I received another compliment yesterday from a journalist who said that no one has ever seen anybody in all the true crime genre put into a case what I have done with EAR/ONS both in real life investigation and in presentation online. I’m not a true crime buff, believe it or not, so I really don’t know if anybody has ever truly cracked a case with a book or with a website. I like to crack mysteries, and hunting the ultimate predators falls into that category as well.
It would be nice if journalists would put their praise into print, but they all seem to be waiting on the fringe to see where I go with this. The hesitation to start featuring me in write-ups is that my work seems to cause the greatest anticipation. Readers want quick gratification, but my journey could be a long haul. TV news also knows I do not like being photographed.
In a bit of a Devil’s advocate mode, let us actually list some of the imponderables here about my POI in an attempt to uncover another clue and perhaps shorten the journey. I still wait upon handwriting analysis, but there’s a few other things that we must philosophically assail in the interim. Hardcore evidence will always erase the improbabilities, but until we have them we must try and fathom a few things to see if a clue can be uncovered.
Most people who have followed this know or suspect who my prime POI is. He is one within a nest of others I had been rooting around, all associated with auto wrecking and Volkswagens. None were rosy characters.
1, One of the chief and hitherto imponderables is how could a senior in high school carry off his attacks? The spring off 1977 was the time of his greatest reign of terror.
2, a photo exists– the one used for his senior picture– which shows him with the hairstyle that he would later be identified with, both at Ripon Court (Feb 1977) and a suspect at the Maggiore Double Murder (Feb 1978). A number of police composites show EAR with the long jaw and jutting lower lip, key features of the prime POI herein referred to as PPOI. All well and good. But a composite from November 1976 shows EAR with shoulder length hair, though the other distinctive features remain. I speculated “wig” because it seems unnatural. But there are a couple of reports that shoulder length hair could be seen under the lip of his mask earlier in the summer. Was he wearing a wig then? How did a 17-18 year old get wigs and store them? He wasn’t living alone in the Summer of 1976, to my knowledge anyway.
3, EAR did lots of prowling. The amount of time he spent targeting a particular house and victim pales by comparison to the amount of time he must have spent surveilling the general community, sometimes weeks in advance. How did a high school senior pull off 5 hits in May 1977 during the time of exams?
4, For any suspect, we must explain the Summer of 77. EAR was gone. The terror was upon Sacramento. Vigilantes were cruising about with their CB radios in hand. Did he lay low? Or . . . ? It would be nice to imagine he went to boot camp and got tossed out of basic training a couple of months later, but his hair would have been butched in boot camp, and the La Riviera composite of October 1977 shows EAR with is basic haircut, only mussed and no visible part.
5, EAR moved freely at will over the state. Even if associated with auto wrecking, how can a young man 19-20 years old (1978-79) be at liberty to do so? He began kibitzing between Modesto and Davis first. Then he hit Contra Costa’s Highway 680 corridor and never ventured far from the highway. He went furthest from the highway in Concord and Fremont, and the strike in Fremont was right by CATS and a canal and a walking path.
He commits a huge error in Danville, at strike 49. Some form of name is seen on his blue windbreaker. He bolts. A few months later and he is in So. Cal, striking in Goleta.
6, How can a 20 year old man so nimbly relocate? And yet again be in some similar position to devote his extra time to prowling and attacking? Even if not a young man, how could anybody do this?
Auto-wrecking and towing are the preferred theories. I subscribe to them and popularized auto wrecking. But that does not answer the question. In what position within these professions was he that he could relocate like this?
Construction worker is offered as an alternative. This fits. A Sacramento company even had the contract to build a strip mall in Santa Barbara at the time, which Sheriff’s discovered in the last few years. But it led nowhere.
The instinct that creates skepticism remains. However, it is not outweighed by the instinct that EAR/ONS must have been someone who didn’t fit the profile law enforcement believed in. This means he could have been much younger than they thought, didn’t live in Carmichael as supposed, and was far more intelligent than previously considered.
Security is another profession. But although my PPOI went into security in 1989, there is no paper trail saying he was in it as a young man. A security badge was found at the first strike in Concord, on the neighbor’s lawn, but it led nowhere except to suspicion.
As I’ve said many times, time has proven that EAR was always the unsuspected. This inspires the most crucial question: what type of person could fit everything required to be EAR/ONS and remain truly unsuspected?
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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. “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.