Welcome to part nine of my “The East Area Rapist” series. In this entry, I will be concluding the notorious serial rapists’ attacks that emerged in Northern California in the summer of 1976. Though the story of this elusive criminal will be over, the case itself is far from achieving closure.
The day was Monday, June 11, 1979, in Danville, California. In the late hours of the night, a married couple was awakened by an intruder shining a beam of light on their faces and aiming a handgun in their direction. He immediately began instructing the two, throwing shoelaces at the groggy wife and ordering her to bind her husband’s wrists behind his back.
His aggression was evident as he threatened, “If either of you moves, I’ll blow your fucking heads off. I’m not here to hurt anyone. As soon as you give us money, I’ll go back to the city, or I can kill every fucking person inside and leave.” Due to unexpected circumstances, the woman was having difficulty fastening her husband’s wrists because she was distraught with her hands shaking uncontrollably. The intruder impatiently hissed at her through clenched teeth, “Tie him tighter. Tighter!”
Once the husband was restrained the assailant bound the woman’s hands and wrists together, followed by re-tying the husband’s bindings for precautionary measures. In the process, he demanded to know where they keep their money. The wife, lips quivering from sheer terror, said her purse was located in the kitchen while the husband’s wallet was in his pants pocket.
The intruder wouldn’t allow the husband to get a word in edgewise as he looked for his wallet. Despite his search, he was unable to find his money and vehemently said, “It’s not here. Don’t fucking lie to me! Where is your wallet?” The husband redirected the assailant to another location in the house where his other pair of pants may have the billfold. As the trespasser was beginning to leave the bedroom to rummage throughout the home he told the couple, “Don’t move or I’ll fucking kill you.”
Upon the intruder’s return to the helpless couple, his paranoia began seeping through his veins as he questioned the wife, “You tried untying him while I was away, didn’t you? You moved! Don’t lie to me!” With his anger increased he proceeded to gag the husband and reassure himself by binding the husband’s restraints more tightly. Thereafter, he yanked the wife off the bed and blindfolded her, pushing her down the hallway as she stumbled against the walls for support. In this timeframe, he started angrily asking, “Where is your purse? I can’t find it!” When she tried responding, he would immediately interrupt her saying, “Shut up!”
Once they were in the living room he forced her to lay down on her stomach and abandoned her momentarily to resume his duties with the husband, reassuring his bindings were still tightly fastened. Subsequently, he draped bedsheets over his body and stacked perfume bottles on his back, still issuing intimidating death threats by putting the muzzle of his handgun on the husband’s head and saying, “If I here these bottles rattle I will come back in here and blow your fucking head off. You can’t do anything about it, either.”
With the family completely subdued the intruder went back to ransacking the residence. Shortly after, he returned to the wife and casually said, “I need something to eat. I’m hungry,” while he went to the refrigerator and grabbed a beer. Eventually, he started to act on his prime reason for being at the home, telling the wife, “I want to fuck you.” He proceeded to straddle her backside and placed his penis in her hands and demanding, “Stroke it!” After this relatively brief moment he ordered once more, “Now, I want you to suck me!”
Once the horrendous act was done, he subsequently raped her. Afterward, he ransacked the home for the third time. When he was finished he returned to the wife and told her, “I’ll be back. I just have to take these to the van. Don’t move or I’ll blow your fucking head off.” Moments later the home became eerily quiet; it was evident the intruder had left and wasn’t intending to come back. The couple managed to loosen their bindings and called the authorities who immediately rushed to the crime scene.
- The couple described their attacker as a white male between 20-30 years of age. He was stocky and approximately 5’5-5’9 in height. His hair was soft and light-brown and his hands were small and felt soft.
- The husband worked as a division manager for a data document company, while the wife was a stay-at-home mother.
- The assailant constantly used the word “we” when relating to his plans. Furthermore, he mentioned his vehicle being a van numerous times, which is common in most of the East Area Rapists’ attacks.
- The investigators found shoe imprints in the victim’s yard, along with other shoe impressions in the vicinity of surrounding neighbors. After examination, the results concluded the shoe model as Adidas Tobacco and size 9 1/2. Mud was found on the carpet of the couple’s three-year-old sons’ bedroom. He had gained entry through the bedroom window so quietly the child never woke up during the intrusion.
- The attack occurred between 4:00-4:45 a.m. A nearby neighbor leaving home for work at approximately 5:00 a.m. witnessed a dark blue-green van that appeared to be three to five years old. Though he was unable to determine the make and model, his best guess was the vehicle was a Chevrolet.
