Welcome to part seven of my “The East Area Rapist” series. As I was researching and compiling the information for this entry, I felt incredibly exhausted. That’s when I realized that the feeling of being worn out by simply typing up a submission post is nothing compared to what the victims and everyday normal citizens experienced for ten years, and possibly still do. That realization put things in perspective for me, and as long as this case remains unsolved it’s my priority to remember the victims and continue spreading the awareness of this under-the-radar serial rapist and killer.
In Davis, California on June 24, 1978 — one day after the horrific attack in Modesto, California — the East Area Rapist returned to the college-oriented town and struck a married couple at 3:00 in the morning. The intruder quietly entered the residence, using his flashlight and .357 Magnum to wake up the unsuspecting family. He immediately began barking orders with a hostile approach, “Don’t fucking move! Get on your stomachs and put your hands behind your back. If you move at all, I’ll blow your fucking brains out. Your blood will be painted on the walls. I’m only here for food and gas money.”
With a stern look on his face, he focused his attention on the petrified wife, ordering her to bind her husband’s hands and wrists together. Once the husband was constrained, the trespasser tied up the thirty-two-year-old wife and rummaged through their closet, unlacing the shoes for more rope to use on the couple. Afterward, he approached the husband and wife, tapping their feet with the barrel of his gun demanding to know where they kept their money. The woman told him her purse was on the kitchen table. While he was leaving the bedroom he angrily hissed at them, “Don’t fucking move or I’ll kill everyone in this house.”
As he was making his way to the kitchen, one of the two sleeping children woke up to use the bathroom and stumbled across the masked intruder. Meanwhile, his parents were terrified as they listened to the intruder speak to their son, hoping he would cause no harm to him. The trespasser quickly grabbed the child and placed him in the bathroom, intently saying to him, “Stay there and don’t make a single noise or else.”
Before returning to the couple, the perpetrator started cutting strips of towels and removed a stack of dishes from the kitchen cabinet. He placed some of the dinnerware in front of the bathroom door to alert him if the child attempted to leave. Thereafter, he blindfolded the husband and piled dishes on his back, now using an icepick to threaten the mother, “If your son doesn’t stay in the bathroom, I’ll kill every fucking person in this house. I’m not here to hurt anyone. All I want is money and food.”
The husband spoke up to try and calm his wife down, telling her to abide by his demands and everything would be okay. Subsequently, the intruder blindfolded the wife, lifted her to her feet and pushed her down the hallway until she fell on her stomach in the living room. He left her there momentarily to grab Vaseline to slather his penis before straddling her backside, placing his penis in her hands ordering, “Play with it. You better make it feel good,” all the while gently massaging her upper back. He proceeded to rape her and after finishing he walked to a corner of the house and sobbed heavily. Shortly thereafter, he returned to rape her for a second time. Afterward, he had quietly left the residence unbeknownst. When they felt they were officially alone, they managed to undo their bindings and call the authorities.
- The victim described her attacker’s penis as long, but the tip (head) was quite small.
She also believed he was circumcised. She detailed him as having a thin body frame and his thighs were wide and muscular, common with runners and bicyclists. She also stated the suspect knew her nickname which couldn’t have been learned inside of the home. Two days later, residents living on Shire Lane — near the victim’s residence — spotted a prowler peeping into windows. A composite sketch was created of the suspect.
- The intruder had stolen 17 rolls of pennies, though the family couldn’t recall the man having a carrying bag with him.
- The police officers and their cadaver dogs discovered shoe prints in the homeowner’s yard and near the vicinity of other neighbors. The dogs were able to track the criminal’s scent to the University of Davis Airport. This is a significant piece of information because the previous day when he committed his attack in Modesto, California, a taxi-cab driver notified police regarding a strange man he picked up from the airport that asked him to drive and drop him off at a vacant field.
- On June 23, 1978, a neighbor of the victim saw a man peeking through her bushes.
