EAR/ONS and the Fence– Recurring Themes

Not the fences he jumped . . .but did EAR have a fence? He certainly needed one. He stole jewelry. He wasn’t primarily a thief, but on occasions he took some expensive jewelry.  On other occasions he took some valuable but larger items. Again, he wasn’t into thievery. It was just one thing he did if something caught his eye. But he might have dabbled in hocking the stuff through a fence. It was extra money. According to some of the victims EAR acted as if he had a drug addiction. It was largely an act. But the bloodhounds also reacted in ways that suggested EAR had a different biochemistry– from either a disease or drug addiction. Drugs cost money.

EAR had to help fund this somehow. What better way than through his “hobby” of assaulting and wrecking middleclass homes?

There was a recurring theme in EAR’s early attacks. It is one locals could appreciate more. Very early, with Attack No. 4, he struck around Del Campo Park. In 1976 Del Campo Park was the center of the young drug trade.  There were a few reasons why. Unless you were a local you didn’t know Del Campo Park existed. The aerial from Google shows you that the park is in the center of housing communities. There is no part of it that shows off a main road. Despite its size, if you didn’t know there was a park there you didn’t even suspect.

Del Campo

No easy way to see a park. A couple of schools, but otherwise the park is locked within average neighborhoods, with entrances at the end of cul de sacs. As drug use started to trickle into the mainstream in the 1970s, the park became a secluded dealing area at night.

In addition to this, and probably most importantly, the park borders Del Campo High. The main park entrance is on Oleander, by the high school. All the students at El Camino High, San Juan High, and Rio Americano High, knew the park was there. Thus the younger crowd knew the park was there. The young dopers, the part time dealers, knew the park was the perfect, secluded place to make the pass offs.

EAR’s first Carmichael strike was in Del Dayo, near the William B. Pond recreation area, though not abreast of it. He could have known the area since youth and biked it. But the area was also known for drug dealing. A “known doper” from Rio Americano High School worked the area. He also knew Del Campo Park, as they all did. Nothing  equaled the activity at night at Del Campo Park.

EAR’s use of these areas as “comfort zones” might reflect childhood knowledge of the areas, but they also could reflect his drug use and knowledge of the drug trade.

EAR1977composite
A sketch more typical of others done in relation to suspicious persons thought to be EAR– long face, vacant expression.

It is in one of these locations that EAR would acquire contact with a fence. These young guys who dealt in drugs would unquestionably know a fence, probably one working along seedy Del Paso Boulevard. On a few occasions, one of these younger guys might have accompanied EAR on cat burglar-like rounds of a neighborhood. He could go to the fence and they could split the take to fund their drug hobby and dealing.

 

This is why the release without bona fides of official sketches of “suspicious persons” seen in certain neighborhoods is so frustrating. More than one resembles one of the dopers who worked the area. Unfortunately, EAR is the only case where a number of sketches or composites have been released without the qualifying date on the bottom and the notation of where this person was seen and in relation to what event.  Unquestionably, there has been error already in attributing  some of these sketches to certain events.

image_large-unknown suspect
Interesting sketch purporting to be of a suspicious person in connection with an EAR crime scene. Its origins have never been qualified. It could better represent one of the drug dealers who worked the Del Dayo and Del Campo areas.

If EAR has died, no one has found his stash of mementoes, and some of what he took should have raised suspicions in those who would have found them– pictures of victims, driver’s licenses, cheap and expensive jewelry. If he hadn’t buried or destroyed the stuff, it should have survived somewhere. Family may have disposed of it, afraid of what it had implied. Or, quite possibly, some of the valuable stuff was fenced long ago.

Throughout his crime career EAR used a number of handguns. Those cost money . . .even through a fence.  He wore an incredible amount of shoes. Those cost money, even if from a thrift store. Ski masks were numerous and almost disposable. He drove lots of places. Gas cost money. He had to have auto mechanic knowledge. He couldn’t afford to have one of his cars not start while trying to escape. He had to maintain these cars. That costs money.

Given the above, EAR would have been attracted to like kind in the underworld of petty drug dealing.