- In the midst of the attack when the intruder was rummaging throughout the home, the couple heard a vehicle that sounded like a pickup truck. This car drove down the road and could be heard stopping at their residence. The vehicle went silent for about 45 seconds before it could be heard driving off and seemingly stopping further down the block. From there, the couple heard the door to a vehicle open and close before driving away once more. The husband assumed the driver was the intruder due to being relatively silent, but that was not the case.
- Between 11:45-12:00 at night, four hours prior to the initial attack, a neighbor a few blocks over witnessed a man wearing a dark-colored t-shirt. The homeowner was suspicious of the individual. While he continued to watch his movements, he saw him walk across his front lawn and scale a fence. He went outside to check where the stranger had gone and as he did, he saw the individual steal a ten-speed bicycle. At this point in time, the assailant had noticed he was being watched and quickly fled the area. The dutiful neighbor quickly ran back home and notified the police, who quickly arrived at the location but was unable to find the thief.
- At 2:30 in the morning a next-door neighbor of the victim heard a commotion from the outside of their home. He looked out of his window but couldn’t see anything. A few hours following the attack he found his side gate had been left open.
- During the afternoon of the assault, a woman living on a nearby street to the victim went to check on a vacant home in the vicinity. She discovered a car wash ticket in the driveway which was not there the day before. According to the description, it was 2 x 3/4 by 2 x 3/4 with “Car Wash 6/9/49” printed on it. Though this may not hold any pertinent information, it’s important to remember the individual arrested the night of June 2, 1979, after the attack on a seventeen-year-old babysitter. This person was pantless and had photos of women in his vehicle. One photo, in particular, belonged to a woman just leaving the car wash.
- This attack would later be connected to the Original Night Stalker by DNA evidence.
On Monday, June 25, 1979, the East Area Rapist returned to Walnut Creek, California and attacked another young teenager who was thirteen years old. Her father — who was divorced — and her sixteen-year-old sister were sound asleep in the other bedrooms as the assailant woke the thirteen-year-old by forcing his weight on her body and placing his hand across her mouth to keep silent. He then said, “Shhh. Don’t say a word. I won’t kill you. All I want is money.”
He proceeded to contradict himself as he generally did, placing his knife against her throat saying, “Put your hands behind your back. If you don’t remain quiet, I’ll fucking stab you.” Thereafter, he bound her hands and ankles together and ransacked her bedroom without alerting any family members inside the home.
Minutes pass by and the intruder began to lather his penis with lotion he had brought with him; squatting down on her back and placing his penis into her fastened hands repeating the same schpiel, “I want you to rub my cock. If you don’t make it good, I’ll kill you,” all the while using his knife to gently brush up and down her back.
Moments later he forced her to roll over as he loosened the bindings from her ankles and removed her underwear. Speaking through gritted teeth he asked, “Have you ever been fucked before?” The thirteen-year-old refused to speak, ignoring his question entirely. The assailant began to have his way with her saying, “I want you to spread your legs apart. Just do as I want and I won’t hurt you. Give me a good drop or I’ll kill you.”
Once the rape was over the intruder told the violated teenager, “I better not hear a single word from you. I will kill you while I’m looking, looking, looking for money, money, money.” Shortly after the rapist had left the residence the same way he entered. The young girl quickly ran into the hallway screaming, “Help! I’ve just been raped!” Her father and older sister quickly awakened and came to her aid, immediately calling the authorities who arrived at the scene within minutes.
- The thirteen-year-old victim thought she heard strange sounds emanating from the bathroom but shrugged it off and went back to sleep. She was attacked a few minutes later. From her recollection, her attacker had only been in the home for twenty minutes.
- Two attacks prior, the East Area Rapist attacked a babysitter in the same town. It’s interesting in comparison due to the age of these victims (13 and 17).
- This incident is the first time the words, “Give me a good drop” are reported in an attack by the East Area Rapist.
- One patrol officer on the call was Judy Robb of Contra Costa Search and Rescue. She brought bloodhounds — the same dogs from June 2, 1979 — who tracked the perpetrator’s scent to the exact location from weeks prior; a nearby home where a pool was being constructed.
- Earlier in the afternoon, the two sisters received crank phone calls. The investigators would later tap the phone hoping to track the caller’s whereabouts if he called them again but he never did.
- Interestingly, the last three victims had connections to the Alpha Beta Market. Whether or not this is relevant is unclear. However, the thirteen-year-old was shopping at the market earlier that evening at 8:00 p.m. She told the authorities nothing seemed out of the ordinary.
