Victim, 29 year old WFA, called the sheriffs on September 20, 1976, reporting a break-in. While going about vacuuming, victim, a mother, noticed some mud/dirt on her 3 year old son’s bedroom carpet under his window. This window overlooks the backyard. Her first thought was to check for missing valuables. In doing this she was surprised to discover that she was missing some costume/inexpensive jewelry. Since the expensive jewelry had not been touched, she at first thought she might have mislaid the inexpensive. However, in going through her drawers she had the subjective sense that someone had carefully gone through them already.
Upon going into the backyard with the Responding Officer, she accompanied him to her son’s bedroom window where the deputy noticed that someone had stepped in mud under the window. He then noticed pry marks on the screen and window lock.
The subjective sense that someone had gone through her drawers was underscored when both she and the deputy noticed a blue sock on the backyard lawn. Victim recognized it as belonging to her husband.
Responding Officer (a deputy sheriff) surmised that kid/s had broken into the house and stolen inconsequential jewelry, using the sock as a glove so as not to leave fingerprints. Since nothing of value was taken, and there had been no vandalizing, this seemed reasonable.
In questioning victim about anything unusual, victim admitted to getting “hang-up” phone calls for about 2 weeks already (thus commencing in early September.) There was someone on the other end, but they wouldn’t speak. They then hung up normally.
Responding Officer filed report.
Victim continued to receive hang-up phone calls, however. As the calls continued, victim began to become unnerved. Victim’s husband was a captain in the Air Force, and victim herself was in the Reserves, being stationed at Travis AFB in Fairfield (toward the Bay Area on Highway 80). Victim’s husband was frequently gone all day, from early morning until evening. Fairfield is quite a commute from the area east of Sacramento.
On October 3, 1976, victim received the last of the hang-up phone calls. She became irate at the caller, for it was obvious someone was on the other end. She told them to stop this. Without any strong emotion, clearly annunciated in a whisper, a voice finally spoke from the other end. “I’m going to kill your husband.”
Whether caller intended more, we do not know. Victim hung up immediately and checked the windows and doors to make sure they were locked. Victim’s husband was not available at base when she called. She then called the sheriffs. A deputy did respond, but there was little he could do but calm her by suggesting kids were at fault yet again. She went next door to her neighbor, with her 3 year old boy in tow, and waited with the neighbor for her husband to return.
Nothing transpired on Monday, October 4.
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 5, victim’s husband got up as usual and prepared to go to Travis AFB. Husband left the home around 6:30 a.m. At this time victim was still in bed, with her 3 year old son, who had crawled in just minutes before. Victim heard husband close front door. Only minutes passed and victim heard a series of clicks, as if a light switch was being turned on and off. Source of the clicks could not be audibly determined.
However, there was little time. Victim heard footsteps running down hall. There appearing in her bedroom doorway was a masked man. The mask only had holes for the eyes. A deadly knife was raised over his head, and in this pose he padded toward the victim. She drew her son to her bosom and clutched him there. She could not even scream because of her fright.
“Please don’t hurt us, please don’t hurt us,” she repeated. “I’ll tell you where my money is. Just please take it and leave us.”
“Shut up!” the masked intruder snapped through clenched teeth. It was an angry whisper.
He repeated this a number of times and eventually the victim just whimpered in submission. Both she and her child were tied by the masked intruder. He tied her hands behind her back and used the sheets to tie her legs. Bound at both legs and arms, the boy was set on the floor. Assailant kept calming victim by saying he only wanted money.
Masked intruder put the knife to her throat and pushed it in and out slightly. He did not draw blood. He warned her that if she did not do what he wanted, he would kill them both. As before, he only said he wanted money. Victim then heard him tearing clothes or sheets in the room. He left the room and wandered the house. He punctuated his roaming by coming back to the bedroom and checking on her. Before his final return, she heard him move a chair by the front door. Finally, he returned, said he had the money and was going to leave.
This ruse was intentional. She relaxed a bit. It was silent now. Then she stiffened with fear. Towels were being torn near the bed. The assailant had been standing there quietly and was now tearing bath towels into strips.
Assailant then put his penis in her bound hands and told her “Play with it.”
She attempted to do so, but complained that her hands were tied too tightly.
“Shut up!” he snapped instead.
He untied her feet and then raped her. He complimented her on the size of her genitalia, and said how he liked it. He made definite references as if he knew her and her husband. He said she was attractive when he saw her at the club, implying apparently the officer’s club at the base (Travis AFB). He also asked her if his penis was like the “captain’s.” After he finished raping her, he placed his penis in her numb hands and told her to “play with it” again.
He now told her he was going to the kitchen to make something for himself. She heard the frying pan being used. After a while the house was silent. She waited and listened. Nothing. Victim got up and made it out the backdoor and called for the neighbor’s child for help.
Sheriffs detectives discovered that the house had been ransacked. About $160.00 had been stolen, no more. The rapist had entered through the boy’s bedroom window again. He left through the back door. Detectives also noted the presence of white shoelaces amidst the torn towels. They did not belong to the household.
The boy had not been harmed. He thought the rapist was a doctor examining his mother.
A bloodhound was used in this case. He found the trace of the assailant and followed it to the backyard fence. Sheriffs followed the hound through the uncultivated field behind the house, through an orchard being bulldozed for development, and then onto a Shadowbrook, a street behind the development.
A canvass of the neighborhood uncovered witnesses who had seen a strange man, as much as 4 days before, early in the morning. He drove a dark green car like a Chevy Vega. In one encounter, at 6:15 a.m. a few days prior to the rape, a homeowner on Shadowbrook/Cookson stood on her porch and was surprised to see this man stare back at her from her driveway. After a moment he got into his “Vega” and drove off.
Further underscoring that this person with the Vega may have been the rapist is the fact that the bloodhound vectored, that is, lost the scent at the area where the “Vega” was said to have been parked. An oil spot marked where the car had been parked.
The very morning of the attack at 7 a.m. a witness had come out of his house and notice the “Vega” parked in the same spot. It was gone by 8:30 a.m.
Victim recalled that the rapist wore a khaki mask, with only eye holes. He also wore a jacket, but she could not remember the color. She did not remember anything else. Judging by his figure in the doorway, she estimated he was about 5 foot 9 inches. He was lean. He had a small penis. He spoke with clenched teeth, in an angry, threatening whisper.
One other thing is noteworthy. The bloodhound shook and slobbered and went to pieces when finding the miscreant’s scent. This indicated to the handler that the miscreant had a disease or was a heavy duty drug offender, his chemistry being so changed the dog could detect it was different from a normal human scent.