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True Crime/Cold Case Files     EAR Crime Index

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

Assault (attack aborted)

Victim No. 9— WFJ Age 16

Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1976

Around 7:30 p.m.

Greenleaf Drive

Citrus Heights

  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.

Revealing Mistake

East Area Rapist

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Narrative

Victim (16) was home alone, sitting on the couch and watching TV in the family room. Her pet poodle was sitting on her lap. She heard a loud bang from somewhere in the house. Her dog started shaking and barking. Assailant leapt into the room from the living room. Assailant was wearing a leather hood with a slit for the eyes. He held a large knife in gloved hands. Victim screamed. He leapt at her and put the knife to the victim’s throat. He snarled through clenched teeth, telling her to shut up or he’d kill her. He also told her to shut her dog up or he’d kill it.

   After he ordered her to “Get up” and turn around, he tied her wrists behind her with black shoelaces. He then pushed her out the back door onto the backyard patio. Curiously, she saw black shoelaces hanging from the handlebar of her bicycle. He put her down on the patio and then grabbed the laces and tied her ankles.

     “Don’t move or you’ll be dead and I’ll be gone in the night.”

     He returned to the house. She saw him put the screen back on the living room window through which he must have entered.

     He returned and knelt by her and looked at her. Then he asked where her money was. When she replied she had none, he asked where her parents’ money was. She said they took it with them.

     “Damn, no money,” he replied. “Ah, man, no money!”

     He went back inside the house again. He returned and asked her if she liked sex. She did not respond.

     “Do you have a boyfriend?” he asked.

     She nodded.

     He asked if they had had sex. She did not respond. He untied her ankles and pushed her before him to the canal behind their house. Dogs started barking in the neighborhood.

     She pleaded that he let her go.

     He told her if she wasn’t silent she’d be silent forever and he’d be gone in the night.

     After arriving at the canal, he ordered to her down. Curiously, he tied her ankles. He walked a short distant, came back and untied them. Then he left, returned and tied them again. He then returned and cut the laces binding her wrists, but held her arms tight and then retied her wrists. He cut her jeans off with his knife. Then he stopped.

     “This isn’t working right,” he mumbled. He pushed his face up to hers and stared at her through the slits in his mask.

     “I know you, don’t I?”

     She said no. He replied: “Do you go to American River College?” She said no. She said she went to San Juan High School. He stuck the knife to her neck, declared angrily she was lying and then demanded her name. She gave a fictitious name. He said nothing. He stood up. He then said “I have to wait for my parents to leave so I can go home.”

     He said nothing for a while until: “I’m going to take off in my car.”  He then bent over and pulled up his socks.

     Then he said: “Within the next twenty minutes make one move and you’ll be silent forever
Army fatigues
Leather balaclava2
Luchini boots
Gray sweater
butcher_knife
dark gloves
and I’ll be off in the dark.”

     Assailant quietly padded away.

     Victim waited a bit and then was able to get free.

Investigation

Although the victim thought that the assailant was possibly playing a game the way he spoke, laying false clues with his statements, investigation uncovered that the neighbor’s daughter was a female similar in appearance to victim. She went to American River College. It appears therefore that the neighbor’s daughter was the intended victim. It was thought possible that EAR got confused and did not like a situation where things were not as he had planned. Feeling a lack of control he thus abandoned his attack, fortunately not raping the 16 year old victim.

     It must be noted that when leading her to the canal, dogs began to bark for a while. This may have upset him as well.

Perpetrator Description

Victim was able to describe the assailant rather clearly since she was never blindfolded. He wore black square toe shoes; army fatigue pants; a gray sweater (the mask’s bottom was covered by the sweater collar). Interestingly, the hood had a slit for his mouth. Investigators suggested a welder’s hood. However, here I have opted to portray a biker’s customized leather balaclava. There is no statement that the hood seemed adjusted by the attacker with the addition of a self cut mouth slit. He wore black gloves.  He had BO or bad breath. When he pulled up his socks, victim noticed that his ankles were quite pale, the hairs brown.