I think it is hope in vain to believe that 40 years after-the-fact someone is going to turn in EAR based on their encounter with a neighbor they thought so strange decades ago. EAR was famous back in the late 1970s, and that route was already tried. There were probably 10,000 persons turned in. None led anywhere back then. Forty years later it is less likely. But someone in the drug trade, the underbelly of Carmichael and Del Dayo nights, might just know or, at least, has a strong suspicion one of their clients was EAR. If their record is relatively clean now, they might be tempted to come forward and say.

image_large-Maggiore suspet
The “other” suspicious man seen on La Gloria. He might have had a mustache. The composite changed more than once.  He looks nothing like the other composites thought to represent EAR.

 

The problem might be the Maggiore Double Murder. Two men were certainly seen on La Gloria that night. One jumped the fence of a private property after Katie and Brian had been ruthlessly gunned down. He doesn’t look anything like EAR. If EAR was one of the two men, clearly the other wasn’t him. Yet they were together for a reason, and one of them has never come forward as a witness.  That person was in proximity to a brutal murder, one that indicated the killer and the victim knew each other. He is not likely to come forward because of that.

The other seen out there most resembles the other composites thought to represent the East Area Rapist. He parted his hair on the right, and a couple of EAR sketches show a suspicious person who parted his hair that way.

Parting the hair on the right is not so common, but it was actually quite common at Rio Americano High, for whatever reason, probably because most came from the Del Dayo area and this was the fad in the neighborhoods. Looking in an old yearbook of this era, it is surprising to see a foldout page in which 5 or 6 guys part their hair on the right. It seems more than a third parted their hair this way.  So is this guy with his hair parted on the right one of the Del Dayo dopers or is he EAR?

A pair of ligatures is what connects EAR to the murder. They had been dropped carelessly on the lawn of a home on La Gloria. They were two blue shoelaces knotted together to make a longer lace. EAR did this sort of thing. There are those who prefer the “Kascinski” sketch above to be EAR, though it doesn’t resemble the others. The most preferred sketch is the young guy with his hair parted on the right. The “Kascinski” guy wore cowboy boots. EAR never did.

maggiorecomposite
The preferred sketch humanized. Could this be one of the Del Dayo dopers or is this truly EAR?

 

It is certain that EAR knew Carmichael well. He had lived there, probably grown up there. He knew the locations from being a kid and possibly the drug locations from being a teenager. He knew the night and it is the night crowd that might still know him.

*         *          *

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.

EAR/ONS & The FBI . . . Unprecedented

In my decades long pursuit of investigating mysteries, I have had to shift only in minor ways when tackling new genres. The same investigative method is used of course, the same Rules of Circumstantial Evidence, etc.– just a different object. But when I shifted to Cold Cases I had to adapt. Things just don’t work in the same way logic does in academic pursuit. Well, logic works, but YOU have to learn how to work the system. . . . it is not a malleable system either.  . . well, a little.  And I think a few just worked it rather righteously.

To my knowledge no jurisdiction has held a special, coordinated news conference over an old, cold case. And, yes, this includes something as popular as ZODIAC. But with last week’s major press conference on The East Area Rapist there was no precedence. When one understands the case, EAR may stack up as worse than other serial killers, but as popularity goes in the mainstream few still know and even less appreciate what an evil marauder he really was.

Only one place can truly appreciate this: Sacramento. More than 30 victims here of his raping, terrorism, sadism, and perhaps even murder. Yes, again, it is true the rapes cannot be prosecuted. The pathway to prosecuting the Maggiore Double Murders may be chancy, but Sacramento took the lead in getting this case more attention.  Again, only Sacramento could. I think this is largely due to Ann Marie Shubert, the DA. I do not know her, but I know she is quite passionate about cold cases, and many DAs are not. katie_brian_maggiore

For many people, the inclusion of the FBI is hard to figure. The short answer: Brian Maggiore was in the Air Force, and this brings them into play. The arguments over how clear are the clues and evidence that EAR was, of the two men present on La Gloria, the one who shot them are not necessary to go into here. Personally, I believe he was one of them, but legal eagles have their own strict rules to follow. . . . but we aren’t there yet. From an investigative approach, the clues are there that EAR was one of the two on the street. That makes him fair game in an investigation.

Knowing what these rules are, and knowing the pitfalls of trying to work the system, causes one to swell with esteem for what Sacramento and the FBI are now doing.

