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.

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.

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.


2 thoughts on “EAR/ONS and the Fence– Recurring Themes

  1. One thought keeps entering my mind as I see the physical description of this suspect being played over and over. It could very well be that the EAR/ONS might have been a high school wrestler. His build of 5″9′ and 160 lbs and having wide thighs would be a perfect fit. Moreover, his ability to scale fences with ease really sounds like a good match. Wrestlers climb vertically like nobody’s business in order to strengthen their upper bodies. (i.e. pull-ups and rope climbs).


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