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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. 16

Saturday, April 2, 1977

About 2:30 a.m.

Richdale/

Mississippi Bar

Orangevale

  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.

Opportunity Knocks a Clue

East Area Rapist

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Narrative

Victim is the mother of two children, a boy and girl (around 7 and 8 years old). Victim was in bed with her boyfriend. They had returned late from a drive-in movie. The children were put to bed. The time was around 1:30 a.m.

     Victim was stirred sometime later by a flashlight beam on her face. Opening her eyes, she saw a man with a white mask (with two eye holes) staring at her. He spoke through clenched teeth in a threatening whisper:

     “Don’t make a sound. Do you see this gun?”

     “Yes.”

     “Wake him up,” the assailant ordered.

       Victim nudged her boyfriend and told him someone was in the room. Boyfriend jolted awake and the assailant shined the flashlight in his eyes.

     “Stop!” ordered the assailant. “Don’t move! Lay on your stomachs. I have a forty-five with fourteen shots and two clips. I want your money. Exactly where is your wallet? If you don’t tell me the truth I’ll kill you. Don’t make any sudden moves. Lay still or I’ll kill you like I did those people in Bakersfield.”

       Boyfriend informed the assailant that his wallet was in his pants on the floor. Assailant told the boyfriend again to get on his stomach. He would be out of here in a couple of minutes. He was to put his hands behind his back.

     “You,” he growled at the victim. “Tie your husband up.”

     When victim asked with what, the assailant coasted his flashlight beam over the bed. There it stopped on a pair of neatly laid out (white) shoelaces.

     Boyfriend told victim to “Do what he says,” but the assailant ordered him to “Shut up! Don’t talk.” Assailant walked to the pants and picked them up. He approached boyfriend now. He placed the barrel of the gun against his head.

     “Don’t look up. If you see me I’ll have to kill both of you.”

     Victim and boyfriend heard the assailant rummage through the pants and heard coins jangling. “After I take the money I’m going down to my camp on the American River.” 

     Assailant then tied boyfriends ankles and tied his wrists tighter. He tied victim’s hands and then took her from the room.

       “I’m going to tie you up in the hallway so you can’t untie each other.”

       Assailant instead prodded her to the family room with a sharp object in her back.

       “Lie down on your stomach,” he ordered.

       Assailant tied her ankles and blindfolded her with a towel. He then departed and rummaged throughout the kitchen. He returned:

     “Where’s your matches?”

     “I don’t know. I don’t smoke.”

     “You better not lie to me or I’ll have to kill you.”

       He placed a cup and saucer on her back and ordered her not to move or he’ll hear her and “I’ll have to come back and kill you.”

     Assailant went to the master bedroom and placed a cup and saucer on boyfriend’s back and warned him that if he moved he would hear it and he would come kill him.

     Assailant went back to the kitchen. It fell silent. Just when the victim thought he had left, she saw the glow of a candle light through her blindfold.

     “I’m going to go get your purse out of the car,” growled the assailant.

    
Dark corduroy
Dark Green jacket-25%
black leather driving gloves
white ski mask
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He went into the garage and then came back.  He removed the cup and saucer and sat on her hands, which were tied behind her back. Victim realized he had no pants on. He told her: “Hold my cock. Be gentle with it.” He worked his penis in her tied hands. He then rolled her over and untied her ankles. He slid her panties down. He demanded that she tell him if she and her boyfriend had had sex tonight. If she lied, he would find out and kill her. She replied “No.”

     He orally manipulated her. Victim felt him place high heel shoes on her feet.

     He raped her.

     “Make it good,” he warned her, “and I’ll leave you alone.” After he finished he left the room.

   After it was silent for a while, it became obvious to victim that assailant was in the kitchen. He ate food loudly enough so that she was aware he was dining off them.

   He returned. He raped her again.

     He yanked her up and sat her on him while he sat in the chair. He raped her again. He pushed her off onto the floor and retied her ankles.

     It was silent for a while. Victim would not move. Then she jolted. Her poodle was by her side. Her boyfriend was calling her. He was able to hobble to her and untie her.

     During the time the assailant left the victim, he had checked on the boyfriend, up to 5 times.

Investigation

Investigation uncovered that the assailant left chewing gum (used) and had used 2 spoons. Tests showed assailant had Type A blood.

     House was particularly cold. Sheriffs deputies discovered that the heater had been unplugged rather than just turned off. Assailant also cut the cord to the TV.

