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.


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.


5 thoughts on “A Stitch in Time and by EAR/ONS

  1. Of course they are authentic. What genius suggested otherwise? The picture screams they are real. Otherwise it’s, “Behold our representative crumpled evidence bags accompanied by our representative altered ski masks.”

    If it happened on the message boards, I’m not surprised. Lots of well meaning people who tend to butcher base probability via over thinking. I posted on the A&E version briefly a decade ago, mostly to counter the EAR A/EAR B theory, which was low percentage rubbish and detouring focus to pathetic extreme but since it was presented by such a well meaning and dedicated researcher it brainwashed countless people who should have known better. Copycats are overblown on true crime cases, just like trafficking is overblown as rationale among missing females.

    After sampling the FBI press release, I have to laugh at the suggested bracket of currently 60-75 years old. The FBI can be brutal in assessing what fits. Sorry, a 25 or 30 year old is not regularly hopping fences with ease, darting from roof top to roof top and hanging upside down while looking into windows. That is teenage ease and agility. I posted that theory on A&E years ago, accompanied by anecdotes from my youth. My friends and I were absolutely stunned a year after college when we returned to the old neighborhood briefly and played pickup basketball with high school kids. They ran circles around us. We went out drinking later and asked, “Were we really that thin and quick just a few short years ago?” It seemed unfathomable. My preferred frame is 17 to 19 years old in 1976. I know what era well because it’s my age. Without electronic gizmos as obsession we spent our pre-drivers license years exploring the neighborhood, learning every path and short cut. We played nighttime hide and seek on our block. You had to know every tree and where to hide in it during early evening. I traveled to California for college. When I relayed my stories to roommates, they reported the same thing in their neighborhoods.

    Once EAR got his license he retained the very recent neighborhood exploration knowledge and skill, and applied an evil tweak, along with using a car to expand horizon and curiosity. Your CAT and wrecker angles are easily the most logical I’ve seen.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I agree with you that he was VERY YOUNG. Everything you just said that he was a teenager. What if he was even 15, 16, 17, in 1976 and 1977 and the reason he was gone during the summer is because school was out for summer break and his parents were divorced and he went to visit the other parent somewhere that he could not rome around as he pleased. Maybe another State or even just another home. Maybe here in Cali he lived with the parent full time that did not know or care what he was doing. Or maybe with a single parent that had to work all the time and was always gone so he had lots of freedom. Maybe the skills he learned was from a father that was military or police not him. Also the reason the shoelaces would be already started with the knot he always did was because him wearing gloves would be difficult to get it started so he had to have it ready to use. If the cloths that are posted here with each case is what he would wear they even looked like teenager. So many different pairs of shoes not someone homeless. Evil as we have seen can be in any age. Awsi Dooger you are not alone in this theory myself and lots of others here in Sacramento area that lived right in this nightmare and are within this age feel the same. We. Need more from the FBI listed and photos of things that were taken so if he had given anyone anything as a gift like a mother, sister, girlfriend or anyone. Show us photos or replicas of things that he took. Don’t just come on the news and start all this again and not do more. Also my father had said something the reward $$$$$ is only $50,000.00 not much of a reward for one of the worst UNSOLVED cases EVER!!!!! That is NOTHING considering what he has done. Give us more info from the FBI that we know is real . FBI needs to keep this in the media and really use the media. Here in Sacramento area is where he started and left the most victims. Thinking about it has everyone who lived through this nightmare feeling it all over again . Please FBI don’t wait for people to contact you keep giving us lots of media here in Sacramento that can make people think again. IThat one thing you share might be the answer for his family if they are here in Sacramento area to see and connect him to this. Lots of people watch the local news his parents might be older and not into social media. Let’s all hope this time we get all the info available and really keep things updated and out in the media for all to see . Ask for people to think about if they have a son in prison or relative that is from that time that lived in Sacramento area and keep asking for people to help. Where he first started here in Sacramento is going to be the connection to him. Get more interviews to stir people’s interest it’s not the money offered it’s the information you provide us all here in Sacramento area. Be relentless with this and don’t stop. Keep talking about it. We all need to have closure mostly his victims and the families.


  3. Okay, so now I’m confused — I suspected they were real from the get-go because of the evidence bags and the fact that the greyish one is obviously old, dirty, used and has been altered by hand. Why the FBI would recreate a mask from a description, age it and dirty it up, pull the stitching a bit (the stitches are starting to pull and unravel on that mask), and then present it as “representative” is beyond me, not to mention misleading and unethical, and possibly worse.

    I was happy to see that you’d confirmed that they were indeed actual items in evidence.

    Now someone at the proboards claims they are not real, that the FBI reconfirmed to her that they are merely representative…

    Not a fan of proboards, so I suspect you are correct. Can you clarify?


  4. I commend you Mr.Quest for all of the very long hours and diligence that you have put into this EAR/ONS case.You’re very detailed, straight to the point, and enjoyable to read and study from. I’ve never seen a serial killer case researched and conveyed to the general public with this much pertinent information before. It was amazing to be able to sit down and take in all of your research over the last couple of weeks. I hope history proves you spot-on ,and I thank you for your tremendous efforts. If not,don’t hang your head.You’ ve given it one hell of a go!


  5. Thinking that perp may have gone to Sacramento High School due to the him sporting a possible tattoo (since bull tattoo could also look like a Dragon). Sac High in the southeast quadrant of Highway 99 and Business I-80 closed around 2003 and reemerged later as St. Hope High.


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