Originally posted on this site five years ago, I am reposting it here due to all of the true crime fans on the site now. A famous, fascinating case! This post barely touches on the case. I spend weeks to months researching this case and learned a lot more than was written up here.
Voice recording from the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker.
His known criminal career ranged from 1976-1986, though he was also probably the Visalia Ransacker active in Visalia in 1974. The Ransacker also committed some homicides.
The EAR mostly just raped, but he did kill one couple who were out for a walk in the Sacramento area. The crimes began with a rape spree in the Sacramento area in 1976-78. Then he moved around to Modesto, Davis and the Bay Area for more attacks in 1978-79.
During his wild spree in the Sacramento area, community meetings were held. He apparently went to at least one of these community meetings and sat in the audience. We know this because a man spoke at the meeting and said, “What kind of man would sit back and let his wife get raped like that without doing something about it?”
Three weeks later, this man and his wife were attacked in their home. The man was tied up, and the woman was bound and raped. EAR was at the meeting, and somehow he knew who the man was or he followed him home from the meeting. Creepy as Hell!
He left the Sacramento area after two composites were released of possible attackers in the killing of the couple out for a walk, so those composites are probably good. He was 18-29 years old when he started.
He may have been in the military at the time of the original rapes. He drove a dark colored VW.
His career as EAR ended when he moved to Southern California in 1979 where he turned into the Original Night Stalker and escalated to homicides of both males and females in the Santa Barbara and Irvine/Laguna Niguel area from 1979-1986. In a number of these cases, via prowling, he noticed a couple having sex. Then he quickly broke in and blitzed them while they were having sex. In these later homicides, he tied people with ligatures but removed the ligatures before he left to remove evidence. During this phase, he was ~21-~38 years old.
He was still on the loose as of 1990-1991, when the extremely creepy voice recording recording above was made. The recording is of the suspect making a taunting call to one of his original EAR rape victims who survived. He made these calls to several of his previous victims, but this is the only one that was left on an answering machine. The drawing at the beginning of the video is how he looked in his attacks. The gritted teeth are correct because he typically spoke through gritted teeth. At the time of the phone call, he was probably ~28-~45 years old.
The EAR MO was to stalk and maybe even burglarize in the area and gain a great deal of intelligence about the victims through break-ins and prowling. He often targeted areas that had homes for sale. He probably looked at a couple of homes for sale, posing as a prospective buyer and/or a fake real estate agent.
He would later return to the area, sometimes by vehicle, sometimes on a bicycle, and sometimes on foot. Attacks were typically made next to an open area from which he could make his escape. Telephone lines were usually cut before entering. The woman was bound with special knots and raped over a period ranging over up to three hours.
During this period, she would be raped, sodomized and forced to have oral sex. He also wandered the house, eating and drinking items from the fridge. He wandered in and out of the house, eating and drinking, apparently looking for people to come home. He ransacked through the house, only taking a few items of value.
If a male was in the house, he was bound and gagged and placed on the bed face down with a plate on his back and told that if he moved, he would die. At some point, he left, but the victim often could not tell when he left because he was wandering around so much. It often took the woman half an hour or so to get free of her bonds and get help, and by that time, he was long gone.
In some cases, he was seen fleeing and pursued, but he always got away somehow. One time police saw him on a bicycle with a ski mask and pursued him, but he escaped once again.
Several composites were made, but unfortunately, they do not look much alike. The original attacks were by a young White male aged 18-25, with sandy blond hair and blue eyes, 5’11 tall, muscled but with a thin body like a swimmer. He favored military green clothing but had a wide variety of clothes that he wore. He always wore tennis shoes with a herringbone pattern. He used a new ski mask in every crime and sometimes made his own masks. He had a wide variety of handguns and knives which he used in his attacks.
He was very, very good. Good at what he did that is, one of the best. One of the best at getting away with his evil crimes. He’s one sick man all right though.
This site is an excellent resource on this master criminal.