To appreciate the following I preface that the 3 jurisdictions with a clear path to prosecuting are: Ventura County, Santa Barbara Co., and Orange County. Here EAR turned murderer. DNA proves it was him.

The two composites on the right were the first produced of the two men on La Gloria, suspects in the Maggiore double murder. The first composite is the humanized version of the one that fit EAR’s description.

I turned two persons of interest in to Ventura Co. Homicide last year. A good detective told me what he was going to do. First, he wanted a bit of a dissertation on why I suspected them. I gave it, I gave it, I continued. He cut me off. “I get it!” Then he said he’d run them both through CODIS. I said for one, which I thought could have been one of the two men on La Gloria the night of the double murder, there would be no DNA. It would take investigating up here. He flat out said he wasn’t going to tread in another jurisdiction. And in truth there was little he could do.

Here is the great advantage of the FBI.

True, they are not street investigators. But they don’t need to be. They facilitate. With the FBI adamantly declaring jurisdiction, The Feds are around to cross borders. What Ventura could not do, The FBI can. A person is turned into one jurisdiction, the FBI can contact Sacramento’s field office and the men in blue ties start working here. I didn’t have this last year. I had jurisdictions that remained within themselves. Ventura told me that the task force meets only rarely now (then).

With the FBI involved, the playing field is different and broader.  The field offices can collate and cooperate. This was not the way it was before. If EAR is identified, the counties down south will no doubt be given the free passage to take it a step further, but this will not happen as easily without the FBI using its own jurisdiction and field offices to pursue ALL reports of persons of interest across the country.

Maggiore shoelace_in site
Shoelaces pre-knotted, found on the lawn of a home near the crime seen on La Gloria. EAR frequently did this to lengthen his ligatures.

 

So one can wonder how much Sac. Co. can really prosecute, or just really if the  FBI could get a charge to stick for the Maggiore Double Murders, but as it stands there is reason to believe EAR was one of the two men out there that night so long ago February 2, 1978, and that is legitimate reason to investigate and facilitate the follow through of every lead that comes in.

Remember, more than one original investigator in Sac thought EAR may have had an accomplice, at least on occasion. Two men were certainly seen in relation to the Maggiore Double Murder. EAR had to fence some of the stuff he stole. Who would he have used? On some occasions, just maybe, there may have been someone standing by who perhaps didn’t realize just how much EAR was doing in the house. On some occasions he spent a short time (uncustomarily) in the victim’s house. On these nights, was someone waiting outside for the goods?

. . . But that is for another post.

The FBI’s staunch and public entrance into this case is an enormous sign of progress, and I think all those involved worked the system rightly and with the best of very unprecedented intentions.

*         *          *

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.

A Stitch in Time and by EAR/ONS

For some strange reason a rumor circulated that the ski masks shown in the evidence photo released by the FBI last week RE: the EAR/ONS case were not real. For those who follow my update page on The Quester Files, you know that I called Gina Swankie at the FBI and got confirmation that they are, of course, real. They were not staged for presentation purposes.

Let’s discuss the masks now.

The snowflake mask was a readily available ski mask of the time, a snowflake pattern being a common one.

The other is quite unique. It appears to be a military balaclava, olive drab, but it is one that has been personally modified by an eye visor piece. The stitching around the eye is by hand, quite noticeable comparted to the professional serge at the bottom hem of the mask and the center seam. The piece that has been sewed on is rounded at one corner and square at the bottom corner, at least from that which is visible in the picture.

Why would EAR modify a mask like this, and rather crudely done as well, for his night stalking? There is no answer. The obvious answer is that it was modified for more above board and acceptable uses. What would these be?

I suggested the padding implied goggles were used.

Others agreed. The suggestions made by others were “Speed Skiing.” Ray noted that this may explain EAR’s summer absences– as skiers head north to Mount Hood. This would indicate EAR was an avid skier or worked as ski instruction.  This is a piquing theory, but I would think that EAR would have professional equipment. However, an avid skier would also need to modify where needed. Ben noted that fogging of the goggles could occur far too easily if there was no padding around the eye. Otherwise the breath would simply come back up from the mask and into the eye area. Another suggestion was that it was done to narrow the visor width, to protect EAR’s identity better.

cropped-evidence3

The slit in the front of the olive drab mask is curious too. It may indicate the desire not to have a tight fitting mask. What would this indicate? Well, bikers also use masks and wear goggles. Was this modified for long distance cruising on a chopper?

