In an earlier post I highlighted a couple of cases down San Diego way. Some pivotal years of my life were in San Diego in the 1980s– the “decadent 80s”! The “Age of Excess”! It is a wonderful city, and its citizens are proud of it. So much so that suburbs like El Cajon, La Mesa, Chula Vista, Bonita (where I lived) identify themselves not with California but with San Diego. Radio announcers identify locations like the following “This is (call letters) Chula Vista, San Diego.”
Yet dark things have happened there, but San Diego doesn’t frequently report on such matters. It is very protective, to personify it, of its reputation as California’s premier clean and vacation city and as “America’s finest city.”
But the 1970s and ’80s had very dark undercurrents, all over California. In the earlier post I highlighted a couple of cases I had long had interest in. The composites show a perp very similar to EAR/ONS, and this is what led me to them. I wish to separate them here and add a third case where there was no composite, but the MO was similar.
I’m not saying it is EAR, but if these 3 cases are by one man he is a definite serial killer.
On December 27, 1980, Julia Wilkinson was taken by surprise in her corner home on Wightman by a stranger. Neighbors heard screams and rushed to her, finding her dying in her garage. She had run here and had been chased by her attacker. He beat her with her own hammer and escaped. She eventually died. But the neighbors were able to assemble a good composite for the police. The assailant had been hanging around the neighborhood for hours and appeared strange. He was wearing a military fatigue jacket. He was in his early to mid 20s, about 6 feet tall.
Deduce from his behavior that he was looking for a victim, but what kind? Was he looking to rob or looking to rob and kill? He finally chose Julia’s home, a corner house on Wightman Ave. There is no indication she was robbed, but obviously he had gotten in the house and taken her by surprise. He didn’t flee when discovered but chased her down and silenced her forever. Had he not just surprised her in the house, but had he tried to kill her already and she broke free and fled?
Come forward now to October 1, 1985– the murder of Karen Taylor in Imperial Beach, San Diego’s lazy and low scale suburb at the appendix of Coronado. Karen Taylor is murdered in her home on Elm. How, we are not told. But her assailant stole her credit cards and car. He is later identified because he had her car towed into a shop in Bakersfield, north of Los Angeles. He does not wait for it but boards a Greyhound bus. On the repair order he gives a zip code of a rinky dink farm town of Richgrove. It sounds like a creep on the run and her murder merely a necessity in order to continue to flee . . . But cons on the run don’t flee from the border and one doesn’t need to murder someone in their house to get a car. Moreover, the composite done on the memory of those who serviced him in Bakersfield show a man remarkably similar to the perp in the Wilkinson murder of late 1980. He was not wearing a military style jacket, but he had two “military style” duffle bags. He was in his early to mid 20s, but compared to the earlier composite he looks like he’s had a haircut. Same general height– 6 foot or a little better.
If this was the same perp, he got around California and San Diego was his southern terminus.
Come forward now to the murder of Marianne Jutta Amaya on February 18, 1988. She too was older, at 48 years of age. She was German and living with her husband on a corner house on Ute Street, San Diego. The perp caught her while she was alone. She was murdered in a particularly vengeful way. She had been struck with a blunt object, then strangled, then her throat needlessly cut. When her husband returned from work in the afternoon he found her dead on the master bedroom floor. There was no forced entry. The front door was found open. The house had been ransacked, but only a few items had been stolen, none of any great price. One of the items was a knife in sheath, possibly the one the perp used to kill her. A little gold bracelet had ben stolen and a pair of Chinese Foo Dogs.
The similarities to the Wilkinson murder are obvious. The killer struck a corner house, probably killed his victim with a weapon found on the premises, but having not been interrupted had time to ransack the house. Yet he wasn’t prepared to take much. In fact, he took things of little consequence. The perp in Wilkinson’s case had been hanging around the block for some time, time enough for neighbors to remember what he looked like. In Amaya’s case, there is no composite.
There are many who like to research the web and official cold case pages of various jurisdictions. For those interested, a search over this period of time in both Arizona, Nevada, and all of California and perhaps Oregon may reveal similar cases and composites of POIs that resemble these two San Diego composites.
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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.