Image Through Action: A View of EAR/ONS Through the Working Glass

Democratization of sleuthing, thanks to the Internet, has brought more than inexperience to the real life genre of true crime. Web surfing and keyboards have placed the eager citizen on a direct line to the FBI, District Attorneys, and official cold case investigators. It is not just a direct line, it is a line that caries spontaneous and often unrefined thoughts on a case and suspect. Social media helps to reinforce stereotypes and false impressions. They take on a life of their own and they continue to get recycled and become true. The spontaneous, as the word implies, aren’t the type to have been tempered by protracted and careful research. The web launches forth their ideas to us all instantly.

The social media influence is particularly strong today in the East Area Rapist case, so relevant that I wanted to title this post EAR/ONS and The Russian Meddling because social media is the conduit enforcing a particular image to EAR. But let’s stick with the purpose here, which frankly is to caution everybody on the false impression that EAR was young and blond and therewith the numerous sketches of such a young man seen in a neighborhood before-the-fact represent the actual perp. As such becoming excited over an old yearbook photo that shows a young blond guy with a slight resemblance to an old police sketch is no grounds for believing he is the best suspect for the notorious EAR merely by looks, age, and then by elaborate spinning in a mill of suspicion.

The East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker/Night Predator was never seen in perpetration except once at a difficult angle, face distorted by a balaclava pulled back, and then only recalled through hypnosis. The collective testimony of victims is divided between a man in his early 20s to one in his mid 30s. In perpetration his hair was seen only twice– it was dark brown for the most part. In perpetration his nose was described as Roman (though a tight stocking was over his face), his neck as short, his eyes as hazel, brown, once as blue. His height varied but he was below 6 foot.

Surely because all this is so slim one has to take it cautiously. There is no one description that clinches this phantom’s features. There is no single sketch that is the gold standard. If you wish to truly investigate and temper yourself as a true investigator, you must draw a picture of the perp from the clues, not a single clue, a single surmise, a single and unsubstantiated image.

The purpose here is to discourage people from browsing Classmates with its thousands of old yearbooks and picking someone based merely on their old senior photo resemblance to a sketch attributed to EAR. Again, EAR was never seen and there is no real justification to believe he was young. (He may have been, and indeed I have dipped as low as 16 in the suspicion meter, but I was able to eliminate them all and the one I couldn’t was eliminated via DNA.)

The upshot is that unless you have more than a superficial resemblance you have no justification for suspecting some teen from 40 years ago. Such pictures can be powerful, but they must be tempered by investigation. One of my POIs’ senior picture was especially “creepy,” to more than just me and a few cops. As I continued my investigation it became clear that the guy could have been in a position to pull off the crime spree. I had to visit his old neighborhood with a retired police chaplain and speak with his old neighbors. Needless to say he was weird. It was only then, with the submission of  a full dossier, that official investigators looked into him more deeply.

It is a fascinating story I’d love to talk about in detail, but he is a living person and due to other factors not very likely anymore to be EAR/ONS– though in general he could be made to excite a lot of interest on the web. He is, sadly, just one of thousands who easily creep out a person. If everyone who had been suspected of being EAR had a frenzied week devoted to them on social media the audience would quickly realize how many can be made to fit and as a result there is little reason to get too dogmatic or excited over another young blond guy.

But remember, it is the process of elimination, not the process of proclamation. A few get out on the web and excite a lot of interest, but measured within the POI list of thousands there is nothing particularly worthy of proclamation about them.

I have forwarded about a dozen people to the FBI, who wanted to turn in their own POI. I have submitted 3 of my own to a DA’s office special cold case unit. I know that about 6 to 7 hundred POIs have been DNA tested. There has been between 6 to 7 thousand POIs. A superficial resemblance isn’t uncommon.  It is no excuse to get excited and think one now has to have EAR by the tail. And remember it may be a superficial likeness to a sketch of bogus. If you have a POI, fine. Confide in a few, seek the help of some others, but the process must largely play on behind closed doors.

In the next post I will address why I had to go public once with the initials of a dead POI, without pictures but with a detailed thesis.

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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.

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Understanding Current EAR/ONS Reasoning . . .

Just a brief blog post to help illustrate the most recent arguments regarding the mysterious young man seen at the now-defunct American River Hospital on May 30, 1977. As one article recently reasoned, he is likely to have been EAR because no one could jump this fence (wall was not there) and deep canal and not be injured doing so. There is no claim that there is evidence EAR was injured.  This canal is along Uranus which is the cross street of 4th Parkway, where the A family was hit on May 28, 1977. Highway 99 is on the other side of the wall. These pictures were taken on March 23, 2014.

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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.