The material used appeared to be military surplus. It is hard to say what piece was used around the eye. A seam is not noticeable on the outer edge. It almost looks like a sock. The material must be wool, since moth holes can be seen chewed in it at the nose bridge area.

So we have a military olive drab balaclava, modified with gray wool, and a couple of possible reasons why it was adapted for regular rather than diabolical use.

There is also another, suggested by more than one– welding. A mobile welder, such as my theory about car parts and auto wrecking, would need a quick and handy mask to cut up parts while visiting wrecking yards, etc. A heavy leather mask would be unnecessary and cumbersome for the minor work. Just slip on this easy mask and put on the goggles. The welder would by no means want a tight fitting mask, thus explaining the cut in front.

Recall, that in the attack on Victim 9 EAR wore what was described as a welder’s mask.

The clues mount. . . .

*         *          *

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.

EAR/ONS and the News

I’m one of those who believes in a powerful press. I believe any ill can be cured if the problem is properly covered by a very informed media. News = timely, true and relevant. That is the only holy trinity that news outlets must consider first.

Sadly, as we all know, that’s not the way it is anymore. TV ratings are dismal. Unlike the other channels, news networks can’t blame it on so many channels in existence today. There’s about 5 major news channels now, only a couple more since the days of the 3 major networks– NBC, CBS, ABC– of the 1970s. There’s about 320 million people in this country. Let’s see, remove 50 million for babies and kids who don’t watch the news, well, let’s round off to 250 million. TWO HUNDRED and FIFTY million potential viewers.

Primetime ratings (Nielsen) are ghastly. Fox is number 1, with around 1.2 million. Amazingly, MSNBC has been coming in second this year, given its boost by all the election coverage of The Donald telling someone else to go pip off. They actually were doing numbers in the 800K– finally better than Al Jazeera America.

Out of 250M potential customers, news ratings are el stinko.

I can bear support for that statement with my own analytics compared, compared to news flurries and to when news had the ill informed drive to put my eccentric self on the camera.

When my new website The Quester Files was discovered in May of 2015 there was quite the excitement over one section alone– basically the only section I had completed. Yes, it was over EAR/ONS. I started putting it up in December, I recall, of 2014. Early birds trickled in to the 10 or so cases I had up. The clique that follows the case found it early. But then in May someone got electrified by the whole, overwhelming crime spree of EAR. They put it on reddit. My analytics went berserk.

At the high point, 48K + came in one day. The web was on fire. True crime message boards broke out in fights, some taking my side at what I discovered, others condemning me as an alias for, strangely, an Alta Loma private investigator named Jack Gray. The lurkers on those boards comprised an interesting spectrum of legal eagles, media, and victim’s family. Dozens came on to my FB page.

There was no question that EAR/ONS was now the hottest thing in cold case. Eventually, this died off to where I get steady traffic. I can gauge the popularity of each page. EAR/ONS is still by far the most popular section, since it has remained the largest section of the site, as I rebuild it. Quester Files had been discovered before its out of town opening.

EARlineup3

Compare this to the flurry of results that came in when I did my Fox40 appearance– zip. Fox and NBC have always been good to me, so this is not being critical. Though Fox is impatient with me and NBC can’t remember me.

Now, June 15, we had a major news release with a press conference full of aficionados. Even the Daily Fail in Britain picked up on the story. My analytics didn’t go berserk, however. The first day, it started building, peaking at 6,793 hits. The second day it peaked at 9, 136. The day after 7,007.

TV’s audience and the web’s audience are quite different, so it would seem. More will come in off reddit than can be piqued by the entire network of news TV and print news. People simply are not watching TV news anymore. And despite what is claimed about how what they report trickles down to the web and youtube, it simply isn’t so, or we must take the word trickle literally.

The Chewbacca Mom got 136M hits on FB when she posted her video laughing in a Chewbacca face mask. She got rushed on GMA and other shows. Yes, that is carnival and True Crime is a serious subject. But still the audience isn’t there.