- A nearby neighbor found a peculiar jacket next to her house. The police identified it as the Golden Bear brand model 300 or 303. It was manufactured in California and only three stores carried this particular brand. One store was Bluebeard, located in Sacramento, while the other two — Hard on Leather and Leather Forever — were in San Francisco. After two years of this modeled jacket being on the market, it was discontinued due to a lack of sales. The police tried obtaining sale records from Bluebeard’s, but they were unable to extract any information because of a fire that took place in the store that destroyed paperwork. As for the other two stores, they too were unable to help. However, their stores generally catered toward homosexuals.
- With the latest attack, the media went into a frenzy. While airing the crime on the news a woman phoned in a tip to the police regarding a strange experience she had three weeks prior to the assault. She lived in Woodland, California — a twenty-minute commute to Davis, California — and saw a man dressed in all black with a ski mask walking down the sidewalk at 11:30 p.m. He appeared to be 5’8 – 5’10 and approximately 160 pounds. What caught her attention was the western-style belt buckle he was wearing. She continued watching him out of suspicion, to which he soon disappeared behind the residence of a single woman. Though it was odd, she didn’t call the authorities and went to bed. Shortly thereafter, she heard a multitude of cop cars and flashing lights at the same single woman’s home. Unsure of what was happening, she felt a heightened sense of paranoia and thought the strange man she had witnessed earlier was hiding at her home. This prompted her to turn off all the lights in the home and sit in the middle of her living room floor.
- The same woman who had seen the stranger walking down the street also heard a car nearby. When she glanced out the window there appeared to be an orange van with flames on the side panels. Three weeks before the woman had seen the van, her son and daughter had also witnessed this vehicle on three separate occasions. The mother’s son had an intriguing encounter with the driver. Apparently, the stranger noticed the son had a dent in his Volkswagen and offered to help fix it for him. He was approximately 6’0 tall and was slender with dark hair slicked back, along with sideburns. His attire was a plain white t-shirt, blue jeans, and cowboy boots. However, the color of the van wasn’t orange as the mother later described. Rather, it was cream-yellow. It’s important to mention this side note; the shooter of Brian and Katie Maggiore was described as 6’0 and wearing cowboy boots by Karl Nollsch, the seventeen-year-old who encountered the individual as he was fleeing.
- On the third and fourth of July, a neighbor of victim thirty-five saw a strange man riding a bicycle late at night down Amador Street. Another person saw someone wearing a poncho and using a cane to walk around, but according to the witness, it was an obvious fake disguise. The investigators were notified, but nothing was gleaned from the information.
It was Thursday, July 6, 1978, in Davis, California when an estranged wife at home with her son was awakened by a flashlight beam on her face along with shrewd death threats by a masked intruder taking command of the situation, “Don’t move or I’ll blow your fucking head off. I’ll kill your kids if you try anything.”
With her husband not living at the residence, the intruder was able to quickly gain entire control over the woman, forcing her onto her stomach and restraining her hands, wrists, and ankles together with shoelaces. Though the wife knew his intent due to media coverage, the trespasser attempted to comfort her, “I’m not here to hurt you. All I want is money and food for my van.” He then proceeded to blindfolded her and said, “Don’t move or try anything” as he left the bedroom to ransack throughout the household.
Upon returning, the man grabbed the woman’s arms and guided her to the living room, now telling her through gritted teeth, “Do as I say or I’ll blow your fucking head off.” In typical fashion, he forced the victim to masturbate him, though it wasn’t proving satisfactory due to how tight were wrists were fastened. With the lack of gratification, he rolled her over and raped her. Despite trying relentlessly, he was unable to climax, causing him to unleash a series of frustrating sobs, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you, Bonnie!” After the weeping rant, he regained his composure and left the residence without the victim’s knowledge.
- The wife was estranged from her husband but they weren’t technically divorced. As for her son, he was left unharmed and undisturbed.
- The victim told investigators she could smell cigarette smoke on his breath and she mentioned his penis was three to four inches long and was circumcised.