EAR/ONS– The Cryptic Investigation

We all learn by experience and I like to share things. I know many thousands out there have a deep interest in the case of the East Area Rapist and they follow my postings. At a contrast to my desire to share and the purpose of my posts I have had to be cryptic at times, but it is necessary to protect the innocent and, just as important, those who investigate in officialdom. The largest part of the official  investigation is cryptic. You don’t know the names of those involved. They don’t get the media attention, but they are ardently at work on the case. This is true in all the jurisdictions.

Those who follow Q Files know that I am trained in Logic and an adherent to the principles of the language it requires. Those who read my books note the same thing. I am studious to avoid the use of the first person pronoun. Logic does not accept personal opinion. It accepts conclusionary statements that are backed by the reasons given.  My website and books are devoted to the product of my investigations. Not to me or my journey. Unfortunately, my blog is not. It is a world of extemporanea, and at times I have to say “I”. I have to hit the “nuke” instead of “nurse” button.

I have grown a great distaste for the EAR/ONS case, as some have made it publically evolve into a mirror of the cheap “suspect” driven True Crime books that advertise the final solution to a famous case on the dust jacket and inside the author has done no such thing. I dread that I may be looked upon in the same way. Not on my website but on here. Unfortunately on here I have to use the word “I”, though the case is not about me. The blog is about clarification. It is not about crowing. And because my language is so different on here than Q Files some think my clarifications are boasting or pretentious.

I thought the world of cheap TC could not happen with this case. After all, there is DNA that can be tested and no POI’s name need be released until the right villain is outed.

Apparently it cannot happen in book form, but out of nowhere several have come forward and turned social media into a circus of POI names and then have touted the grandeur of their own investigation or personal experience. Even after they have been told their POI was eliminated they continue to insist they are right.

Investigation and the process of elimination is actually far more exciting than any point of pride or personal gratification to say you can’t make mistakes. If one of your POIs is eliminated, move on to the next (if you have one). I always said I had a network of viable POIs. I threw the dart at the wrong one the first time out. He was eliminated.

I can only reassure you here that all of my case files are received within the task force, and that two more POIs are going through the process. I do not know the status. Nor have I inquired. From experience I know it takes months to get DNA results. And DNA from my first POI was rather easy to obtain. I don’t know how long it takes to get DNA from a living POI. I’m sure it varies whether it is done openly or stealthily. If you have someone within officialdom with whom you are persona grata, for God’s sake protect them and don’t become a burden.

The two POIs presented (since November 10, 2017) are going through the process.  Neither I nor the innocent nor the official investigators who are following my dossiers need the grief of the wrong kind of public attention. Unlike them, however, I am stuck in a public position and feel a certain responsibility to keep you updated on the topic specifically and in general. Again, the word “I” has to be used sometimes.

I have gotten a lot of experience behind the scenes, and the reader should know about some of the things I have encountered, as they do bear on the perception of the case in some ways.

Some ironies need noting as well. The message boards were once the only outlet of information on a case that never should have been forgotten. With national popularity, they have become obscured, and with this one significant bit of their power: the moderators always blocked the nutcases who posted pictures and names of POIs.

Popularity has made any social media platform an outlet for those once kept in obscurity by the message board moderators. There is no limit to the pictures and names of living and dead that are posted. A few people out there have been told outright that their POIs have been eliminated. They couldn’t handle it. They continue to insist they are right. The difference now is they add expletives to the “LE” and then boasts that they will continue. Some post official investigators’ communications. Obviously, this is counter productive.

The investigation into the identity of EAR/ONS has been a strange one, one where from what I can tell the official investigators have had to battle their way into it and into the forefront of it. Yet out of necessity they cannot be too public on the matter. You hear only a few names. Dozens are involved.

Those few names have even been subjected to their financial statements being released and ridiculed by some “fans” of the case.

Being behind the scenes it is still a battle for them to become the focus of eliminating POIs. I don’t think any law enforcement service in history has seen such a huge case become forgotten, resurrected slowly by fans, and then had to battle their way into it.

I suspect that one of the reasons for the national news conference was the fact that officialdom had to push its way into the case very publically to start the stream of information flowing straight to them.

Please do not give way to “toxic fandom.” Remember the three step slide into toxicity: 1, I love this; 2, I own this; 3, I control this.

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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.

