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Legends of the Lost

   The East Area Rapist 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.  In the last 5 years of his crime spree his attacks became fewer and further apart, indicating he was losing the thrill and would quit. Then he vanished. He is the No. 1 serial offender in history. Yet he was so methodical and careful, he is known only by his DNA. It has been run through the database and never found a match with anybody who has been incarcerated. He would be about 56 years old now. He can best be likened to the real life Michael Myers.

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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— Rancho Cordova — The Beginning 

  Victim #2— Del Dayo — Careful Selection

   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

Victim #11— Sacramento— Cats and Fields

Victim #12— Blind Spot Reveals— Citrus Heights

Victim #13— Crestview— Unexpected Jogger

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

Victim #15— Tactical Misuse— Rancho Cordova

Victim #16— Orangevale— Opportunity Knocks a Clue

Victim #17— Unexpected Spoke in the Hub— Crestview

Victim #18— La Riviera— Moving Upwards

Victim #19— Orangevale— Presentiment of Impromptu Danger

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

Victim #21— Del Dayo— Tactical 1

Victim #22— South Sacramento— Tactical 2

Panic!

Summer Clue

  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

Departmental Memo December 8, 1977

 

Yet Another Year— 1978

Victim #29/30— Assault!— Carmichael

Maggiore Murders— Critical Clue— Rancho Cordova

Victim #31— Distant Roaming— Stockton

Victim #31B— Back to Rancho— Rancho Cordova

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

Composite— Maggiore Murders Suspect

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

No Stopping Him

Lacing with Ligatures— San Ramon

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

Murder— The “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

EAR Profile

Phone Calls

The Lair of an Arch Rapist

Masks— Now you see them, now you don’t

The Mystery of the Silent Dog

Thwarted!

 

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261/187 Rape/Murder

1-62

1976-1986

Northern/Southern California

Sacramento, Rancho Cordova, Carmichael, Orangevale, Davis, Modesto, Concord, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, San Jose, Goleta, etc.

Analysis of Crime Spree

East Area Rapist/
         Original Night Stalker

Narrative

Prowling/ Stalking MO

   The crime spree of the East Area Rapist AKA Original Night Stalker herein referred to as The Night Predator spanned 10 years, beginning in the Summer of 1976, gradually reaching epidemic proportions in 1977, and then noticeably tailoring off when he moved south to the Santa Barbara County area in 1979. Here, after one failed attack on Queen Ann Lane, he became a murderer. These attacks, whereby he later became known as The Original Night Stalker, followed the same stalking MO he used as the East Area Rapist. However, the strikes were now months apart and ceased in 1981. Then there was one last attack/murder in 1986. Afterward there is no accepted attack by The Night Predator.

     The East Area Rapist was methodical in how he stalked a community/victim, but he did not begin with his modus operandi fully intact. Rather it is possible to see how he developed it. This gives us our first clue.

     His tactical use of landmarks begins only with Victim 4. Here is the first time he is known to have used a canal to stalk the underbelly of a community at night. From this point on, there is almost complete reliance on some landmark— canal, school, park, orchard, the American River bike trail, open field, “CAT corridors,” and levee walks. With few exceptions, he does not alter. The home he strikes is almost always either along one of these landmarks or a row of houses over from it.

     Since this pattern is noticeably nonexistent in his first 3 strikes, he had known those communities sufficiently beforehand. How? Probably either by having lived there or by having had to work there before. If work is the answer, there should therefore be some connection with these neighborhoods and those that he struck later. In this case, there is one thing: a power or pumping station.

   Servicing one of these would bring him to these communities and explain why he could then cruise the immediate vicinity and, in the case of Victim 1, become tempted to begin his vicious and calculated crime spree. She was certain she had been stalked by a mid-sized, older dark car. It would also explain his knowledge of the location of these canals. Parks, schools, open fields, “CATs” can be seen from afar or uncovered while stalking, but canals cannot be.     

