m. January 18, 1977, victim was awakened by either a sense of a presence in her bedroom or a flashlight beam illuminating her face. There stood a man behind a flashlight beam. He wore a dark mask, light jacket, polyester pants and black leather gloves. EAR’s usual routine followed. He tied her hands behind her back, then blindfolded her. Then he left and rummaged the house. He returned. She heard some strange popping sound. He told her to guess what it was. She said it sounded like a paint spray can being shaken. He told her to guess again and got angry until she did. It is not entirely sure what he was doing. Victim later thought he might have been lubricating himself and the popping noise was the pumping action of the lotion bottle. Assailant put his penis in her hands and told her to “Play with it.” He rolled her over and told her to put her legs around him “like she does with her husband.” She told him she was 5 months pregnant. He didn’t care. He raped her. He never removed his pants while raping her.

     He rummaged the house, returned, and raped her again.  He warned her not to bite his penis or he’s slash her up and kill her. He threatened to kill her many times.

     After he spent some 4 hours in the house ransacking, terrorizing her with every sound, victim heard her car start in the garage and pull out. When she got free, neighbors called the police.

Investigation

Investigation showed that the East Area Rapist, the prime suspect, had broken a hole in a backyard window, reached in and removed the wood dowel holding the window. He then opened it all the way and entered. He had cut up electric cord to bind her. Therefore he had been in the house quietly for a while before appearing at her door. Phone wires were also found cut.

     Victim was the first Asian (Japanese) he had ever attacked. Also, for the first time, he had cut a victim’s picture out of a photo (one with her husband in it) and took it with him. He had ransacked the house as usual, but in this case had, strangely, taken many knifes from the
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kitchen into the living room and broke the blades off some of them. 

     EAR stole some jewelry, money, and a digital clock.

     Victim’s stolen car was found several blocks away at an apartment complex on Great Falls Way. It was locked. The keys were missing.

   A tennis shoe print was found near it.

Description

About 5 feet 11 inches, regular build, ski mask, light jacket, polyester pants, black leather gloves.  Shoes unseen. Penis was declared to be larger than her husband’s, closer to 5 inches.

Geography

Following his pattern, he struck near a park and open field. Both areas are underneath the large power pylon corridor. The long narrow corridor is kept permanently undeveloped due to the large power lines overhead. This corridor runs between two home subdivisions and, at one point, is even an extension of the Glenbrook Park, where it connects with the levee walk and bike path by the American River.

   This was the first time he had struck in the jurisdiction of Sacramento Police. 

     This is the first time EAR used a power pylon corridor.

 

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This Bing aerial shows the attacks in context to each other. Until the La Riviera attack (11) they are all between the Watt (W) and Sunrise (S) Avenue bridges in the west and east respectively, Folsom Blvd (F) in the south and Greenback Lane (not on map) in north. EAR clearly made heavy use of the Watt and Sunrise Bridges, especially the Watt Bridge, to go north and south of the American River. Attack 11 shows he continued to use Watt and Folsom.

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What is probably one of the biggest conundrums of the EAR’s crime spree. How did this particular attack work? The red line covers the only direct way to the area of the attack (X) from where the victim’s car was found parked (G), the Great Falls Way apartments. The fact he dumped the car here means he had some means of escape from this location (broken red line), ostensibly to the much significant (F) Folsom Blvd. and east to Cordova or north along Watt (W) to Carmichael. However, this is far away from the crime scene. If he had parked here to begin with, how did he get to the crime scene? It’s a long walk. Did he bike? Did he put the bike back in the car trunk at the victim’s house and drive off? He didn’t stalk the long field under the “Cats.” Highway 50 is in the way. There is only one way over 50, and that’s the Occidental Street Bridge (O). This is a long way to walk and a long way to bike. There was really no reason for that kind of long distance caution. There were many secluded places where he could have parked. He even could have used the American River bike trail, which was closer.

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House

The house is a single story, detached middle-class home like in the previous attacks.

