Tonight is the anniversary of an horrific double murder– Brian and Katie Maggiore. Sadly, there have been many of those in history, but the cold blooded double murder of a young couple simply out walking their poodle in an average middleclass community is particularly confusing. It is because the East Area Rapist was very active at this time that suspicion was cast upon him as the killer. He had attacked in Rancho Cordova before, though not in the neighborhood where the young couple was gunned down. These, however, are generalities, and they do not explain the circumstances and the killer’s murderous rampage to make sure these newlyweds were dead.
There is a page up on Q files detailing the events of that tragic night February 2, 1978. I don’t need to go into details here. But what I would like to express here is that the case should not be forgotten . . .even if the case of the EAR/ONS is soon solved and the murders turn out to be unrelated.
There are those to this day who ardently believe he was responsible for the murder of the young couple. As to motive, there is disagreement in the discussions. But the popular view that EAR/ONS was to blame dominates. Yet quite frankly there is no evidence he did it.
Early-on, some have tried to fancy a link to EAR by saying that one of the ligatures found at the scene had a diamond knot in it. A picture of the ligature has been released– a shoelace– and it most certainly has no such knot in it. Others note that it may just be folklore that EAR ever used such a knot. I am one of those. Therefore the picture does not dispel the theory EAR was responsible. He actually used very simple knots when tying his victims.
These arguments aside, the circumstances are still cause for caution. EAR did not strike people in the street, but was a very cautious housebreaker. My argument was that Brian Maggiore may have known him and recognized him in a compromising situation that would indicate he was EAR. The result was that EAR had to make sure both were dead in order to protect his identity. Perhaps. But this scenario could apply to anybody that Maggiore knew. It doesn’t mean the killer was EAR.
One man was seen fleeing the scene and another man was seen in proximity to him before-the-fact. Of the sketches made, one is said to resemble other sketches made of EAR. The rub here is that these other sketches were of young men seen in the neighborhoods before an EAR attack, unknown to the residents and hence considered suspicious after-the-fact. None of them need be EAR.
There are others who believe that EAR worked with a partner sometimes, for reasons of theft. He usually stole small items, but on a few occasions stole quite a bit. A set of china is a case in point. It is ponderous to consider how an individual could take all that dinnerware.
Nevertheless I deeply share the concerns of others that EAR had nothing to do with the Maggiore Double Murders. I’ve mentioned it many times before. His spiral into murder is quite clear. It began with the Offerman/Manning murders in Goleta. He got a taste of it and continued undaunted thereafter. This was in December 1979. Between the Maggiores’ murders and then he had killed no one. He stood statuesque when taken by surprise in Danville (No. 48). This was the closest he had come in a long time to a fight with victims. If he had killed the Maggiores a year and a half earlier, he hadn’t acquire a taste for murder.
Still, all is conjecture.
But if it should turn out that the real EAR is exposed and by no means fits the features attributed to him in these old sketches and in the stats he’s been given, we will have to accept that neither of these two suspicious young men (around 20-22) seen around the murder scene on La Alegria and La Gloria can be made to fit EAR. It may even turn out that his whereabouts on that night could be ascertained, and he is then solidly eliminated.
It would be tempting then to forget the double murder. It would stand as a separate and unconnected crime to any known serial killing spree. On the face of it this makes the Maggiores a loose string in an old cold case file. Such cases are hard to pursue. We cannot let popularity inspire us and the lack thereof hinder us from trying to solve such a bizarre and unexpected suburban slaying.
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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.