We have to start by going back, going back to the tail end of the age of excess. The Decadent ’80s attitudes spilled over into the 1990s, making it yet another Naughty Nineties of excess and post Yuppie decadence. Halloween had become the big holiday now. It passed in excess of spending even Christmas. Newswires carried the stories, surprising people that more Americans actually spent the most money at Halloween. It was an era of partying, self indulgence and, well, excess.
And Halloween is the perfect party night! It is America’s last national festival in which the community is the stage. For 4th of July we crowd the parks and watch the parades and blow off fireworks out front of back our homes. Thanksgiving is a quiet time of feasting in our homes. Easter a somber time of repentance. There are parades and bar frivolity for St. Paddy’s– you get my point. Halloween the neighborhood, the basic American neighborhood is the setting and everybody is included. It is a raucous national festival you cannot avoid. You may bury yourself in your house if you don’t like it– but you can still hear it outside. The groups of kids shuffle past, screaming, squawking, boasting, oohing and awing over some scare fest they just experienced. It is the way. It is Halloween. Europe my have many white nights and festival days in which the old cobblestone streets are jammed with merriment, but American has only Halloween remaining as a national festival.
Capitalizing upon and warping the exuberant era was one villain in particular. He was a home invasion rapist who carefully stalked his intended victims beforehand and then carefully working out his mode of attack before he appeared at their house or in it late one night or early morning and started his long, dramatic performance.
This is NorCal Rapist– yet another home invasion sadist and sexual terrorist. He is someone I have dedicated myself now to outing. . . .or contributing thereto. It is difficult, as I have written before. Before he can be identified his crimes have to be put forward in order so that all can appreciate his evil and assist in any way in identifying him.
Much so far is lost– even the dates of a few of his crimes. For Woodland, even the year is lost. Vallejo has purged records (so far as is known) and a couple of jurisdictions refuse even the basics of information that always appear in newspaper stories.
But progress is still being made in the establishing the basics– dates, times, years. Recently, I’ve been able to establish the location of the bank where NorCal drained his first Davis (California) victim’s account while wearing that gaudy Mardi Gras mask. It is on East Cowell, making it likely that NorCal struck on January 25, 1997, in the Wild Horse area of Davis.
Determining this helps in general with geoprofiling. But more details are necessary–specifically, the words he said to his victims, how he acted about the house, what things he might have stolen.
There should be no question this guy enjoyed his performances. It was with his Halloween 1996 attack in Martinez, California, that he first used a dramatic mask– possibly the Fearsome Faces skull face mask. He popped up at the victim’s house wearing this and gave himself his treat and payed on her his trick. Fearsome Faces are the manufacturers of Ghostface as well, and in that same year that mask would achieve lasting cultural status when used in Scream, which came out two months after his Halloween attack. Here this villain did likewise, taking his victims by surprise in his ghastly black cloak and wearing that distorted mask.
Such was NorCal, the taunting, theatrical sadist and rapist.
He took his act on the road, traveling about northern California and doing the same thing to other unsuspecting women at home.
Soon thereafter he used the perverse smiling mask in Davis and made sure we all knew it be wearing it as he stepped up to the ATM to be photographed. On July 18, 1997, he struck in Chico, another college town, and there the victim saw him to his face. I have no recollection of a mask having been worn, so he may have taken it off while he rummaged about the victims single bedroom Paradise Apartments.
But the drama didn’t stop. He theatrically told her not to look at him, the implication was that he’d have to kill her for seeing his face. But she jabbed him with the scissors and scarred his left forearm. He eventually left without raping her like the others.
Something else hadn’t changed. NorCal struck only on weekends– from Friday to Sunday morning. Halloween 1996 was the only exception. It was a Thursday night.
But how dramatic was he at the other strikes? That remains to be seen. Much more data must be gathered to even identify Vallejo’s and Martinez’s attack points, and those in Davis. It would be a miracle to locate Woodland’s (but then miracles happen).
However, it is clear from the pattern so far that NorCal stuck to communities close to a main thoroughfare. East Cowell in Davis fits with the pattern in Rohnert Park, Sacramento, Chico. No doubt also in Vallejo, Woodland, and Martinez and in the July 16, 2000 attack in Davis.
Pattern is what we need. It is essential to reenact each of his footsteps so we can track him. He identified his victims somehow, stalked them, and got to their houses. And uncovering the locations will finally place us in a position to pick up his scent.
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Since 1990 Gian J. Quasar has investigated a broad range of mysterious subjects, from strange disappearances to serial murders, earning in that time the unique distinction of being likened to “the real life Kolchak.” However, he is much more at home with being called The Quester or Q Man. “He’s bloody eccentric, an historian with no qualifications who sticks his nose into affairs and gets results.” He is the author of several books, one of which inspired a Resolution in Congress.