Nevertheless, the crime spree of the East Area Rapist AKA The Night Predator  remains the hottest thing in cold case. I kept fanning the fire, but I didn’t use publicity. I merely used The Quester Files. Perhaps I shouldn’t say “merely.” In essence I used the crimes of the EAR. The dossier is what has so shocked people. They remained shocked at how much he did, but also at how much time he devoted to his stalking.  maggiorecomposite2-50%

It was a burden for me to go through it all. I spent 5 years investigating it, traveling to each neighborhood and then those about to see how he had stalked it. Trying to put that section of my site up was a nightmare in itself, one of design and organization of each picture. Laborious amounts of time are paying off, however. People realize that someone worse and more sensational than Jack the Ripper, ZODIAC, the Horrible Headhunter of Kingsbury Run, existed and might still be attainable. He has not yet faded into the safety of time and history.

*         *          *

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.

 

 

 

EAR/ONS –The Devil’s in the Stitch

To paraphrase Holmes . . .

The devil is always in the details, but in the detail here let’s look at the stitch. The evidence photographer was nice enough to center the shot, not on those tantalizing specs or the rather common snowflake pattern mask, but on the homemade (adjusted) olive drab military type hood in the center. He gave us a mega massive megabyte pic to salivate over.

Cropped evidence2

A professional seam runs horizontal and around the bottom, and up vertical, but that gray flannel material surrounding the visor view seems quite handmade. The close-up shows the difference in the professional, that is, machine stitching of the seams on the olive drab and then the black or dark blue hand stitching. It has to be by hand. I can’t imagine any machine is that cackawahtay.

cropped-evidence3

Actually homemade is a bit of a misnomer here. But the hood was adjusted by the addition of the padding around the yes. Do you know what this was originally used for? The Feds were being generous in throwing this out to us.

 

*         *          *

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.

 

EAR/ONS Press Conference

Well, the news release today by the Sacramento field office of the FBI should help with some publicity, and bring attention to the “real life Michael Myers.” While this is all good, the press release had nothing of any real investigative meat to it, and sadly it revealed some mistakes. For example, the audio of the phone call “Gonna Kill you” is misdated to 1977 rather than January 2, 1978, the significant date which allowed two member of the proboards to expose the origin of the background sounds.

Three sketches were released, none with qualifications in print as to their origins. The “Kascinski” sketch was relayed by reporter Ali Wolf to be considered the best or, that is, most reliable. Sadly, as almost all EAR/ONS people know, it is not. Of the two men out on La Gloria and La Alegria that night, there were more than a couple of sketches done and more than one moment of confusion as to which one wore the mustache and what type of haircut he had. The one that jumped the fence is supposedly the one with the short hair, but he also wore cowboy boots, not something EAR or any prowler would wear.

Robert Neville’s enhancement of the sketch of one of the two men seen on La Gloria that night, far right. My lengthening of the jaw, left. This sketch was similar to others of EAR. Instead of the original of these being presented, the short hair version of another man seen out there with cowboy boots was presented at the news conference.

image_large-Maggiore suspet

The “Ted Kascinski” sketch was presented instead at the news conference.

The picture of the ligatures confirms  what I had proposed earlier, that the knots were to extend two pieces and do not indicate there was any attempt to bind someone. We now know they were on a lawn, so we all know where this happened and may be even able to assume that EAR was looking in windows, if it was him, and drew his gun after being shouted at by Maggiore.  The ligatures simply fell out of his pocket.

Maggiore shoelace_in siteBlue shoelaces tied together to make one long ligature. Found on a lawn near wear the Maggiores were murdered on February 2, 1978. Sheriff Photo.

All this aside, one is still left quite ponderous as to what makes Sacramento so sure that EAR killed the Maggiores? There were two men on the street. The sketch they present is not the one that is remotely similar to the other sketches proposed to be EAR.

A new sketch was presented. It looks like a modern artist conception of the February 11, 1977, sketch. A friend on Facebook called it The Moonie Surfer.

13407293_10153628595570808_5817259482165706844_n

New sketch released but not qualified as to its relation. Again, it shows a part on the right side and a long face, similar to other suspected EAR sketches. 