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And let us not forget the ultimate pumping and power station along the American River. It’s existence may explain No. 2, 7, and 21.

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Narrative

(cont’d)

   After Concord, the coincidence of the power/pumping station is essentially absent. Nevertheless, EAR continued to rely on and tactically use a landmark that he discovered in Sacramento. The repeated use of “CATs” or power pylon corridors is a sure sign he did not live close to those areas. He saw these towering monstrosities from afar and knew from his first experience that there would always be undeveloped land underneath— a sure stalking field by which to access unawares a neighborhood at night. We know he did not live in La Riviera, for he does not introduce the use of a CATs corridor until Victim 11. It seems hard to believe he would have waited this long to use them had he frequently seen them. Until Victim 11 he relied on canals, open fields, parks and schools. But he must have lived close enough to La Riviera, probably within biking distance— thus explaining his Del Dayo strikes along the American River— and one day noticed the “CATs” corridor near Watt Avenue. His feverish brain lit up and he discovered a new ally. Because these are so noticeable from a distance, his use of these repeatedly affirms that he did not live near the location.

     This is evident when he apparently moved to the Contra Costa County area. Walnut Creek (45, 47), San Ramon (40, TB Place), Fremont (44), even San Jose, all victims were in proximity to these tall CATs or power pylon corridors. This would indicate he spent much time driving up and down the 680 Freeway, but was not based nearby. His knowledge of these communities was restricted to these areas. The same can be said for his Modesto (33, 35, Silent Victim) strikes.

     This also reveals his “Deep Dig and Retreat” stratagem, which will be a strategy he used with canals and other landmarks.

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Narrative

(cont’d)

   In addition to his tactical use of manmade landmarks, The EAR’s “Deep Dig and Retreat” stratagem is noteworthy. He stalked a community via the bike/walking trail or canal, sized up several potential victims, and then when ready chose the intended victim who lived furthest from his means of access to the community. To be exact, the one furthest from the canal or bike path or, if communities were attached via a walking path, the home furthest from this area. Then, when he returned weeks or months later to claim his next victim, he would choose the one closer to his means of entrance into the community and afterward he would leave the community alone. Thus he would strike in deep and then pull out and strike closer to the safe means of exit. Examples include:

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57-Dig-icon 57-Dig2-icon La Merida-to Berkley-icon
Narrative

(cont’d)

Canals and bike trails.

With or without a pumping or power station nearby, canals remained one of EAR’s favorite tactical allies. With or without a river nearby, a bike path or trail was also a staple tactical ally.

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Bike-Danville-icon Bike-Danville2-icon Iron Horse-El Capitan-icon
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Canal-Irvine-icon Canal-Irvine2-icon Culvee-canal-direct2-icon
Narrative

(cont’d)

Exceptions

   Exceptions to the pattern above exist, and probably constitute greater clues than EAR’s methodical MO. Their motive and meaning, however, are tenuous to extract. Of particular interest is the case of Victim 17, where EAR clearly broke his pattern. Like with Victim No. 1, he apparently was attracted to her by sight. While washing her car one day, wearing shorts and a bikini top, she noticed a man passing by in a mid-sized dark, older car. When she looked, he looked the other way. This victim must have physically meant much to EAR for him to break his pattern and return one night.

   There are other breaks besides this one, however. Numbers 1, 2 & 3 we already know about and EAR’s beginning will be dealt with later. But there are still others in his long spree. He could not have been attracted to these sites (or the victims) from canals, parks, schools, CATs, or the like. Yet he found them, successfully stalked them, and got away.

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Narrative

(cont’d)

     There is another type of exception that sheds light on EAR’s stalking MO— the opportunistic strikes. On a number of occasions, the victim he raped could not have been the intended victim. Number 4 came home unexpected to do her wash. The house was unoccupied otherwise and EAR may have been using it as a base of operations while her parents were away, or he may have been stalking the canal nearby and saw her, liked what he saw, and waited for her to finish before he attacked her on the driveway. No. 19 in Orangevale could not have been an intended victim. It was not her home and she was just visiting a male friend. It was a platonic relationship. No. 32 as well, the Casilada Way victim, could not have been intended, as she was called short notice and asked to come baby sit.