- Due to the abrupt attack and overall panic of the situation, the victim wasn’t able to provide much of a description of her attacker. She did mention him being roughly 6’0 tall and between 25-30 years old. He had broad shoulders and was physically built. She detected a Mexican accent but it seemed artificial because of the way he pronounced his “R’s.” As for clothing, he was wearing Adidas running (possibly swimming) shorts and a mask that appeared to be made from a cheesecloth.
- Though the modus operandi is consistent with the East Area Rapist, there are notable differences. For one, he stayed in his victim’s bedroom only. The notorious rapist typically ransacked the entire home, but not on this occasion. Moreover, he never touched the teenager’s purse, let alone ask her where the cash was, which was also different.
- Years later when the thirteen-year-old was 45, she detailed the night of her attack in an online article. She relays rare information that many people are unaware of.
It was Thursday, July 5, 1979, when things took an unexpected turn in Danville, California. During the early morning hours, a husband woke up after hearing a peculiar noise inside his home. As he got up from his bed he saw a reflection of a silhouette in a mirror standing in the doorway putting a mask over his head and carrying a set of shoelaces, getting ready for a strike on the family.
Unknowingly to the intruder, the husband was now wide awake and very alert, preparing to defend his home from a stranger intending to cause harm to his family. The homeowner caught the trespasser off guard and approached him. The tables were turned, and though it’s unclear what the assailant was feeling at the moment, he was momentarily stunned and took two steps backward and stood quietly. The husband began screaming loudly, “Who are you? What the fuck are you doing in my house, huh? What the fuck do you think you’re going to do now? Tell me who you are!”
The perpetrator remained quiet, refusing to say a single word. Meanwhile, the husband continued shouting at the masked intruder, subsequently awakening his wife in the process. He told her to head downstairs and call for help. Once she ran out the front door and pleaded from the top of her lungs, “Help! Help!”, a neighbor heard her plea and immediately called the authorities. Likewise, knowing his wife was safe from the harm he left the intruder as he was and went to comfort his wife and await law enforcement. It was during this interval of time that the trespasser simply escaped from the couple’s back patio glass sliding doors and disappeared.
- Since the East Area Rapist was receiving a lot of coverage in various media outlets, the family had planned and rehearsed numerous times what they would do if they suddenly had an encounter with the mysterious rapist.
- The shoestrings the intruder had in his hands were dropped on the floor when the homeowner confronted him. It was later discovered the shoelaces were from the husband’s shoes, indicating he had been inside the residence for an unknown amount of time to unlace the tennis shoes and put on his mask.
- Despite the intruder being caught off guard unsuspectedly, the husband said he seemed very controlled and passive. If he had to assume, the intruder’s demeanor appeared to be as if he was thinking, “This isn’t supposed to happen.” Regardless, the assailant remained calm and collected and didn’t attempt to put up a fight with the homeowner.
- This was the first home the East Area Rapist attacked that was a condo and the bedroom was located on the third floor.
- At 2:00 in the morning — a few hours before the attack — a neighbor heard someone or something on her porch but decided against calling the police. Another next-door neighbor of the victim heard a sliding glass door open. When the police arrived after the botched strike, they discovered their glass doors had been unlocked.
- When the police canvassed the neighborhood, they spotted a young man cleaning the dew off the back window of his vehicle parked down the street from the crime scene. He didn’t seem deterred by the cop cars and sirens in the vicinity. The patrol officers noticed the individual matched the general description of the suspect. Due to the similarities, an officer escorted the husband of the attack to see if he recognized him. Unfortunately, the husband wasn’t able to provide a clear-cut answer. Nevertheless, the investigators took a saliva sample from the person of interest and released him from questioning. The saliva sample was later analyzed and proved he was a secretor which ultimately eliminated him as a suspect since the East Area Rapist is a non-secretor. In the following years, Richard Shelby and other members of law enforcement regret not diving deeper into the suspect since advancements in the medical field proved how unreliable this particular piece of evidence is.
- Further canvassing of the neighborhood unearthed neighbors witnessing strange prowlers, crank calls, and a peeping Tom peering into a woman’s bathroom. In many circumstances, these reports weren’t mentioned to the police until after the crime occurred.
- The husband later underwent hypnosis and described the trespasser as a white male in his twenties. He stated his body stature was that of a football player in terms of his broad shoulders, but he appeared to weigh 160 pounds with an estimated height of 5’10-6’0. As for the mask, it didn’t necessarily disguise little details that were further elaborated on. He seemed to have no facial hair. His eyes were light-colored; possibly hazel. He had a thin nose and his eyelashes were full, but not feminine. The intruder had been wearing a blue nylon or vinyl windbreaker. On the upper left breast of the jacket, a word was written across it in block lettering that started with a yellow “C.” It’s unsure how many letters were followed, but at least four were that were white-colored. The husband thought the word was “CORN,” but that’s not a conclusive answer. Other people speculate the word could be “COORS,” referring to the alcohol company. The police have considered the word “COUCH” due to a company with that name selling that brand of the jacket but nothing proved definitive.
