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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. 6

Sat. October 9, 1976

3:30 a.m.

La Loma Drive

Rancho Cordova

Curious Tactics

East Area Rapist

  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.


   In order to fully understand the narrative of the victim, it is necessary to preface with certain particulars of evidence. Prior to the attack, while victim still slept, assailant had entered house and strung ropes across the home’s bedroom hallway. These tied from doorknob to doorknob, creating a lattice or lacing across the hallway.

     We can now proceed.

     Victim, WFA late teens, was alone in the house. Her father was away. She was awakened from a deep sleep by a hand on her mouth. A man’s voice, speaking from an angry whisper through clenched teeth, ordered her to roll over. She attempted to scream, but the assailant told her to “Shut up!” or he would kill her. After she rolled over, he tied her hands tightly behind her back. He tied a cloth blindfold around her eyes and shoved a piece of towel in her mouth. She sleeps in the nude, so there was no need to remove any clothes.

       “Get up!” he growled in an angry whisper.

     He had grabbed her arm and now led her out into the hallway. Here he told her to duck down. She felt the ropes along her back as he pushed her along. She did not know what they were.

     They went through the living room and out a glass slider patio door into the backyard. An overhang is connected to the house and shades a cement patio with wrought iron furniture on it. On the outer side of the patio is a brown brick barbecue pit, with a brick chimney that is tall enough so that the overhang roof was built around it.

     Assailant had already placed a piece of carpet on the patio. As in the other cases, assailant made use of lies. He told the victim that he had frequently dreamed of her and of having sex with her. He also told her that she was not to scream after he finished with her and left, for he lived just down the street and he would hear her. The implication, apparently, was that he would exact revenge.

     He had placed victim on her back. Though blindfolded, she heard him lubricating himself in anticipation. Then, as in other cases, he placed his penis in her hand and said “Play with it.” (contradiction: victim’s hands were tied behind her back).

     At one point, assailant had warned her that he needed money for a fix and she better have something for him. He repeatedly warned her he would kill her if she screamed. He spoke in short breaths, in an angry whisper with teeth clenched.

     After a while, he lifted her legs and placed her lower legs on his shoulders. He raped her. He then went into the house, apparently ransacking. He returned. He raped her again. He left and went in the house. Then he returned. He placed his penis in her hands and said “Play with it.” Then he raped her again. He returned into the house for a while. Then he returned to the patio. From the sounds, the victim thought he was now carrying paper bags. He tied victim’s feet. Grabbing hold of carpet, he dragged victim across patio and tied her legs (via the ankles) to one of the posts supporting the overhang.

     It was then silent. . .

   Victim got loose but could not untie her hands. She went inside the house but noticed the phone line had been cut. She waited for her neighbor, who was expected hours later in the early morning. After she rang the bell, victim let her in then neighbor cut her bindings. They went to neighbor’s house and there called the police. Victim showered and cleaned herself before police arrived.


     Investigators noted the scene. A piece of carpet was found pulled next to one of the posts of the overhang. The binding rope was still tied to the post, and a knotted towel was on the cement nearby. A candy dish (?) was on the ground by a rear window; the screen to that window was lying on the bush by it. The assailant had gained entry this way. They noticed that side gate to the front yard was open. Assailant had apparently entered the yard this way while the victim slept, left the gate open, padded through the backyard, pried open the window, then when finished left quietly through the open gate. When questioned victim had said she had not heard the side gate open or close. Thus it seems he had left it open the whole time.

     The house had been ransacked. Each time the assailant had left the victim to go back in the house he had torn it apart. Drawers in the kitchen were open. Phone line conspicuously cut. Victim’s bedroom was also ransacked. Torn strips of towel and white shoelaces were on her bed.

