I have made no posts or comments on the case since a series of blogs here which highlighted some of the things the prosecution already knew– the need to sew the crime spree together to explain the evidence that suggested more than one East Area Rapist was afoot. I don’t mean an accomplice. I mean another home invasion creep whose attacks were taken to be those of EAR. Or, perhaps, that the accused, DeAngelo, as a cop knew of these details and tailored some of his thrill crime spree to conform to that of the original perp in order to disguise his own crime spree which he then took far beyond where this original perp had taken it.
It is not the purpose of this post to rehash this. Rather it is to touch on another one of the trials and tribulations that must be addressed. First, however, let make another point on the above, since it is all intertwined.
As to providing a great deal of reasonable doubt that another perp was also afoot, it all depends how good the defense attorney will be. I doubt the prosecution will think the attorney will just help facilitate through the system. Thus they will be ready. For instance, there is clear indication that Original Night Stalker and therefore the accused DeAngelo tailored the So. Cal murders to look like the Bedroom Basher. In like manner it could be argued that DeAngelo, the accused, could also have done the same with Sacramento’s original EAR– disguised his home invasion rapes in the MO of a predator already afoot. Merely the hypothesis shows there is no real way to connect him to any of the Sacramento rapes where there is no DNA.
This can cause a real problem for the Maggiore Double Murders.
But lets touch on the rest– dates. The trial will not just be the trial of the century. It will be the dissertation of the century. It cannot just convict. It must explain.
So many details are in the public forum that the prosecution must adroitly address these. Specifically, there is the wave of EAR-like prowling in the Cordova Meadows area preceding the double murder of the Maggiores. This prowling wave began the summer of 1977 and included some very unusual events that don’t seem to fit DeAngelo. The lead Sac detective Ken Clark also spoke at length on recorded podcasts about these incidents, so the details come from a reliable source.
The trial must bring out whether DeAngelo was available on all these dates. Or was this just the action of some home prowling pervert? A coincidence? And the defense, you know, will try to show evidence of another EAR afoot. Such theories were entertained at the time by some of the detectives and even much later in public discussions. Either way above, it is bad. If the defense can create a reasonable doubt that another perv (not even another EAR) was afoot, you see the problem.
The prosecution will have to completely discredit one of the witnesses to the events of that dark night February 2, 1978. As the case was finally getting more TV, he started to speak out. He identified as the man he saw that night a sketch of a suspect that could not possibly be DeAngelo. The prosecution will remind the court that the sketch below is based on his original statements. It shows the perp wearing a ski mask, and the witness could not possibly have seen the perp’s face.
Another incident is the Haskell Avenue Incident. The car was identified as belonging to a limited range of models, and this has to be traced and associated with DeAngelo. In fact, tracing this car (if this was him) may be the key as to where and how he got so many different cars.
You might say that this is not necessary. The rapes aren’t going to be tried. Well, yes and no. There’s the charges of kidnapping. Though I feel these are unnecessary, they do open the door on the entire crime spree of EAR and not just the murders.
The car reports are the big mind bender. Were all these cars (belonging to some “suspicious” person) seen in the neighborhoods simply a coincidence or can investigating DeAngelo’s background uncover his source for so many automobiles? From speaking with the lead detective, I am confident he can find each automobile even 40 years later and associate it with a lot, individual, wrecker, or dealer at a given time.
I mention the above 2 incidents here (though there are more) because they introduce more dates than the actual attack dates. For the Cordova Meadows prowling wave, it has to be proven that a full time cop was capable of making all the phone calls over the nights they came in (always around 8 p.m.) and make the home invasion and prowling incidents on the nights/days in question. I don’t think EAR was always precise in the timing of his hang up phone calls, and a defense attorney will bring up the conundrum that this particular wave of hang up calls always came around 8 p.m.
The Haskell Avenue Incident is tied to the EAR, of course, in many points of MO. But the victims that night, in a loose sense of the meaning, had some real trouble within a few days that indicated EAR came back to seek special revenge. This was unusual, and these are more dates that have to be reconciled with DeAngelo’s viability. The attack on Victim 21, occurring later that same night, was also associated with a foreign sounding car. So if DeAngelo’s whereabouts at any time over the several hours in question can be placed elsewhere it weakens one or the other incidents as being done by EAR.
Then there is the believable theory about the strange man who popped up at American River Hospital a couple of days after the attack on Victim 22. Is it all coincidence? Or was there another EAR afoot?
The trial will be much more about explaining than convicting, I think. They have crime scene DNA. He’ll swing (figuratively speaking). But linking him to the majority of the murders isn’t the problem. It is explaining how he did everything else in order to get into the houses to begin with.
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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.