- This failed attack garnished a lot of media attention, with a newspaper clipping detailing the incident. Furthermore, a composite sketch of the intruder was created from the husband’s testimony. This sketch would later be printed on the front cover of Larry Crompton’s book, Sudden Terror.
In a similar manner to the Visalia Ransacker, after the botched attack against the Danville couple, the East Area Rapist disappeared from Northern California for months before resurfacing to Southern California. There were many people who genuinely believed the attack on the Danville couple never happened. However, detectives and other members of law enforcement actively working the case were adamant about one thing – if the enigma that is the East Area Rapist wasn’t apprehended soon, he would start killing. According to the testimony of surviving victims, it was evident the rapist was searching for an excuse to kill someone in his own twisted, disheveled mind. Whatever that reasoning was, it soon erupted into a reality that sent those living in Southern California into a mass panic.
With the mishandled attack in Danville, California on July 5, 1979, the East Area Rapist dispersed south to Goleta, California — a four-hour commute from Northern California. It was a Monday night on October 1, 1979, when at approximately 2:30 in the morning an unmarried couple was peacefully sleeping when they were suddenly awakened by a masked intruder saying, “Wake up! Wake up!” as he forcefully kicked the sides of their bed. They immediately jolted awake and were met with sheer confusion because they were unable to see the intruder due to a flashlight beam blinding them.
He instantly ordered the boyfriend to lay on his stomach saying, “Don’t move, motherfucker or I will kill you both.” He proceeded to throw twine to the petrified girlfriend demanding her to restrain her significant other. Afterward, the unknown assailant bound the helpless girlfriend and ransacked the bedroom momentarily before asking, “Where’s the money?” The woman diligently responded by saying her purse was in the kitchen.
He left the couple unattended as he rummaged in various rooms inside the home. Upon his return, his anger increased as he claimed, “I can’t find your purse!” Unknowingly to the girlfriend, this was merely a ruse as he angrily grabbed her arms and dragged her into the living room. He led her to behind the family sofa and forced her to lay on her stomach and not move. He then grabbed a pair of tennis shorts and draped them over her head for a blindfold. Though her vision was lacking, she could hear the intruder lathering his penis down with lubrication. All of a sudden, he said to her through gritted teeth, “I’m going to kill you now; cut your throat.”
After the posthaste death threat, he abandoned her as he paced back and forth through the kitchen and in the hallway repeatedly saying, “I’ll kill ’em. I’ll kill ’em. I’ll kill ’em,” as if he was attempting to psyche himself. Once the intruder seemed to be a considerable distance away, the girlfriend gained the courage to get on her feet with her fastened ankles and hop to the front door to make an escape.
During this process, her bindings began loosening and she was able to make it outside before falling down against the side of her home because her vision was still obscured. The sound of her falling was so loud it alerted the intruder as he quickly ran outside and used one hand to grab her arm and another hand to cover her mouth to keep her from screaming. He managed to get ahold of the situation while he pulled the girlfriend back inside and hissed at her, “I told you to be quiet!” He fastened her ankles once more and went to check on the boyfriend in the master bedroom.
However, unknowingly to the intruder, the sound of the woman crashing against the side of her home alerted her neighbor — an FBI agent off the clock who was still awake reading a book — who automatically sprang into action and dialed the police department.
Meanwhile, the boyfriend heard his girlfriend scream for help and crash against the side of the home, believing the trespasser had killed her. Fearing for his own safety he rolled himself off the bed and hopped to the bedroom’s glass sliding doors and escaped by hiding in nearby bushes against a wooden fence. He attempted to break the fence down by hurling himself against it multiple times but was unable to succeed, so he remained still hoping the invader wouldn’t find him. As the intruder left the girlfriend alone and nervously looked for the boyfriend with his flashlight, the woman bravely managed to unfasten her ankles once more and ran outside pleading for help.
With everything in disarray, the trespasser quickly fled the home and sprinted to a nearby safe haven where he stored a stolen bicycle. At this point, the off-duty FBI agent had grabbed his police-issued weapon and ran to the driveway where the girlfriend was screaming for help with her hands still bound behind her back. In the process, the intruder had removed his mask and rapidly pedaled by the agent. Knowing that was the perpetrator, he reassured the girlfriend help was on the way as he darted back to his home to pursue the criminal in his police vehicle. In the midst of all the craziness, his vehicle engine had trouble starting up and he was losing precious time. By the time his car managed to start, the bicyclist had already vanished out of sight.