     The crisscrossing web of ropes tied to the doorknobs of the hallway’s closed bedroom doors remained in place, and investigators had to routinely duck under them when processing the scene. No exact explanation exists for this elaborate system of holding closed the bedroom doors. However, the assailant obviously secured them before even waking the victim. Therefore he had spent some time in the house prior to his attack. He would have known no one was there. And if they were, could they not upon awaking and hearing the ruckus, open their windows and get out? Assailant came prepared with this cut rope. This being said, the assailant obviously had knowledge of the house’s floor plan and hallway layout. It is unlikely that the assailant did not know victim was alone. In previous attacks, assailant had demonstrated that he had stalked the intended victim and residence for some time. The webbing therefore makes no sense and remains phenomenon.

     The house is a single story. However, the neighbor’s house is a second story with a wood verandah along the entire back second story. The neighbor’s son, mid 20s, was home but did not hear anything during the night. Due to the fact that the neighbor’s upstairs windows face the back of the house, along the verandah, and the fact that the victim was under an overhang, the neighbor could not have seen anything unless he had come out onto the verandah and walked over to that side.

     Neighbor’s son contacted police when seeing them processing the house. He presented them a bag of cheap jewelry which he had found that morning in his parent’s bedroom. He knew it did not belong to his mother. Neighbor’s son was also home alone that night. This young male neighbor struck investigators as odd and a snoop. Placed on suspect list and later removed.


   Questioning elicited from victim that she had gone dancing once in a while at Mather AFB.

Perpetrator Description

     Victim never saw the assailant. Only once when her blindfold slipped did she see his shoes. They were black leather. It is not specified if these were military type. Assailant spoke in an angry whisper, as if his teeth were clenched. He took short breaths. Victim estimated his age around 25, based on his voice. She said she would not forget his smell. She did not mean odiferous; simply the smell of an unwanted body in close quarters to hers.


Although La Loma Drive is a few blocks over from the area of No. 1 & 3,  it is not that far removed. (See photos).

     However, the area of La Loma shows the first tactical use of natural topography in Rancho Cordova. This was first seen in EAR’s strike in Crestview (#4) and then also seen in how he used the field and orchard in Citrus Heights (#5). He was now developing, and in turn limiting himself to areas that gave him tactical advantage. He was not just quietly stalking a neighborhood beforehand anymore. He was carefully assessing how to assail, access and escape from the targeted house on the night of the attack.

     Across the street from the victim’s home, behind the houses on the opposite side of the street, is the levee walk, then a canal for some distance, and much further down from the levee walk, the bike trail. The design of La Loma/West La Loma is a large horseshoe in shape. This limits direct access to the area except along certain roads. This means that police units can only come in from certain directions, but that the assailant can escape in a hurry, if need be, in directions in which the police cruisers cannot follow, and after a short walk be in a completely different part of town.          

La Loma-Paseo-aerial-icon
La Loma angle-icon
La Loma aerial-icon
La Loma-Goethe Park-icon
La Loma-aerial-icon

   As far as I was concerned I had not only walked where EAR had stalked but where he had learned his entire tactical approach. His first 3 attacks reveal little tactical stratagem. It’s at #4 where he began to use these. But it was here in Rancho where he began prowling first. In January 2014 I returned and walked the other way to the bike trail and Goethe Park. Let us go that route.

Levee Road - aerial-icon
Levee Road - entrance-icon
El Cejo Cir-icon
Levee Road - entrance3-icon

Which direction did he take after leaving the victim’s house? So much time and footage has been devoted here because it will become crucial later.


House was a single story, detached home like the others.


   From the evidence it is safe to assume that the victim did not hear the side gate open as the assailant left because he had opened it when he had entered the yard and simply left it open. The EAR had gained access to the yard from the side gate and not from having climbed neighbors’ fences. In like manner he left. He did not just walk along streets to and from the victim’s house. That much has been made clear already. No car was heard to start up afterward. Did he have a bike?  This would mean he rode to the house or to someplace nearby, took the chance to hide the bike, and then opened the side gate.

     Far more probably he used the levee walk. Its access was nearby at Dedo Street and completely secluded at night for his purposes. It led in two directions, both of which would have taken him out of the neighborhood. Taking the one to the left would lead to another access point on Levee Street. Here he could have gotten in his parked car. No one in the immediate vicinity, if they heard him, would have connected anybody getting in a car here with the commission of a crime blocks away. However, it’s a long walk to the Levee Street access. If the sheriffs were cruising the neighborhoods, it would be bad to have his car spotlighted or even for him to take the risk of being stopped.

