As many of you know, I’m not on the message boards . . .and I am told some pretty nasty things are said about me there. But many dozens who have been at one time or another on true crime message boards have hooked up on Facebook and told me of some of their experiences, most of them not very good. A few are dedicated to the message boards and try and bring some coherence to the discussion. Wes is one of them.
Wes (“Murdoc”) has taken it to a higher level and recently released a test video discussing EAR. In it he brings up the “Canon 11,” as he calls it. From his discussions and research these cases appear to be the only ones from which there is conclusive proof to indict the perpetrator known as EAR/ONS.
Canon Eleven is an interesting list, valuable on a number of levels. It also contains an irony. What Canon Eleven brings forward is paradoxically how scant the information is out of Sacramento where EAR began and concentrated most of his rape/sadism/terror strikes. The connection between EAR and So. Cal where he turned murderer and was known as Night Stalker by the jurisdictions (long before Richard Ramirez) comes down to a few strikes in Contra Costa County. This is a thin strand in terms of evidence . . . but in quantity of clues it is a strong one.
At the time (1979-1981, 1986) of the ONS crimes there were a few detectives in Sacramento and northern Cal who thought that EAR was responsible for the murders down south. But the connection was only seen in the careful night stalking modus operandi of the perp and in the location of the victims’ homes near certain topographic features. The connection was also anchored by one other case– the Himmel and Helikon case in Goleta, October 1979. Here the perpetrator fouled up and lost control and the victims got away.
In getting away they naturally were able to impart to the police exactly how the perp behaved and what he had said. It seemed from this that their attacker was EAR, who had last been heard from in northern Cal months before (July 1979) and 300 miles away in Danville.
It seems EAR had traveled again, this time far away down south; a tantalizing clue, as we all know . . . but he never struck down south again, that is to say, there never was another one of his vicious nights out lording over a home and terrorizing the couple therein. In short, this is to say there were no survivors. But in Goleta, not far away from Helikon and Himmel’s house, that very December 1979 a couple is shot dead in their condo’s bedroom — Manning and Offerman. Again, it seemed their attacker had been thwarted by a challenge from his intended victims.
After this, far to the south there was another double murder in the bedroom– the Harringtons; then closer in Ventura the Smiths . . .and the list goes on including another couple in Goleta in 1981, not far from the Offerman/Manning strike.
Over time the clues built up that the same perp was involved and that this was EAR. Then in 2001 the link was made definite by DNA. Fortunately, Contra Costa Co. saved some of the evidence despite Statute of Limitations. The link was definite. Find Night Stalker, now known as Original Night Stalker (because in the interim Richard Ramirez had been given that moniker by the press with little reason) and you have found EAR.
This gives us Canon Eleven.
However, there appears to be no DNA link between the sexual terrorist of Contra Costa Co. and EAR in Sacramento. The link remains that strong strand of clues, even stronger than those that linked the ONS crimes to EAR because Sacramento’s premier night terrorist had many victims who clearly set in stone how he talked and behaved in their homes. And CCC’s night predator acted the same way and said the same things. It remains a little disheartening, however, to see there is no DNA preserved in Sacramento, but the link is a solid one.
Sacramento’s list is a broad and deep one of victims, and there was on occasion some doubt whether EAR was responsible for all of those attacks attributed to him. For academic reasons, I suppose, it would have been nice to have all the DNA from Sacramento, but that will never be the case. The MO used by the EAR/ONS was so distinctive that it alone can reassure us how to link most of the cases.
Still there are a few that are questionable– No. 26, for instance. No. 17 is a curious one. The Maggiore Double Murders are not definite to many who follow the case.
We will never know how many victims The East Area Rapist had. There are no doubt some attacks that were not reported. Canon Eleven is valuable for its intrinsic knowledge and for how it underscores how time destroys much. Of over 65 victims it now comes down to a few cases that can be used in prosecution and even fewer that legally make the link between two perpetrators to prove they were one and the same.
Before one can even get that far, it comes down to even less. In order to identify an individual it comes down to hand printing. EAR made that terrible mistake in Danville when he fled in July 1979. Everything but this hand writing is a clue. But the hand writing can lead to an individual and this can lead to a DNA test. Then that little genetic fingerprint solves it all.
A solution won’t tell us why, of course. It will only tell us who. If EAR is dead it won’t even bring him to justice. But it will send a powerful message to any other perp out there that they will always be hunted. Someone will always have a list of what they did and what are the vital evidence and clues to nail them. They will always have to look over their shoulder.
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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 or Q Man. “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.