The Death of the Golden State Killer

With the uptick in media coverage of the EAR/ONS case Sacramento is finally getting involved and will hopefully take the lead. Fox40 Sacramento is doing a series, and so far in the couple of web articles I’ve read (by Ali Wolf) the moniker of Golden State Killer was only perfunctorily referred to, as a name he was later given. (In substance this isn’t entirely accurate. He was given this independently. It does not reflect popular or official usage during his crime spree. Nor does it come from any official agency. It apparently comes from an independent source in a podcast within only the last decade. )

It was a perfunctory acknowledgement the article, but one that hopefully indicates the moniker is being phased out.  Up here, of course, he was The East Area Rapist; down south he really had no public handle because the murders were largely unconnected at the time. He was known as The Night Stalker by Orange County and Santa Barbara County, but sadly the press didn’t cover. Only the jurisdictions were noticing the similarities in the crimes. 1976Suspect_Icyu2

When Richard Ramirez was inaccurately labeled with being The Night Stalker, EAR’s best handle had to be altered when used in public. Original Night Stalker doesn’t fly too well either, but when I spoke with members of the task force he is still referred to by some as just “Night Stalker” in order to differentiate between Ramirez.

In any case, the Ramirez mis-naming is a good example of how a very inaccurate name should be resisted. Golden State Killer, again, elevates EAR to a level of the State’s official nickname as if he was an officially endorsed product of the State. Obviously that would never fly in the State capitol.

The latest publicity, stemming from Sacramento, has been the best. Hopefully it sets the tempo for the rest of the national media, and with this that horrid moniker of GSK finally fades away. It may earn: “briefly known as” as a footnote on the case and then be gone.

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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.

EAR/ONS– BK & Missing Glasses: Do They Fit?

Well, as more publicists get involved the more we get curious news releases in the case of the EAR/ONS. The most recent dovetails on that most interesting of breaks in his patterns– the frenzied May of 1977 and then he’s gone during the summer of 1977. He returns in September, 30 minutes south of Sacramento in Stockton, California.

A man pops up at the American River Hospital on May 30– the last day of the month of frenzy– for treatment with a broken shoulder. Does this explain the strange lull during the summer of 1977? Or did EAR lay low locally with all the vigilantes on the loose? He was certainly scouting Stockton by August 1977.

We can’t let ourselves develop tunnel vision. All the clues must be interwoven. But this article is a powerful reminder that the search for EAR/ONS is not a typical cold case. It is very proactive.

Check out the link:

Sheriff’s Department Reveals New Leads in East Area Rapist Case

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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.

Maggiore Double Murder–40 Years Ago

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.

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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.

Maggiore shoelace_in site

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.

The Night Predator–EAR/ONS– and Circumstantial Evidence

My last dossier on a person of interest for the case of EAR/ONS was about 13 pages long. In all that there was no circumstantial evidence against him. In the 3 dossiers or theses I have submitted there has been no circumstantial evidence. This may surprise the reader, but if it does it is only because the term “circumstantial evidence” is flippantly used in popular parlance.

Circumstantial evidence is evidence that links the person of interest, suspect, accused, to the commission of the crime. A fingerprint on a smoking gun, for instance, is circumstantial evidence. It is not direct evidence. If you saw the person point the gun at the victim and fire away it is direct evidence. But a fingerprint on the murder weapon is circumstantial. Most people get sent over on circumstantial evidence. It is very powerful. I have stressed that before.

But to help in the search for EAR/ONS– a 40 + year old case– I thought I’d accentuate that you must have rational and valuable suspicion. Unless you have stumbled upon the stash of things he had lifted from his victims, all you are going to have against your POI is suspicion. It is best to hone this so you understand why official investigators will or, very often, will not react with any zeal against your person of interest.

There is NO circumstantial evidence against any person of interest ever submitted.

DNA alone constitutes circumstantial evidence. Has anybody out there submitted DNA to the task force? No? Then you haven’t submitted circumstantial evidence. The reason for turning in a POI is to establish suspicion, to give the investigators probable cause to pursue this particular POI.

This is why I call those “reports” I submit dossiers or theses. This is what they are.

EAR’s height, hair color, and other particulars are in dispute, as is his age. His eye color is known along a spectrum, but like the definite size of his size 9 shoes tens of thousands of people have these features. They don’t go anywhere. They may help refine, but they don’t lead.

How and why then can anybody suspect a person? How can you then convince the official investigators to pursue him? Well, they’re really quite broadminded because they can verify location, etc., for your POI, then if necessary pursue DNA testing. So I am not discouraging anybody. I just want the reader to understand that there is no circumstantial evidence against any person of interest. You must present rational suspicion.

This is why I said in my last post the entire case hangs upon the thin strand of DNA.

If you think about it, EAR could probably not have been brought to trial 30 years ago. There was no DNA testing. He left no fingerprints. If he destroyed his masks, got rid of his guns and his shoes, he was basically just a little guy against whom the law had suspicion. Had he not raped some of his murder victims, there would have been no link even today to pursue.

So what can cause one to be suspicious of a person? For me, you all know what clues I pursue. “Clue” is basically the word. There are lots of clues– MO, patterns, repeated descriptions of size and proportion, houses for sale, schools and canals nearby,  moving over the state, apparently at will, etc. Who could have fulfilled all the requirements?

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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.