Eventually, the FBI agent made a split-second decision in which way he believed the perpetrator had gone and luckily spotted the suspect ditching the bicycle and a kitchen knife. As the chase continued to ensue, the man quickly jumped a fence. Instead of pursuing him further, not knowing if the criminal would be waiting to ambush him if he scaled the fence, he returned to the girlfriend knowing other police officers would continue the hunt. Unfortunately, the assailant eluded capture. Once things simmered down, members of law enforcement helped the distraught girlfriend and searched for her boyfriend, cutting them loose from their bindings and providing much needed medical assistance to them both.
- The bicycle was a silver Nishiki ten-speed and had been stolen from a United States parole officer who lived a few blocks away from where the attack occurred. The bike was stored in the homeowner’s locked garage which was only accessible through the electronic opener. As for the kitchen knife abandoned alongside the bike, it came from the victim’s home.
- The assailant left shoe impressions across numerous yards when trying to elude capture. According to the sole imprints, he was wearing an 8.5-9.0 size Adidas running shoes. As for his attire, the FBI agent managed to get a fairly decent look. He was wearing a dark gray and blue Pendelton long sleeved shirt. This is slightly reminiscent of the clothing the unidentified suspect from the Florin Mall incident was wearing although this apparel was also often worn by the East Area Rapist.
- The fence the perpetrator made his official escape was an interesting location. Not only was there a creek-bed close by — a typical hallmark affiliated with the East Area Rapist — there was also a home where the Glasby family lived, including four brothers. Two of these brothers, Brian and Brett Glasby, would become intriguing suspects in the years to follow. The two of them were apart of a local gang. At one point in time, one of the brother’s lived in Sacramento, California when the East Area Rapist was committed his string of burglaries and rapes. They remained suspects for years until 1984, when the two brothers were shot and killed in Mexico during a surfing trip. Prior to Brett’s untimely death, he was featured in another newspaper article for the attempted rape and assault of a young woman. Both Brian and Brett were officially eliminated as suspects after the 1986 rape and murder of eighteen-year-old, Janelle Cruz.
Additionally, the Glasby family owned a German Shepard. This particular factoid would become a point of interest in terms of evidence, but it’s ultimately a red-herring. The reason for this highly discussed topic is related to the Original Night Stalker’s first murder(s), where outside of the residence were paw prints coming from a three-toed German Shepard. Prior to the murders, a witness saw someone walking a German Shepard. Despite the police thoroughly investigating this potential lead, it led to a dead-end. Unfortunately, this piece of information gets misrepresented and constantly mentioned as a promising lead to people new to the case.
Although the Glasby family has always been viewed as a bad bunch, there is no evidence — including circumstantial — pinpointing them to the crimes committed by the East Area Rapist and Original Night Stalker. Nevertheless, many people still consider them as having involvement primarily due to their unpleasant reputation.
With the latest failure in Goleta, California on October 1, 1979, the East Area Rapist once again vanished from the limelight for nearly three months. Unknowingly to the police investigators in Southern California at the time, the infamous rapist returned on December 30, 1979, in Goleta and was on a bloodthirsty rampage.
However, due to the modus operandi of the East Area Rapists’ crimes in Northern California, this new string of murders was attributed to a new serial killer on the loose that was given the moniker the Original Night Stalker. Despite many similarities between the crimes, many members of law enforcement were debating if the crimes were ultimately connected to one offender, even going as far as making headlines in a local newspaper.
It wouldn’t be until 2001 when an Orange County criminologist managed to match DNA evidence recovered from the Original Night Stalker’s horrific murder spree between December 30, 1979 – May 4, 1986, in Southern California, to a series of rapes that began in Nothern California on June 18, 1976 and ended on his last successful attack on June 25, 1979 (DNA evidence was extracted on June 11, 1979, with the attack on victim #46).
From that point onward, arguably the most prolific serial rapist in the state of California known as the East Area Rapist was also penned as the Original Night Stalker (not to be confused with the serial killer, Richard Rameriz), to which many recognize his name by the abbreviation, “EAR/ONS.”
This entry concludes the history of the East Area Rapist, but the story is far from finished. I will be detailing the crimes committed by the Original Night Stalker. Once again, I have to thank all of you who have tuned in and continued to not only support me but get invested in the crimes as well. It’s a shame this enigmatic serial rapist and killer isn’t more well-known to the general public. Hopefully, these posts provide a beacon of light to newcomers wanting to learn more about this criminal.