As I am in incubator mode until the new year, let’s fester with purpose, wallow with intent to do good.
Let us contemplate the case of NorCal Rapist in greater detail and try and put him in the right light– this sarcastic, dramatic, and stupidly presumptuous Phantom of the Opera type rapist. Sac County alone can nail him. He raped over a wide range of northern California, thus earning the moniker NorCal for “northern California.” But, to my knowledge, only Ann Marie Shubert filed against his DNA, thus preventing the SOL from sliding. Sacramento spared no expense to get this guy. They realized that after 15 years of being on the road, he wasn’t going to hit much more. This might be the last chance to get him. It still is. More than any other rapist with a unique MO, this creep can still be reached. He has a scar like the mark of banished Cain over his right eye and a scar on his left forearm, both courtesy of his victims.
Between 1991 and 2006, he struck from Rohnert Park, Vallejo, Martinez (a particularly dramatic case on Halloween), Woodland, Davis, far up Highway 99 in Chico, and then in Sacramento in 2006. Let us look at the logistics of that crime.
In some manner NorCal had learned of the victims’ home address. He knew there were two young women batching there on Ivycrest in North Natomas. He stalked the home enough in advance to be familiar with it. On the night of the attack, interestingly, he drove along Ivycrest from its far side from Itasca, rather than just turning onto Ivycrest from Gateway, the main and closest entrance. The surveillance camera on the house at the bend of Ivycrest captured his 2003 4Runner turning around in front and then coasting up to the curb and then off camera, where he parked in front of the intended victims’ house. I would suggest he wanted to drive the length of Ivycrest first to see if anybody was out or if any lights on indicated potential witnesses. Clearly he had not stalked the street enough to have seen the camera on the neighbor’s house. It was mounted high up under the eve of the second story.
NorCal must have driven in from Itasca rather than just pulled in from Gateway– the main road into the area from busy Del Paso Blvd.
NorCal got in the house. He surprised Victim 1. He took her to the bedroom and bound and gagged her on the bed. He returned to the garage, opened the garage door and then went to his car. He pulled into the garage, taking the parking place of Victim 2. He closed the door and waited for her to arrive.
When she pulled up, the garage door opened, and there she was surprised to see a 4Runner in her parking spot. She went in the house and was grabbed by a man in a mask.
In the course of events he bound and gagged them both upstairs in bed. He closed the garage door. Over the hours that followed this late night and into early morning, he raped them both and then took them into the shower, one at a time, and washed them off, foolishly thinking, I suppose, he was getting rid of all the evidence.
NorCal must have known of DNA. It had been 6 years since he had struck. But talk of DNA was all the rage and had been for over a decade.
Or was he so sure that he could never be linked or even suspected that it wasn’t DNA he was trying to wash away? Was there something else that might lead to his identity?
NorCal washed before his attacks. I have proposed that he was perhaps a traveling barman or even a caterer/cook, and the distinctive odors those professions leave behind (distinctive bar smoke smell/cooking odors) could alert the victims as to where he had first seen them and was attracted to them. That would be a devastating lead.
And this is the great mystery today. Just where did NorCal first target his victims so that he should then refine his stalking and find their homes, learn the layout and their routines, and finally strike? Nobody knows.
In any case, before he left he had to do a number of things. He had to get into Victim No. 2’s car and move it from the driveway. Then he had to pull out himself. He had to (I assume) close the garage door yet again by hitting the gadget in Victim 2’s car. He then drove off the same way he came rather than the shorter route.
There are more details of course, and the logistics they require, but for this post this is enough here.
NorCal was perhaps in his 40s in 2006. He had brown spiked hair, a scar over his right eye, one on his left forearm. He was heavyset now. In 1997 he was quite skinny. Another surveillance camera , one at a bank ATM, had captured him with a mask on distorting his face as he used one of his victim’s ATM cards to empty her account. Yet another indignity they had to suffer on top of all else.
With Victim 1 he had been particularly sarcastic. Before he left, he cautioned her in a friendly way to lock her doors from now on, as “a burglar might get in and rob you.”
He always used a weapon, of course. There was much terror involved– home invasion and hours of fear in victims. With the Martinez victim, he called her weeks later and told her he knew she was ultimately a good person, like it was her fault or something.
NorCal has been silent 10 years. But he is still out there, and the clues must be developed to pinpoint his appearance and profession. In our next NorCal post we will try to develop more.
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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.