- When the assailant was saying, “I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you, Bonnie,” it’s undetermined whether he said “Bonnie” or “Mommy.”
- The mother was thirty-two years old and attending Sacramento State College.
- This was the last attack the East Area Rapist would commit in Davis, California.
- The intruder had gained entrance through the kitchen window. The police found herring-bone style shoe impressions in the mud and on the kitchen tiles.
- Eight days after the attack — on July 14, 1978 — the victim had flown to Europe for vacation. Her neighbor — a husband — was looking after the house while she was away. While he was cleaning the fridge, he discovered a kitchen knife inside a box of Velveeta cheese. He notified the police, but not much else has been updated on this incident.
After the final attack in Davis, California, the East Area Rapist went on his usual three-month hiatus during the summer. There is much speculation as to why this occurred, but all possibilities are baseless conjecture. Nobody can know for certain what initiates his disappearance.
Some people theorize his schedule is aligned with being a high school or college student, and due to the sun staying out much later and children playing outside at a much later time, attacking during the summer months would be considerably more dangerous than what is comfortable for him.
Other people have suggested he went out of state for a vacation, whether by himself or with family members, while others consider the possibility of a seasonal job that conflicted with his time schedule of attacking people, but his job still allowing enough leeway to stalk his victim(s) in the upcoming months.
Another possibility is that the criminal had some form of problem with the heat. This is based on his absence during the summer, but his increasing attacks during the fall and winter seasons. Moreover, he would sometimes turn the thermostat completely off in the homes he targeted. However, the general consensus is that he did that for hearing purposes.
Though it can’t be determined conclusively, another reason for avoiding attacking victims during the summer would be tattooing. The East Area Rapist generally wore a windbreaker or Pendelton-style (long sleeve) t-shirts. Perhaps this is an indicator of having numerous tattoos on his arms. One of the victim’s six-year-old daughter stumbled upon the intruder and she noticed him having a tattoo of a bull on his left forearm. Nevertheless, nobody can know for certain until the perpetrator is apprehended and talks to the police. Until then, the theories will only grow in number.
After a four-month intermission, the East Area Rapist made his return on Saturday, October 7, 1978, in Concord, California. A young married couple — a twenty-six-year-old wife and her husband — was awakened by a repeated pat on their feet by the intruder’s flashlight. When they jolted awake and glanced at the disturbance, the masked trespasser blinded them with his beam and said, “I’m not here to hurt you. I’m only here for food and money.”
The trespasser threw shoelaces at the wife, commanding her to bind her husband. She was shaking with fear as he continued to yell through clenched teeth to tie him tighter. Afterward, he constrained the wife with more shoelaces he had brought along with him and re-fastened the husband for safety precaution. Soon after, he rummaged through their closet, unlacing the husband’s shoes for more material to bind his victims. Meanwhile, the couple was watching his every move. When the intruder took notice he angrily lashed out, “Don’t fucking look at me! Lay face down or I’ll kill both of you.”
Following his rampage, he threw their dresser drawers to the floor to find the wife’s jewelry box, demanding to know where all of their money was. The husband told the intruder his wallet was located in the bathroom, whilst the wife mentioned her purse was in the kitchen. The assailant left the room for an extended period of time before returning with a stack of dishes, placing them on the husband’s back as he forced his wife to her feet, placing a knife against her throat saying, “You better listen to me or I’ll slit your fucking throat” while pushing her down the hallway.
With the wife now in the living room and on her stomach and immobile, the intruder turned on the television and placed a blanket over it to dim the lights and went to check on the husband. He began telling him in a hyperventilating voice, “If I hear these dishes rattle, I’ll come back in here and fucking kill you. My main man wants gold and silver.”
He promptly returned to the helpless wife and lubricated himself with Vaseline and cut her nightgown off saying, “I’ve been watching you for a very long time. You better give me the best fuck in my life or I’ll cut your baby’s ear off.” He went on to rape her numerous times, and once he finished he went into the living room corner and wept heavily before ransacking the house one more time before fleeing the residence unknowingly to the family.
