As I am writing the rather lengthy article “Justice Means Just Us. Not You!” in summation of the EAR-ONS journey, I’m glad to be concentrating on my other cases and, most of all, relieved that my investigation into those cases is not so public. To some extent my Zodiac Killer investigation was hindered and delayed by my concentration on the Night Predator. Others like the Doodler were shelved, and I only slowly moved forward on NORCAL Rapist.
Before I publicly entered the fray with displaying my investigation on The Quester Files there was only a bare bones site with a few photos and a timeline of attacks, and then J.J. McGregor’s blog under Google sites. Only McGregor’s showed some on scene examination. I set about to find every crime scene, but most importantly to uncover how the ultimate stalker had prowled the neighborhoods. My photography concentrated on this aspect. There was no real photography before this on the subject, nor anything to place in context the crime scenes and the neighborhoods.
I think I am satisfied the most that I inspired a local Sacramentan Bill Harticon to venture out and start photographing the EAR-ONS sites as well (and others!), including the surrounding terrain. My photo essays had also inspired Wesley Dellinger, who had carefully looked into the crime scenes of the Colonial Parkway Murders, to brilliantly photograph the hitherto unseen crime scenes for use in my preliminary analysis of those cases on Q Files.
Hopefully, this will become the standard of presentation by any real life investigator when displaying the results of their investigation on the web. The web can be used to assist in such crimes, as Q Files has done. A book is very limited. It is for the summation of a subject, for presenting the final form. But for a work in progress, especially one as monumental as the case of the Night Predator, a case that had essentially become forgotten to history, a website was necessary. I made that clear from the beginning of my presentation: no book is capable of putting in context the broad scope of this villain’s evil work.
Q Files made the case internationally famous. It did so by underscoring the context of the crimes. Context is everything. I am very proud of this contribution. It is the payoff of years of work.
I had come off a background of real life adventure, chasing some of the most famous and sometimes strangest world mysteries, recorded by and inspiring network documentaries. With the backing of NBC and SY FY, my book on Flight 19 (They Flew into Oblivion) inspired a Resolution in Congress urged by Podesta-Mattoon lobbyists and sponsored by congressman E. Clay Shaw. My work met with an ovation in the Gold Room at the announcement that the resolution had passed 420-2 in the House. Larry Landsman, the Special Project’s Director, and Jon Schneider, NBC News Production producer, stood by and I was on the big screen.
Another one of my books was presently under option to Tom Cruise and Paula Wagner at Paramount Studios, and more documentary productions were banging on my door. It was a productive world of real life, professional people.
True Crime, however, especially for a forgotten case, is not a world where things are open and above board. I was met with derision from people who claimed expertise on message boards, where they hid behind alias names. With the EAR-ONS case I learned that even the detectives on the cases dreaded the internet world of spontaneous experts and message board groupies. Snide emails were the rule. No member of law enforcement wanted to be quoted concerning their theories because of the email responses they got.
EAR-ONS wasn’t really an historic case like Jack the Ripper or The Zodiac, where sound and solid information was in the public forum for all to access. Very little was out there and one still had to discover the crime scenes. Trying to get a reliable source was like navigating a mine field. Groupies surrounded it, coveting their claims of secret law enforcement contacts and knowledge superior to others. It gave them preeminence on chat boards.
The pursuit of a criminal is not the same as the pursuit of a natural mystery. Arthur C. Clark said that scientists are the easiest people to fool because they deal with nature and nature doesn’t lie. People do. Criminology is therefore the most difficult pursuit. The mystery is a human predator, one that is lying at all times to cover his trail. Sadly, with the pursuit of EAR-ONS some of those claiming inside knowledge on chat boards were also “honesty challenged,” making it all the more difficult to believe any claims.
Investigation is usually fun. I remember while investigating Flight 19’s disappearance that my network of local historical societies were especially impressive in uncovering families and their whereabouts. In one case, one of the docents kicked on the door of the undertaker who had buried the brother of one of the missing men. It uncovered the lead to the family. It was a positive world of progressing in investigation, and sharing the results was rewarding. My experiences with Wesley Dellinger and Bill Harticon were a refreshing example of this old positive norm of sharing information.
The real world of investigating an obscure cold case is a frustrating, aggravating pursuit to uncover every scrap of knowledge, every clue to work forward. This pursuit I never presented on the web. Detectives invest information where they think it will do good, and after they have cast their bread upon the water, like God, they do not intend that it comes back void. Eventually the offer was even made to fact check anything on circumstances for my site that I wanted. It was an enormous advantage to avoid the world of internet claims. Circumstances could be clarified. Logistics could be studied.
Of civilians, only Michelle Cruz and I triaged so many POIs that we even had direct lines to detectives to facilitate the process.
Learning all this is of great advantage for me on other cases now. I know how I must proceed. I know how law enforcement works.
Most of my investigation was never presented online, only the results of crime scene analysis and then major points of analysis regarding prowling and the profile that best fit the circumstances. (And, yes, auto wrecking and used car dealing and hauling are still options. Many angles were being worked by EAR-ONS, and this is perhaps one reason why the alleged perpetrator is not talking. A DA simply can’t move forward with DNA alone. They must put in place how he moved about and could be in the areas at the times in question. The accused was a cop at the time, far removed from the crime scenes. Yet most of the prowling evidence points to someone local to the areas where EAR struck, some lair close-at-hand. The other clues indicate the use of many cars and plates from wrecked cars that could only be traced to dead ends at wrecking yards. Not surprisingly, the accused has also proven to be an adept mechanic. A lot must still be put in place.)
One example that is now public, but which I never alluded to before, can be given here. There has always been some question of how EAR got to the area of Attack No. 23 in Stockton. Stockton PD actually uncovered that one of the type of shoes EAR wore in Stockton while prowling could have been purchased at World of Shoes in Dublin. Had he come from the Contra Costa C direction? This would indicate some solid contact with the area long before he turned predator there.
My contributions are entirely behind the scenes now. Any information I come upon that may assist in how the prowling and crimes were pulled off I can forward to the appropriate investigators. I was always the most interested in the lairs and in how EAR stalked about.
A lot of drive by experts are going to inundate the topic now, but I am glad to be publicly leaving it. I am very satisfied that Q Files was a stepping stone to this moment of solution, a bridge that made it famous in its actual context, and that I became a trusted cog within the investigation.
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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.