Analysis

Several significant things developed with this attack. This is the first time that an open corridor underneath power pylons was used tactically. This created a tactical border with a neighborhood and potential victims’ houses. Along its uncultivated area it is a silent prowl at night. Along its one cultivated area— from the levee to La Riviera— due to its walking path, EAR could easily pretend to be a biker rider or jogger and survey the neighborhood during the daytime.

     Obviously EAR did not drive to the house that night. It is far more likely that he parked at or nearby the College Green Shopping Center on Folsom Blvd. This is only a short walk from the apartment complex on Great Falls Way. There his parked car would have been safe and not have stood out as much, as it would merely look like a guest or renter parking on the street.

     This reinforces the importance of Folsom Blvd. in EAR’s pattern of stalking and escape.

     It also shows his desire to detour the police. The EAR did not live in the apartment complex.

     The EAR had possibly prowled the neighborhood extensively before the attack. The week before, a neighbor had seen a man looking in his house window. He called the police, though without response. On January 12 a woman neighbor saw a white male, early 20s, standing in her front yard. The next evening she noted that a light bulb had been removed from her porch light. On the night of the rape, at 8:30 p.m., another neighbor had seen a prowler in her front yard. He walked up to her side gate. She immediately went into her garage and made sure the side door was locked. Looking out the garage window she saw the stranger standing there in her side yard looking at her house. When he saw her he fled with great agility over the fence. He was about 175 pounds, 5’11” and about 25 (one account says 35) years old.  His hair was dirty blond. He was underdressed for the coldness, wearing only a light windbreaker and dark pants.

     Victim described EAR as wearing polyester pants and a light jacket during the rape.

     The EAR’s rape that very night now raises a problem. Was he intending to rape or did he take advantage of a readily available victim that really excited him? In this context it must be noted that he had not brought precut bindings with him, but used electric cord in the house. In earlier rapes, he had prowled the neighborhood for some time. As it will turn out soon, EAR’s MO of stalking will become apparent to us from his variations and mistakes. He would stalk a neighborhood from a distance, but on the night of an attack he would come in close. From this pattern, it sounds as if EAR was still narrowing his choice of victims this night and took advantage of this woman since the was alone. He probably had watched her before in his earlier prowling of the neighborhood.

     The reports of those witnesses who encountered a prowler within the week before the rape give us some visual insight into his prowling method. We know from reports in other communities were he struck that side gates were often noted to be found carelessly open. If that one witness truly saw EAR here in La Riviera, then he apparently just walked up and opened side gates and surveyed the yard first. At other times, he merely stood in the front yards. In this case, he even removed a light bulb the next night in possible anticipation of returning.

     This arrogance is quite amazing. This pattern is also incredibly bold. However, it must be noted that this is the first time there were so many witnesses before-the-fact and, in connection with this, this was the first time EAR struck outside his previous zones of Rancho Cordova and Carmichael-Citrus Heights. He made such mistakes here, perhaps, because he was quite unfamiliar with new ground in La Riviera. This argues for some longstanding connection with those previous areas or some form of work (e.g. construction) that had allowed him to survey those other neighborhoods far more thoroughly and nonchalantly. This advantage apparently didn’t exist in La Riviera.

     As with earlier attacks The EAR made comments that were purely bogus to the victim. The items taken were of little value intrinsically. Since he could prowl the house silently beforehand in order to obtain his bindings, the ransacking is a purely and intentionally dramatic action, perhaps inspired by his desire to instill more fear in the victim as she awaits his return.

   The Chief of Police of Sacramento would make a statement that would express the feelings of many victims. He said The EAR was not just a rapist. He called him a “sexual terrorist.”