- The assailant had stolen over $4,000 worth of items, including jewelry, dishware and other appliances, camera equipment, and other miscellaneous items. This is rather strange for the East Area Rapist. It’s not uncommon he would steal his victims’ possessions, he generally stole insignificant items. For example, he would rather have coins instead of cash. Though it can only be speculative, stealing expensive jewelry and dishware could indicate a young adult possibly living on his own for the first time, whether it’s a house or apartment, and needing appliances and other regular necessities. Perhaps that was one of the reasons why he didn’t attack earlier that summer?
- According to the family, the intruder was wearing a balaclava, corduroy pants, and brushed suede gloves. He had also smelt like cinnamon mixed with a moldy essence.
- The police uncovered scratch marks on some of the victim’s window screens. They weren’t prying marks, but scratches that could mean anything to the assailant. One particular theory is the marks were an indicator of how many people were living in the household, especially because he stalked multiple victims at once and sometimes got confused (assumedly).
- During the month of September 1978, the neighbors of victim thirty-seven heard a loud exhaust from a vehicle nearby. When the homeowner looked outside, he saw two men quickly running away from a dark-colored Falcon. Days later, the victim had a man and woman claiming to be from the Mormon Church speak to them at their home. While this may not be overly suspicious, it’s of general tradition that two males walk together when going door-to-door.
- On October 1, 1978, the neighbor of victim thirty-seven witnessed a man perched up in a tree located in a church parking lot. This person was spying on the victim’s home (the church was located directly behind their residence).
- In the first week of October, another neighbor reported hearing scratching noises coming from her backyard. She informed law enforcement and when they arrived, they found cut marks on the plastic window screens.
- On October 4, 1978, a neighbor heard a prowler walking across his yard to lurk around the victim’s residence. The neighbor quickly grabbed his shotgun and opened the window to confront this man. He demanded to know why he was on their property. The stranger said, “I’m just looking for a friend.” The homeowner cursed at him and ordered him off the property. According to his testimony, he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt, roughly 5’8 – 5’10 in height, and 175 pounds. He also mentioned it was possible he was Mexican, but it was too dark outside to get a fully detailed assessment.
- One day after the shotgun occurrence, a young female neighbor was getting a drink from the water fountain at the nearby park. While she was doing, a man assaulted her by pinning her arms down and attempted to rape her, but an older man and woman who was walking by saw the incident and quickly ran to her aid. The man ran to his 1966 Chevrolet pickup truck and sped off.
- On October 6, 1978, another neighbor in the vicinity saw a man wearing a plain white t-shirt and blue jeans, driving an aqua colored van, which was parked relatively close to the victim’s home. This vehicle was irregular in the neighborhood. Later that evening, more neighbors heard prowlers in their yard. One person managed to see two men wearing the same apparel (white t-shirt and blue jeans) running through a backyard that led to the church (the same church a man was seen sitting in spying on victim #37’s house).
- The following day on October 7, 1978, two separate and unusual vehicles were spotted near the victim’s home. First was a Fleetside Chevrolet pickup truck at 10:30 p.m. The second was a Volkswagon at 11:30 p.m. The official attack on the family happened during this night.
- The victim’s husband — a pharmacist — went under hypnosis. During the session, he recalled seeing a white or aqua-green colored van the night prior to the assault. The vehicle was parked near his home, and there were no windows on the side paneling, only on the back doors of the van. Also, worth noting is the husband’s occupation; another connection to the medical field as many other unfortunate victims.
- The very next day from the attack, a neighbor found a security badge on her lawn.
The badge carried the seal, “A State of California,” and the words, “Special Officer” engraved on the edges. The investigators located the manufacturer — Hookfast Specialities — in Providence, Rhode Island. The business told the police twelve other companies affiliated with them produced this particular style of badge. The model was a B-617 and had to be ordered directly from the company producing it. The main company itself provided investigators with a list of 3,000 salesmen in charge of selling the badge.