     In these cases, and a few others, it is noteworthy that bloodhounds traced the EAR’s scent blocks away, where invariably he had parked at a blind spot on the road. Or, as in the case of No. 4, they found the victim’s car, which he had stolen after the rape, about a mile away. These instances suggest that when EAR was stalking a community he did so from afar. He parked, perhaps even a mile away, and quietly walked along, through parks, school grounds, along canals, etc. For the Casilada Way attack, he appears to have parked far down the levee by apartments on Riverside Blvd. and rather unconvincingly jogged away in the morning.

     EAR became so confident and bold, however, that on the night of planned attacks he parked in a blind spot near the house or even right next to it. This is evident in Stockton at attack 23, where the victims heard the Volkswagen start up. It is also very noticeable at No. 25, where he clearly had parked a van (according to the victim) right next to the house.

ESCAPE Modus Operandi

     In addition to EAR’s methodical stalking MO is his escape MO. We have examined his stalking pattern, his exceptions, his opportunism, but now we must touch on his escape. He always made sure he was close to a major thoroughfare. This is one factor similar throughout, even with the first, third, and to a lesser degree with the second attack. It began with Folsom Blvd. in the south (No. 1, No. 3, No. 6, No. 8, No. 15). Then when he moved further north into Carmichael and Citrus Heights he stayed between Watt Avenue in the west, Sunrise in the east, and Greenback Lane in the north. When he strayed outside of these boundaries, he still remained close to them in order to use them. The La Riviera strikes were just to the west of Watt, the Orangevale attacks to the east of Sunrise Blvd. and near Madison’s termination by the American River. Those in Foothill Farms were off Diablo Drive and from there Highway 80 was easily accessible from Elkhorn Blvd, which on the other side of the highway is Greenback Lane.

     Except for a few of his strikes, this remains true for the rest of his crime spree in Contra Costa Co. and southern California. He always remained near a main thoroughfare.

East Area Map02

The strikes that gave the East Area Rapist his name. Only No. 22 (south Sac) and No. 32 (Little Pocket) are not listed on the map. Folsom Blvd in the south and Greenback Lane in the north are highlighted in crimson. Bright red traces Sunrise Blvd. Watt Avenue is in blue. The furthest the EAR ventured outside of these main east area thoroughfares was for No. 16 and 19 in Orangevale, though they were close to Greenback Lane. Despite Watt being touted as such a significant boundary in the EAR’s MO, it looks more like Fair Oaks Blvd/ Manzanita and Madison (within the blocked off area forming the T but not colorized) were more significant.

Narrative

(cont’d)

     This map above naturally introduces another point which no analysis can be without. Where did EAR live? Explicitly, where was his base of operations?

     Knowing that he began in Rancho Cordova, a few things immediately jump out of the map. He struck only in the western part of Rancho, where Folsom Blvd. was quickly accessible. His later attacks, 31B and 43B, are both in Cordova but in an area in which he never struck before. The entire central area of Rancho Cordova is ignored. Had he grown up here? This would explain why he never struck in the heart of Rancho Cordova. This may also explain how he developed his tactical modus operandi. Between the eastern section of Rancho Cordova and where he first struck every tactical landmark exists except one.

     It is interesting to note that the latter strike 43B occurred in a huge gap in which The EAR was not active in Contra Costa County. His last attack there had been December 9, 1978 (43), and his next attack was Fremont (44) on April 4, 1979. The Thunderbird Place incidents (Lacing with Ligatures) occurred in December 1978. This gap would indicate that EAR must have returned to the Sacramento area during this time. He may therefore not have lived permanently in the CCC area. He was either commuting or staying with relatives, trailer home, or renting an apartment. By the time 31B and 43B take place, EAR is long out of Sacramento. He was striking in Modesto, Davis, then the 680 corridor. Yet of all the places for him to come back to in greater Sacramento, it is to RC.