Geography

This area of Citrus Heights was not far from Attack #5. It was on the opposite side of Dewey Drive, the entrance to Greenleaf in sight of Woodpark Way. As before, EAR used a manmade canal tactically. This particular canal gave him much cover. It not only wended its way behind homes, it also cut through a natural park and from there led to an entirely different part of Citrus Heights. It was thus safe stalking ground.

Scene-aerial in context
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Dewey-canal entrance
Hickorywood Way
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House

The house was a single story, detached middle-class home, like in all the other cases.

Analysis

As with some previous victims, The EAR came prepared. He obviously entered into the backyard first and then came around into the house through the living room (which opened onto the backyard due to the design of the house). He carried with him only one pair of the shoelaces he had brought. These were to bind victim’s arms. He had already laid out the others in the backyard, thus indicating he fully had intended to take her into the backyard. However, there is no mention made of pre-cut strips of towel, and indeed the victim was never blindfolded. 

     I suggest here that when The EAR came and went at the canal, he was looking for the strips of towel. It is possible he had laid them out behind the neighbor’s earlier. However, there is no mention of strips of towels found next door behind the neighbor’s where the student at American River College lived. He may have retrieved them after he left, realizing his mistake in selecting the wrong victim. It is, of course, possible that he did not have any. From his known actions, it is therefore hard to explain what he was doing.

     This is the first time in which an EAR attack was reported in the news— in the Sacramento Union and Bee and on evening TV news reports. The attack, however, came just 6 days after the first news reports that he was afoot. This is what may have saved the teenage victim. He knew he had lots of publicity now and was no longer just a report on a police blotter. He seemed confused and, for him, overly cautious. Perhaps the dogs barking unsettled him.

     We must also consider that San Juan High may have had some connection with him, and he left off the attack because of that. Also, this attack was earlier in the evening than all those previous. Certainly, he knew neighbors might come out because of the dogs. Because the victim was not gagged, and apparently he had no gag, she could also scream.

     Being in sight of Woodpark Way, EAR had obviously stuck to the modus operandi he had already displayed in Attacks 1 & 3 and in 2 & 7. Greenleaf Drive and Woodpark Way were in sight of each other, indicating an extensive period of prowling the general area and selection of a few viable victims preceded any attack in the area. He then returned to strike, waited weeks and struck a second victim. He must have been prowling the area back in summer or early fall, before he struck Victim 5 on Woodpark Way in early October. In this particular case, this would explain why he had forgotten some of the details by early November, confusing this victim with the college girl next door. This also tells us he had not expanded his stalking areas much outside of Rancho Cordova, Del Dayo, Crestview, and this area of Citrus Heights. For our purposes here this tells us how carefully he stuck to a routine.

     The canal in this case was very low and not steep as in Rancho Cordova. It is so shallow it is more or less like a road with a curved gutter. It is easy to walk along and across. EAR had parked in the community on the other side of the canal. In essence, this was similar to how he assailed Victim No. 5. He had parked in another community divided from the victim’s community by one of the tactical allies he used for stalking. In that case, it was a field and orchard. In this case, it was a canal.

   This essentially makes two back-to-back attacks that failed, due ostensibly to EAR bungling his own plan. We already know that he stalked a neighborhood quite deftly. But it appears he also had a routine well thought out for each particular attack. At Victim 8 and here things had gone wrong.

   EAR replaced the screen on the window by which he entered, apparently unaware that the victim had seen him. This would indicate he wanted to leave a certain air of mystery behind him. The fact EAR saw fit to replace the window screen reflects what we already know about his various bogus comments to his victims. He liked to leave mystery in order to cover his trail. His bogus comments to his victims should be viewed in that light.

   However, there is one interesting line he used here: “I have to wait for my parents to leave so I can go home.” Despite being an obvious red herring, it does indicate that he viewed himself as being able to pass off as very young. 

  

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