EAR/ONS Speaks

The composite above, dated July 12, 1979, tells us what EAR looked like at a Danville condo, his last known attack in northern California. It was here, near Sycamore Valley Road, that some pages of notepaper and a map was found. EAR had fled the botched attack on a couple and must have hurried back to his car, ripped open the door and got in. Theoretically, this must be how the pages got sucked out of the car and left on the sidewalk. It’s a confused moment in EAR history. But we do know that the bloodhounds traced his scent to this location. There the police found the notepaper.

If the writing on these pages is from EAR, then we can still hear him speak today. Only the victims remember the voice– hissing, snarling, angry, through clenched teeth. He went far to disguise his voice. You all know my theory: that he had a distinctive voice and had to disguise it.  My POI, and also some composites, shows signs of a heavy under or crossbite.

But though we cannot hear his voice, let’s assume these are his words. Let’s have a look at his voice in writing.


One of the pages.  It shows a few distinctive characteristics.

One, as is obvious in the word “important” and “enbaressed,” he used “n” instead of the correct “m.” This suggests a dialectal but popular pronunciation for the words, one that I’ve noticed from friends that come from the foothills of California.  He might have spoken these words in that manner, but the writer also shows the habit of writing “m” as “n” sometimes  even though in the same word elsewhere he writes it out correctly. An example is “ashamed.”  He writes it once correctly and then once as “ashaned.” He also writes “blane” though he obviously is using “blame” as a substitute for damn — “dad-blame” is a rustic substitute of goddamn, quite a frontier one actually. His letter goes on to talk about General Custer, so it seems he had an interest in the old west.

“Sentence” is frequently written instead of the correct plural “sentences.” This would not be something reflected in his speech, but he didn’t seem to catch the plural often. “Mad” and “mader” are easily noticed. Periods are absent, as are capitals at times. “Disgusted” is spelled “discusted”– another indication of how he pronounced words. Yet he spells “horrid” correctly, not a word commonly used by American youth at the time.

Robert Neville adjusted an old police composite to give us a living image. EAR is often shown morose with a long face and lower jaw that both witness and artist had trouble envisioning.

Just what was this written for? Though it is diary-like it is also looks like an assignment. While EAR used every word in the book when assaulting his victims, the writing is noticeable for no cussing, aside from “blame.” This doesn’t fit EAR unless, of course, this was written when he was quite young. If so, when was this written?

As he  expresses on his first page, he felt his 6th grade year ruined his life. It was the worst year of his life, so this is clearly written afterward. But when? The first photo easily accessed shows my POI in sophomore year, morose, no smile, his jutting lower lip and jaw obviously hiding an underbite or crossbite that he seems sensitive to, and it makes for an unusual depression by his mouth on the side.


The writing on the notepaper is not that of a 19 year old (or anybody older than my POI). This suggests that the notepaper was perhaps “recycled”– some old school notebook, the blank pages from which EAR now used to draw his maps of prospective communities on his hit list. Some old school notepad in which his writings never saw the light of day but remained therein until the mistake in Danville.


As usual, EAR grouped his Contra Costa County strikes. It is after No. 48 that EAR, in fleeing, left behind (apparently) the notepaper and map where he got in his car and darted off.

The possibility is very real that this was, in fact, some old notebook, either from school or some impromptu diary. This idea is supported by the discoveries on the back of the map that was found showing a community typical of those EAR struck– under construction, second house marked,  creek or canal nearby.  Writing samples here show a more mature hand, making the lengthy writing on the note pages seem much older and those of a junior high or early high school student.

When and if handwriting examples from my POI are obtained these problems must be confronted. The problem is that there is very little of the more mature handwriting on the back. There are just words, not sentences, scattered over the back as if just jottings or notes. In the center of the paper there is that strange scrawl which seems to be “punshment”  without a clear “p” and no “i.”  But there is also “Come from”; “Milling”; “June”; “Melannie”; and, most interestingly of all, what appears to be a company name. It is a leasing company.


Doodles and notes.  The company name is of far more interest. Yet another clue.

In conclusion, it seems EAR probably spoke some words with a dialect, usually  those that had a soft “m” in certain locations. He was raised in a household where he couldn’t swear (common enough) and he used in substitute in one instance a western or frontier slang for “damn.”

But in 1979 EAR was much too old for this type of innocent expression. “Blame” became “fucking,” “motherfuckers,” “god damn,” “shit,” but most of all he used silence. He was into intimidation first, then terror. But it would have been nice had just one witness said he spoke a number of words containing “m” with “n” instead. Many noted that he stuttered, but it seemed put on. One thing was certain, his lines were scripted and he disguised his voice. Composites show him young, often parting his hair on the right side, long face, and he had natural athletic ability. Circumstantial evidence indicates he was in auto wrecking/towing.

In the next post, we’ll interpret the meaning of that leasing company. It may be the most fortuitous clue yet.

*         *          *

For 25 years 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. “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.



5 thoughts on “EAR/ONS Speaks

  1. Q,
    Your on the right track here, but its more…

    In the circles and some places inside the punichment it is letters. He writes inside the lines with small letters. Enlarge and follow the circle, its Ears bad handwriting.

    Take the map from OC county site ( not that from websleuths, its destroyed), enlarge it and you will see that he writes with microscript inside the lines. Almost every house has a number and a name. Also the road on the top is acually writings.

    You dont even have to enlarge it to see it., but it will help. Print the map out, dip it in water for a few seconds, let it dry and the ink will became green. Hold a led flashlight on the backside of the map, and consentrate on the lines and you will see the letters within the lines. Ear has overwritten every line with numbers and letters.


  2. The concentric circles in the middle of that page appear to be similar to those used in maps to show elevation. Perhaps from a geography assignment, or from a map.


  3. Prob would be a pain, but you seem to have a few suspects you have narrowed it down to. Have you or the police ever tried to acquire Yearbooks from schools in the area from those decades? Could be very beneficial since I would assume everyone would have had to take their picture each year and each school around the neighborhoods where he first struck would still have them, perhaps.

    Just an idea!


  4. I think the use of ‘n’ in place of ‘m,’ as seen in “enbarrased,” “blane,” and “inportant,” might be a simple quirk of handwriting and not a clue to his pronunciation.

    To form the cursive letter ‘u,’ one simply forms the letter ‘i’ twice in a row (and leaves them undotted); similarly, to form a cursive ‘m,’ one simply forms an ‘n’ and adds another hump. When writing quickly or carelessly, some people may add or omit a hump or a loop in certain letters. This is a quirk I’ve noticed in my own writing – when writing words with lots of ‘m’s or ‘n’s, I tend to mess up and add extra humps to these letters.

    In this sample, EAR/ONS seems to routinely replace ‘u’ with ‘i,’ so that “just” becomes “jist” and “because” becomes “becaise.” I think this probably indicates that he may tend to leave parts of letters out when he doesn’t pay close attention to his writing. The fact that he spelled “ashamed” once correctly and once as “ashaned,” to me, indicates that he knows the correct spellings of these words, suggesting that his characteristic ‘m’-to-‘n’ shift is an artifact of handwriting.

    Notice also: the missing ends of the ‘u’s in line 1, making “hours and hours” look almost like “hovrs and hovrs”; the extra spike/loop in “felt” in line 12, making it look like “falt” or “feelt”; the missing first half of the ‘n’ in “pain,” also in line 12; and the fact that ‘d’s throughout are missing their bottom loops, making them look more like ‘l’s, as seen in “discusted” (line 16) and “cried” (line 14).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s