       EAR really didn’t have the time or presence to stalk Sacramento afresh again. But he did strike again in Rancho. If he had lived or grown up here, this would fit with his beginning in Rancho Cordova and the fact that at Attack No. 3 he smells of fresh after shave. Near this same area he parks the car of No. 8 on El Segundo Dr.  

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Narrative

(cont’d)

     EAR’s crime spree lasted so long that he, of course, could have moved (perhaps more than once) during this time. A possible alternative lair is the area of Manzanita in Carmichael. There were many places on side streets about the field by Gabilan/Woodson Way (No. 26) where EAR could have parked a car, as was his MO by this time. But instead he takes the unnecessary risk of putting a bike in a dump truck and then biking off in an area of streets and cross streets. It almost seems to argue that he had a lair about the area.

     In later attacks, such as Danville 46, it seems as if EAR had brought a bike and had stowed it in his car/van on Delta Place, for so the bloodhound vectored at this area. EAR could have done so for the Woodson Way/Gabilan strike, but why then did he not stow the bike by the house and then ride off to a back street where he could have privately parked?

     EAR also never struck north of La Riviera, though the CAT corridor continued on and there were other tactical allies about. This may reflect where he grew up or had moved to, and he was simply smart enough not to “shit in his own backyard,” as the expression goes.  

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Narrative

(cont’d)

     In Concord we see a similar pattern. EAR strikes near to Highway 680, near to CATs, bike trails and canals. But in Concord, his first Contra Costa County strikes, his targets are quite a distance from the highway and even several blocks from the bike trail and canal. This area of Concord is southern Concord. He never strikes in Concord proper or nearby Pleasant Hill. It is only from south Concord southward that he strikes thereafter, skipping Walnut Creek, though nearest, in order to strike in San Ramon, Fremont, San Jose, Danville, and then finally back up in Walnut Creek just a few miles or so from where he first struck in southern Concord. Then he is gone.

     Did he live in Concord? If he did not tend power and pumping stations, or no longer did, how did he find  the bike trail and the general location of his first Concord strikes? For argument here, we must assume that he lived north of this area and followed the bike trail south.

     I say this for a concise reason. There is no place to park along the Contra Costa Regional Trail and use it. It crosses a park only in Walnut Creek, right by the area where he struck (here known as the Ygnacio Valley Trail), but this neither helped him survey these communities better here, nor would it be a benefit to stalking the Ryan Court area about 3 miles or so to the north.  Rather, as I have shown, he was attracted to this area of Walnut Creek by the CATs, followed them from Ygnacio Valley Road, his seething mind homing in on innocent victims.  But he would not strike here right after Concord. Wouldn’t that look obvious if he lived in Concord? It would look like he is neatly slipping south. But he didn’t. He jumped to San Ramon, San Jose, then came back closer to Danville and then here in Walnut Creek.

     This could be interpreted as his attempt to disguise that his lair was in the Concord area.

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CCC-Corridor1

Let’s open up the view to include San Ramon below. For demonstration purposes we do not have to go all the way down to Fremont.

CCC-Corridor2
Narrative

(cont’d)

   It is clear that EAR branched off Highway 680 the furthest in South Concord and Walnut Creek. At first this suggests EAR was the most acquainted with these areas and lived closer. This may be true, but this could also be a false impression. I did not trace it, but 38, 39, the stars by the Walnut Creek country club, 45, 47, all are within reach of the Contra Costa/Ygnacio Valley Trail. And without a doubt EAR followed the CATs over the area of 45/47 and then all the way to the country club where they cross the trail and continue on into the mountains. This suggests he did not know Walnut Creek at all. He did the same at San Ramon, the CATs leading him to Montclair (40) as well as Thunderbird Place (star).