 

Files on the EAR/ONS

QQ

Preliminaries

Introduction

A Word About Rape

   Notes on Personal Investigation

Logic verses Instinct

The Folklore of “Copycat”

Updates

 

Prehistory

The Summer of ’76

Victim #1
— The Beginning—
Rancho Cordova

Victim #2
—Careful Selection—
Del Dayo

     Victim #3
— Foiled Attack—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #4
— Violent Improvisation—
 Crestview

   Victim #5
— Selected Target—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #6
— Curious Tactics—
 Rancho Cordova

     Victim #7
— Baring Down—
 Del Dayo 

     Victim #8
— Interrupted Arrival—
 Rancho Cordova

Analysis of First 8 Strikes

Victim #9
— Revealing Mistake—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #10
— Fair Oaks—
 Undaunted

  Living Dangerously
— The Year of the EAR—
1977

Victim #11
— Cats and Fields—
Sacramento

Victim #12—
 Blind Spot Reveals—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #13
— Unexpected Jogger—
Carmichael

Ripon Court Shooting

 Victim #14
— Over the River . . .
and Through the Woods—
  Sacramento

Victim #15
— Tactical Misuse—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #16
— Opportunity Knocks a Clue—
 Orangevale

Victim #17
— Unexpected Spoke in the Hub—
 Crestview

Victim #18
— Moving Upwards—
La Riviera

Victim #19
— Presentiment
 of
 Impromptu Danger—
Orangevale

Victim #20
— Blind Spot
 and a
Stop Watch—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #21
— Tactical 1—
Del Dayo

Victim #22
— Tactical 2—
South Sacramento

Panic!

  After the Lull—
1977’s Autumn of Fear

 

Victim #23
— Tactical 3—
 Stockton

Victim #24
— Switcharoo—
 La Riviera

Victim #25
— Follow Diablo—
 Foothill Farms

Victim #26
—  Dump Truck Biker—
 Carmichael

Victim #27
— Condo Commando—
La Riviera

Victim #28
— Tail of Diablo—
 Foothill Farms

Victim #29/30
— Assault!—
 Carmichael

Maggiore Double Murders
— Critical Clue—
 Rancho Cordova

   Yet Another Year— 1978

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       Witness in Charcoal

Victim #31
— Distant Roaming—
 Stockton

Victim #31B
— Back to Rancho—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #32
— Little Pocket, Big Clue—
 South Sacramento

Victim #33
— The Deep Dig—
 Modesto

Victim #34
— Co-Ed—
Davis

Victim #35
— Back—
 Modesto

Victim #36
— Forth—
 Davis

Silent Victim
— Lateral—
 Modesto

Victim #37
— Forth North—
 Davis

A New East—
 Contra Costa Corridor

Victim #38
—  Surreal Schedule—
 Concord

Victim #39
— Opportunity Kicks—
 Concord

Victim #40
— Cats and Fields Again—
 San Ramon

Victim #41
— The Way to San Jose—
 San Jose

Victim #42
— Sobbing in San Jose—
 San Jose

Victim #43
— Danville—
 Playing it Close

 

   No Stopping Him— 1979

Lacing with Ligatures— Thunderbird Place

Victim #43B
— Auld Lange Syne—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #44
— Along the 680—
 Fremont

Victim #45
— Follow the Cats—
 Walnut Creek

Victim #46
— Sticking to Routine—
 Danville

Victim #47
— Walnut Creek—
 Dig and Retreat

Victim #48
— Shouted Out—
 Danville

Victim #49
—  The Unsuspected —
Goleta

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Murder
—Original Night Stalker—

Goleta
— Doctor Duo—
 Dec 30, 1979

Ventura
— Cats & Murder—
 March 13, 1980

Laguna Niguel
— Exclusive—
August 19, 1980

Irvine
— Home Alone—
 Feb. 6, 1981

Goleta
— Dig & Retreat Again—
 July 27, 1981

Irvine
— Epitome of MO—
May 4, 1986

 

         Phantom Predator—
  Analysis of EAR Crime Spree

       Analysis of EAR Prowling MO

Portrait of Terror

The Lair of an Arch Rapist

     The Mystery of the Silent Dog

Phone Calls

Thwarted!

Persons of Interest

Introduction

RP

MRL

 

Night Predator
Files on the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker

The Website of Gian J. Quasar

Contact