     Investigation of the neighborhood uncovered incidents of prowling. Neighbor had been robbed two months before. The thief had come in a second-story window. Three months prior neighbor saw a prowler in his neighbor’s backyard. He was concerned because she was single. He described prowler as a male, 5 foot 9 or 10 inches, between 25 and 30 years old. He chased him over several yards. Another neighbor received strange calls, where the caller just breathed heavily before hanging up.

       Assailant never bothered the children. They slept through it all.

       Assailant referred to boyfriend as “husband.”

Description

Assailant was described as about 5 foot 9 inches, medium build, small penis. However, the victim was able to say that the thighs were unusually wide. It also felt like the victim shaved his legs. When being raped, victim felt that the hair was stubble like a beard. Victim could also feel a jacket on suspect, so that assailant only removed his pants.  Mask was white, with 2 eye holes. Assailant carried a 45 automatic.

     Assailant never touched her breasts.

Geography

This was the first attack in Orangevale, a small community at the end  of Madison Avenue by the American River. It is also just east of Rancho Cordova, and can be accessed easily enough from Highway 50 by crossing the river at the Hazel Avenue Bridge.. Nevertheless, the geography is quite familiar. The street, Mississippi Bar, is adjacent to the Jedadiah Smith Trail. A rough path leads to and from Mississippi Bar to the bike trail.

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Despite appearing far from all previous strikes, the community in which No 16 is located is at the end of a key street in EAR’s overall use of thoroughfares— Madison Avenue.

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House

House was a single story, detached middle class home.

Analysis

If the reports of prowling over the previous 3 months are accurate, and EAR the cause of them all, then it staggers the mind the extent of time that he devoted to prowling a neighborhood beforehand. If he was the prowler chased by a neighbor 3 months prior, then he already knew that home was occupied by a single woman. Thus he had already prowled before that time. During this time, he had and was prowling and striking other neighborhoods. In the case of No 15, we know he had targeted the street and a few potential victims for at least 6 months prior to his attack there.

   This is significant, for Orangevale is not so far from Rancho Cordova. A few miles east  it is easily accessed by crossing the American River at Hazel Avenue. The EAR appears to have devoted more prowling and preliminaries to victims in these areas than others. Perhaps they were “closer to home” where he began in Cordova?

     This report of a prowler in a single woman’s backyard is consistent with his MO at the time. Three months prior to April 1977 (January) he was still striking only individual women. This, the April 2, 1977 attack, was his first attack on a couple.

     To what extent was this attack premeditated, however? The bloodhound traced the scent to Dredger and Main. This is quite a distance. Parking this far from the target had in the past indicated he was only prowling, and if he had struck during these prowls the attacks all had the hall marks of an opportunistic attack (See Victim 4 for instance).

     As we have seen in the photo essay, this area of Dredger is where the cyclists park and get on the bike trail that wends past the power station, under the trees and then down to the main trail behind Mississippi Bar. This is also a blind spot. It is perfect for EAR to look like a biker and not be noticed much if at all. But it is also 3 long blocks to where he struck. That’s quite a walk at night. Did the bloodhound pick up his earlier scent from having stalked?

     In any case, it is quite a clue. It reenforces for us his stalking cover is that of a biker. He will park in blind spots.

     One other thing reenforces this: his shaved legs and very wide thighs, all indications of a biker.

     One thing remains quite curious to me— the use of a white ski mask. Curious color to wear at night. It would make him stand out, but I suppose he put it on only when entering the house and took it off after leaving.

     On March 8, 1977, the Sacramento Bee newspaper article (regarding Victim 14)  noted that EAR had never attacked while there was a man in the house. It was a factual statement and not worded as any kind of challenge. It would be stretching it to say the Bee inspired EAR to start striking couples.

     Moreover, it was not the norm yet in the victim’s relationship with her boyfriend that he would always stay over. Indeed, The EAR referred to him as her “husband,” indicating that he was to a large extent not even familiar with the household. He usually had gone through a home before this and knew its occupants and their positions in the household.

     As with most EAR cases, it is poorly documented. If the EAR only brought 2 white shoelaces then he had not intended there to be a man present. These were bindings for the woman alone.

     In any case, he obviously was prepared to strike the house. He had wandered it enough beforehand to have found her purse in the car and to have unplugged the furnace.

     This is yet another example, perhaps the most pronounced, where the house dog did nothing. Although a poodle, it was considered a very noisy dog and  its incessant and aggravating barking was witnesses by Sheriff investigators while working the scene. However, the dog made no sound whatsoever the entire time EAR was in the house.  An example of EAR’s evil magnetism or something else? The “mystery of the silent dog” will be repeated.

 

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

 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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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

 

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