     It would seem safe to say he lived in Concord or Pleasant Hill. It fits, but it may not be accurate.  EAR never struck in Dublin (though the San Ramon locales were very close), but he also never struck in Livermore. It could be that he resided around here and kibitzed north and south along Highway 680. There is a possibility that one of the types of shoes he had worn in his Stockton attack had been purchased at World of Shoes on Dublin, which would indicate a connection with Dublin/Livermore area already before he moved from Sacramento permanently. When striking in Stockton he may actually have been staying in Livermore with friends or family.

     This same pattern is evident in his southern California attacks.   

So-Cal kibitz
Narrative

(cont’d)

   The above map shows EAR’s similar pattern as in the Contra Costa Corridor. He strikes twice in Goleta. He strikes further south in Ventura (3). Then to the very south of his strike zone in Dana Point (4). Then he comes up to Irvine (5) and then back up to Goleta (6). Almost 5 years later he strikes in Irvine again.

     In the Contra Costa or 680 Corridor, he strikes twice in Concord (38, 39), then much further south in San Ramon (40), then to the furthest south of his strike zone (41, 42) in San Jose. Then he comes back up to Danville (43), back down to Fremont (44), back up to Walnut Creek (45), back down to Danville (46), then back up to Walnut Creek (47) and then finally back down to Danville (48). The up and down pattern is similar in So. California. For some reason, EAR was interrupted for almost 5 years in So. Cal and then after (7) stopped permanently.

     The furthest EAR struck from a highway was Concord (in the Contra Costa Corridor) and Dana Point (in So. Cal).

     When it comes down to it this really can’t help place where EAR lived. The closest we can come is to the Sacramento East Area. He certainly knew these communities. In Contra Costa Corridor and So. Cal he remains close to the highways.

     This raises the significance of No. 26. However indelicate it may seem, one cannot avoid discussing the miscreant organ. Although almost always described as under-endowed and small, there are a few exceptions. At these strikes he is described as thick but short (except 17). At a few of these attacks EAR was said to have carried a gym bag or some kind of bag that had a zipper. Victims also heard a popping, pumping sound. Is it possible that EAR brought a pumping device in order to disguise his miscreant organ? A more detailed discussion is reserved for the Profile page. But it is relevant here in trying to determine where EAR could have resided, for at No 26, that oddball attack off Whitney, The EAR’s organ is described as short but thick. A ski masked villain is seen riding off by a business owner. He had no bag. It is impossible that he could have brought any device with him.

     Thus it is worth considering that he was within short distance of his lair and had taken the task of disguising his organ first. He then struck before the effects wore off.

     Here, when fleeing, EAR still wore a mask, though in other cases he didn’t seem to put it on until in the yard or even in the house. Could he have been recognized by people in this community, even by the woman across the street?

     The EAR must have made an enormous number of phone calls in order to assist him in his stalking of a neighborhood. These would most likely be from his residence. Even if a charge was not made, it would still be itemized on his bill. A thick phone bill in the envelope should have alerted a postal carrier, if they had been told. A search of phone company records would have revealed a resident with an unusually long itemized bill.

     This, the analysis of his prowling/stalking MO reveals a shrewd and cunning predator, but not necessarily a smart one. He learned as he went along and many times was simply lucky, such as in La Riviera and Danville where he simply walked up into yards and homes, whether posed as a jogger or not, and then was able to get quickly away when seen.

     EAR was also too methodical. He seldom varied his prowling MO. His use of canals was so obvious in Sacramento that the sheriffs staked them out. He stopped using canals. This is not the only example that indicates EAR was hooked into the police grapevine.

     In the long run, EAR is the cliché: “I don’t know if he was really smart or really dumb and just got lucky.”  He was obsessive and methodical, but most of all he was successful because he was the unsuspected.  

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