   The other direction, along the canal, would be much safer. This will become incredibly significant later on in our study.  

     This particular attack would also prove significant to investigators at that time. The Del Dayo attack (No. 2) was not sufficient to conclude that the assailant was using the green belts on that side of the American River as a tactical ally. However, here, as we know from the picture essay above, the EAR was now combining tactical allies. Attack #4 showed how he used a canal and Del Campo Park. Attack #5 showed he used a field and an orchard. This attack showed how he combined all these to some extent.

     It is clear now from his strike here that the assailant, the as-yet-unnamed East Area Rapist (EAR), was honing his modus operandi. Thus one can say that the thrill of conquest was gripping him, but also the reality of the danger of what he was doing. He knew to remain completely anonymous in the neighborhood. He pre-planned the most with No 1, using hang-up phone calls to assess her comings and goings. No 5 must have meant something to him. She meant so much he took the most risks. Here too he pre-planned heavily, using more hang-up phone calls. However, he also attacked in dawn light. He had to. This was the only time she was alone. There was no other time. In taking the most risk here, he was apparently seen. This is the only time he was seen beforehand. The car he drove appeared to be a green Chevy Vega.

     This MO will be developed further in Analysis of First Eight Victims. However, the next attack will make it plain that EAR would continue his tactical use of the Jedediah Smith Memorial Bike Trail and the adjacent communities.

     His MO within the house here remained largely the same, with the addition of the peculiar preplanning which resulted in a lattice work of ropes spun across the halfway from bedroom doorknob to bedroom doorknob.

Files on the EAR/ONS




A Word About Rape

   Notes on Personal Investigation

Logic verses Instinct

The Folklore of “Copycat”




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—

   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—

  Living Dangerously
— The Year of the EAR—

Victim #11
— Cats and Fields—

Victim #12—
 Blind Spot Reveals—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #13
— Unexpected Jogger—

Ripon Court Shooting

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

Victim #15
— Tactical Misuse—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #16
— Opportunity Knocks a Clue—

Victim #17
— Unexpected Spoke in the Hub—

Victim #18
— Moving Upwards—
La Riviera

Victim #19
— Presentiment
 Impromptu Danger—

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

Victim #21
— Tactical 1—
Del Dayo

Victim #22
— Tactical 2—
South Sacramento


  After the Lull—
1977’s Autumn of Fear


Victim #23
— Tactical 3—

Victim #24
— Switcharoo—
 La Riviera

Victim #25
— Follow Diablo—
 Foothill Farms

Victim #26
—  Dump Truck Biker—

Victim #27
— Condo Commando—
La Riviera

Victim #28
— Tail of Diablo—
 Foothill Farms

Victim #29/30
— Assault!—

Maggiore Double Murders
— Critical Clue—
 Rancho Cordova

   Yet Another Year— 1978


       Witness in Charcoal

Victim #31
— Distant Roaming—

Victim #31B
— Back to Rancho—
 Rancho Cordova

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

Victim #33
— The Deep Dig—

Victim #34
— Co-Ed—

Victim #35
— Back—

Victim #36
— Forth—

Silent Victim
— Lateral—

Victim #37
— Forth North—

A New East—
 Contra Costa Corridor

Victim #38
—  Surreal Schedule—

Victim #39
— Opportunity Kicks—

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—

Victim #45
— Follow the Cats—
 Walnut Creek

Victim #46
— Sticking to Routine—

Victim #47
— Walnut Creek—
 Dig and Retreat

Victim #48
— Shouted Out—

Victim #49
—  The Unsuspected —


—Original Night Stalker—

— Doctor Duo—
 Dec 30, 1979

— Cats & Murder—
 March 13, 1980

Laguna Niguel
— Exclusive—
August 19, 1980

— Home Alone—
 Feb. 6, 1981

— Dig & Retreat Again—
 July 27, 1981

— 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


Persons of Interest






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

The Website of Gian J. Quasar