The date was Friday, October 13, 1978, in Concord, California, when a young couple — boyfriend and girlfriend — were awakened by a masked trespasser shining a flashlight beam on their faces. The couple quickly woke up startled, with the girlfriend screaming in utter terror. The intruder interrupted her through gritted teeth, “Shut the fuck up! If you scream again, I’ll kill both of you. Look, I don’t want to harm anyone. I only want food and money for me and my girlfriend.”
He forced the boyfriend to lay down on his stomach and ordering his girlfriend to fasten his hands, wrists, and ankles together. Once the boyfriend was secured, the intruder began restraining the petrified girlfriend. As he was doing so, the woman’s six-year-old daughter woke up from the commotion and walked into her mother’s bedroom. When the concerned daughter walked in, she encountered the masked intruder harming her mother. She shrieked in horror and the man commanded the girlfriend, “Get her to be quiet or I will kill you!” The mother abided and tried comforting her daughter. Subsequently, the intruder picked up the daughter and put her in the bathroom, telling her to remain quiet. However, when the daughter was inside she tried turning on the lights, the assailant quickly shut them off and placed a dresser in front of the door to keep her contained.
With everybody under his control, the intruder returned to the master bedroom and rummaged through the closets and dressers. The boyfriend was watching the perpetrator the entire time and when he noticed him, he punched him in the head with the butt of his handgun and threw an Afghan over his head to dismantle his vision. The intruder left the room to gather dinnerware to place on the boyfriend’s back before escorting the girlfriend into the living room. He threw down onto the floor and knelt down beside her asking, “Do you want to live?” She replied with a whimpering yes, as he continued to say, “Then you better give me the best fuck I’ve ever had or I’ll kill you.”
He proceeded to blindfold her with strips of towels and lowered himself on her back, placing his flaccid penis in her hands saying, “Play with it,” but she was unable to do so because of how tight he had her wrists clasped together with shoelaces. Displeased with her lack of ability, he rolled her over and repeatedly raped her in a much more aggressive tone than previous attacks. Once he climaxed, he grabbed a plastic bag and went into the garage. The victim heard him say to someone, “Here, put this in the car.” However, she never heard someone else reply, let alone echoing footsteps that would indicate another person was there with him. Shortly thereafter, the assailant had left and the only sound emanating throughout the home was the daughter crying in the bathroom.
- The intruder had unplugged the television and the cable for it was missing.
- The family had recently moved to this residence two months prior. The girlfriend was an accountant in San Francisco and her boyfriend was a sheet metal worker.
- The assailant’s manner of speech is important because he used the word “we” often, referring to him and his supposed girlfriend.
- On October 12, 1978, a neighbor living on San Simeon Drive heard strange noises at 10:00 p.m. that sounded as if someone was knocking over their garbage can. The police were called and while canvassing the neighborhood they discovered the screen door to their home had been cut near the lock, a window pried open, and another window completely removed.
- Another neighbor living on Lyon Circle found their gate had been broken and wooden planks from the fence had been removed.
- The following day in the early morning hours of October 13, 1978, a neighbor heard a car beeping repeatedly due to the key in the ignition and the driver’s side door left open. A short while later, another neighbor found their gate left open and their bicycle was stolen.
On Saturday, October 28, 1978, in San Romon, California, a married couple was sound asleep when an intruder quietly snuck in and woke up the housewife — who slept completely nude — with a flashlight beam. When she glanced over to see who it was, she let out a gasp, but the perpetrator quickly cut her off by speaking through clenched teeth, “Don’t scream or say anything or I will kill you. Wake up your husband.”
As she was nudging him with her shoulders, the intruder threw shoelaces at her demanding her to bind his hands and wrists together behind his back. The husband woke up dazed and startled, and the masked intruder immediately flashed the light on his face and said, “Be quiet. Don’t move, motherfucker or I’ll kill you.”