I don’t know what these old and unqualified 40 year old sketches will do for the general populace. For those who have followed the case for years, they add nothing. I fear, however, with a $50,000 Reward, there will be many cranks turning in people left and right based on little more than suspicion and old sketches.

The FBI’s use of “Golden State Killer” as an alternate is quite alarming. It’s an unpopular and highly inaccurate name. “Night Stalker” is still used by the jurisdictions down south as opposed to “The Night Stalker” unfortunately given to Ramirez.

The press conference was largely for publicity and journalistic consumption. Nothing bad in that. Though  I have had my issues with the proboards, I came away from the news conference presentation with the definite feeling that more accurate information is still contained by those who have followed the case for the last decade.

In all though, any publicity for this case is well needed. Let’s hope it doesn’t do the reverse and help plunge this case into the folklore that popularity did for Jack the Ripper and The Zodiac Killer. The FBI Website on it can be accessed for more information.

*         *          *

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.

 

Monday the 13th

It was Monday the 13th , 1977. In the early morning hours, at least between 1 and 3 a.m., three young girl scouts were somehow murdered  in their tent in the Kiowa campsite at Camp Scott, Oklahoma. Two were killed in the tent, apparently, and the third was dragged away and killed near the fork in the path to the camp. No one in the camp of 8 tents heard anything, including the counselors.

I’m not going to go into details here. But I do wish to raise a few points. The mystery is well known. There’s been lots of excuses for how it could have been done silently, but none of them really answer the details of the scene of the crime. A renegade Cherokee, Gene Hart, was eventually tried and acquitted of these crimes, much to the rejoicing of the people around these parts of Oklahoma where he had been a football star.  Opinion is still divided today on whether Hart really did it or not.

Let’s introduce the “note” here. Yes, the note. After the horrifying events of the morning of June 13, 1977, rumor began to spread that a girl scout, 15 year old Michelle Hoffman, had found a note the April before while she was out with her cadre. The note had been intentionally placed in some donut or cookie boxes they had at their camp, or some such thing. Anyway, it was placed where it would be found. The scribbled note warned that 4 girl scouts would be killed. The girls took it as a bad joke.

However, after the murders took place in June it was taken as having been a sinister forewarning by the killer. Sadly, the note hadn’t been kept. It was up to Michelle Hoffman’s memory and those of the girls with her. It was serious enough though that Barbara Day, the superintendent of the camp, got a call from Michelle’s mother. She confirmed that the note had been found.

Page213

In the pretrial of Gene Hart, the note comes up a few times. The first is in relation to Barbara Day’s recollection. The defense attorney asks her about the note speaking of 4 girl scouts are to be killed. Day confirms she only heard of this in August, two months after the murders, and it was confirmed by Michelle’s mother.  What is important is that in the first and most solid retelling the note is said to have mentioned 4 girl scouts. Legend and rumor later developed and said that eerily the note forewarned doom for 3 girl scouts, the actual number killed. It appears that’s not the case.

It is actually far more sinister that the note mentioned 4 girl scouts. This is the number of girl scouts billeted per tent. In other words, the writer of the note was already implying a murder at night in a tent. Thus if true, the act was premeditated by at least 3 months.

Even if the note had been taken seriously when Michelle found it, there was little reason to see into it that a late night murder in an isolated tent was the object of the writer. Yet after-the-fact it seems all too clear, especially when the actual number of 4 girls is restored to the retelling.

Why would Gene Hart need to do this? What would be the point in warning about killing  girl scouts months before it happens? But Hart’s motive has been chalked up to the fact that he was an escapee from prison on a rape charge. (The three girls had been raped before being murdered.) Gene Hart was believed to have a hideout in the surrounding hills. Yet if true, why forewarn of this by months in advance?

The reason why only three girls were killed was the fact that due to a mistake 1 girl had been assigned to another tent in another unit. Thus the most isolated tent in Camp Kiowa that night only had three girls. How was a single individual planning to keep 4 girls quiet, and how did he eventually succeed in keeping 3 girls quiet?

I doubt much logistical reworking of this case will be made. Gene Hart is still blamed for the murders today, and there seems little interest in reimagining what the preceding chain of events required in order to carry this out. In future, however, we will have to look at a few of these here.

*         *          *

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.