He proceeded to order the couple to lay down on their stomachs and bind the wife. While restraining her he told the couple, “I’m only here for the money. I know you have some. Tell me where it is or I’ll kill the two of you.” The defenseless wife told him she had $50.00 in her purse, but that amount wasn’t adequate enough. She said she had a decent sum of silver dollars, yet that only infuriated him further.
With the helpless couple bound and secure, the intruder ransacked what little he could. After a short period of time, he returned to the master bedroom and grabbed the wife by the arms, dragging her down the hallway and into the kitchen. She was trying to squirm back and forth to undo her bindings, but the man intervened and said, “Don’t move or I’ll kill you. I’ve seen you at the lake and you’ve looked really good. You got me hard every time I saw you.” She asked him what lake, but he strangely responded with, “Whisper. Whisper, motherfucker.”
Afterward, he blindfolded her as he browsed the interior of the home and piled dishes on the husband’s back. During this interval of time, the wife managed to remove the blindfold by shaking her head around. While she was looking to see where he was, she suddenly saw him nude from the waist down, hastily walking in her direction.
He grabbed a handful of her hair and said, “Suck it! You better not hurt me or I’ll kill you.” She told the intruder her mouth was dry and needed a glass of water. In response, he filled up a glass of water from the kitchen sink and threw it on her face and forced her to please him orally. Thereafter, he raped her. Whilst in the process, he commented on the unusual ring on her finger. In the attempt to please the intruder, she told him that he could have it. After the rape and removal of the ring, she was crying from fear and immense pain, but managed to tell the rapist a limo would be arriving at her home at 5:30 a.m. to drive her to the airport. Noticing the time, the trespasser adjusted himself and quickly vanished from the home.
- Despite conveying his attraction to the wife, she told investigators he was never fully erect.
- The home had little furnishing because it had recently been sold and they were in the process of relocating. The police dusted the home looking for fingerprints but that was to no avail. They discovered he gained entrance through a garage door that was unlocked. He also turned the thermostat down to 63 degrees. There was also a can of Coors beer that was drunk and left on the kitchen counter. They also found the assailant’s shoe imprint outside of the home and it was concluded to be a size 9 1/2.
- According to the couple, the rapist was a young white male with olive skin. He was slightly pudgy in the stomach and stood at approximately 5’8 – 5’10. He had dark-colored hair and a double chin with a possible mole on it, but she couldn’t conclusively say one way or the other. She also said the intruder shuffled his feet when he walked.
- I haven’t seen anyone mention this possible connection, but the wife mentioned the intruder might have had a mole on his chin. This is reminiscent of his seventh attack. During the rape, she unexpectedly gave the man a compliment, which took him back. During their brief conversation, he said to her, “People laugh at me because something happened to my face.” Could this be the mole on his chin (or possible acne), assuming both crimes were committed by the East Area Rapist?
- The day and night of the attack, there was conspicuous behavior in the victim’s neighborhood. During the afternoon, a light-colored Toyota Celica was parked in the victim’s driveway. The car didn’t belong to any neighbors. Subsequently, after the criminal attacked, the victim heard someone trying to start a car but the motor had apparently died. She described the vehicle as having a V-8 engine. She eventually underwent a hypnosis session with the hopes of learning more about the attack, along with the vehicle she heard having trouble starting. The police later discovered who the man was having problems with his vehicle. He was questioned and eliminated as a suspect.
- Between 5:00 – 5:30 on the morning of the attack, two separate neighbors reported strange sightings of an individual. The first person saw a male wearing all dark clothing jumping a fence. Thirty minutes later, the (possible) same person could be seen hiding behind trees when someone noticed him.
This concludes part seven of my series on the East Area Rapist. There are so many twists and turns that it’s difficult determining the facts and theories. One thing is abundantly clear, however — he was transitioning into the Original Night Stalker. Not only was he attacking in new locations, but his actions were becoming increasingly aggressive. Whether this transition period was intentional or a product of frustrated events occurring in his personal life that made him destined to kill, it’s unknown.