Weaving the Net with NorCal Rapist

I spent most of yesterday trying to refine the location of the first strike made by NorCal Rapist in 1991 in Rohnert Park, California. I ended up coming back to the same location I had marked years before based on a news interview with the victim. If this location holds up, we have a startling similarity to the location of NorCal’s final strike in North Natomas on October 16, 2006.

I visited the area of North Natomas on the 13th, just a few days ago, the 11th anniversary of his last strike, and drove the route NorCal must have driven in order to have been captured on the neighbor’s video surveillance camera.

 

As it stands I only know a few of the dates for the attacks, and only two locations precisely, and the Rohnert Park location is still kinda sketchy.

I know NorCal wore a skeleton mask at Halloween 1996 in Martinez. He wore another Halloween or Mardi Gras mask in Davis in 1997 and was captured on ATM video camera wearing it– even flaunting it to the camera.

a5463e569138753b72a3f2bf67fa155d--mardi-gras-costumes-mardi-gras-masks

This act in itself is illuminating. It tells us that NorCal knew he could not use a mask at an ATM later in the day and not be seen. More definitely, he could not use it later and not be giving away the direction back to his sordid lair. He had to use it shortly after the attack while still relatively dark and before he left Davis. We know he wasn’t local. He drove long distance, thus earning the moniker NorCal for “Northern California.” But he was careful enough to know he couldn’t give away the direction from which he had come.

Altogether clues begin to amalgamate as to his character. The result is we get a very nasty picture of a careful, arrogant, calculating  predator. He liked to taunt his victims. But nothing yet in only the two strike locations tells us how he stalked his intended victims.

There really is no place on Ivycrest (North Natomas) from which he could have watched them. There seems no place on Parkway (Rohnert Park) where he could have done the same there.  There is some other means by which he first saw his intended victims and then learned more about them. More precise information on location is needed still for all of the attacks.

There was once a website listing all the details known. It had been put up by a friend of one of the victims and then it was augmented by Victim 1. Unfortunately it is long gone, and no one has so far contacted me to fill me in on dates and locations and any details NorCal said and did during his attacks.

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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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The Smiling Sadist . . . NORCAL Rapist

It’s time on finally take on this taunting swine. Before he left one victim, after he had subjected her to hours of indignity in her own home, he advised her to keep her doors locked because she was only inviting burglars otherwise. He called another and apologized to her, reaffirming for her personal feeling of value that he knew she was a good person at heart. . . like it had been her fault he had stalked her, learned her residence, and then broke in one night and raped her.

The lead CSI that cued me into this case had told me NORCAL was a “taunter.” He liked to tease and taunt his victims. Tongue-in-cheek, he thought he was being witty with his sarcasm, as his victims lay there gagged, trussed, eyes bulging, wondering if he was going to kill them.

This whole character of taunting comes to life when you study the ATM footage of this creep. This footage was taken in Davis in 1997 after he had left one of his victims and used her ATM card to get cash. He liked to wear masks. He wore a Halloween mask when he struck one victim on Halloween. Here he wears a clear, face distorting mask because he knows the ATM has a camera. He turns, boasting in his way that he has outwitted those who shall see it, flaunting the mask. You can see him smiling.

At least 10 victims between 1991 and 2006. He presumptuously enjoyed it all . . .and he got away.

As I write the introduction to this case study on Q Files, there is much that needs to be done. More details are imperative.  He struck his victims in their homes. Somehow I must uncover at least the street names. This much is necessary because the location will help to determine how he prowled and where he selected his victims to begin with. He struck over a large part of northern California, so that he had some unique method by which he was attracted to potential victims and then learned their locations.

The introduction and the page on his last attack, ironically, will go up first because I know the location and details of the last strike. But the others have been lost, and so far I have not been able to uncover them. Nevertheless, it is time to start the hunt for this dramatic, theatrical rapist.

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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.

Narrowing the Dragnet–the Hunt for Mr. Cruel

Australia’s Mr. Cruel is certainly the embodiment of calculated evil. His preparations to limit any kind of forensic evidence he might leave behind were meticulously planned, almost over-planned.

But 2 things he forgot– his first attack and his final attack’s disposal site. His route to and from them he did not have to protect. He was a beginner at Lower Plenty with his first attack. He raped the poor girl in the house while her family was gagged and tied up. Then he left and went back to his squalid lair to fester.

I’m sure he chose the most direct route home. Why would he not?

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The dump site for Victim 4.

 

For his next 2 attacks he had to be evasive to protect his route home. At both home attacks the fiend kidnapped the under-aged victims and took them to his lair, there to assault them for 18 and 50 hours respectively. He made sure he drove down side routes and back and forth down streets. Both girls said that he drove all around.

This is curious, as it suggests that his route back home was rather straightforward.

LowerP-routes-1

1, marks the attack site in Lower Plenty. This was Mr. Cruel’s first victim. No major highway is near there. But Rural 44 courses down to merge with a very significant route– Rural 40. Arrows mark the way. Click to enlarge.

For these last two attacks he had clearly used the M3 Highway at one point, either to access them or then to drop them back off  in neighborhoods near to where they lived. He passed one of the victim’s home to get to Bayswater, and he stopped just short of Victim’s 3 neighborhood to drop her off in Kew. Each site was off the M3.

But for his final victim this was unnecessary.  He used either Rural 40 or the M3 to access her neighborhood too, but he either never intended to bring her back or something went wrong and she got a glimpse of his face or, worse, something that would easily mark the location of his lair. Precise location would more quickly identify him than a facial composite.

Routes intersect

The route to and from Lower Plenty is marked with yellow arrows (Rural 44 and 40). High Street is marked in red arrows. Dump site for Victim 4 is marked 4. Click to enlarge.

Mr. Cruel drove her to a landfill at High Street and Mahoneys Road. There was no need to disguise his way there. He knew he was going to snuff out her life, which he did with 3 shots to the head. This intersection, under development at that time, is on remarkably straight line from the major streets that he would have used to return from Lower Plenty.

This bolsters the hypothesis that these two locations and the direct routes that service them lead to his lair. We can ad one other factor. Both kidnapped girls that he had returned after their harrowing ordeal reported hearing jets fly overhead while they were kept chained to the bed in his lair. They sounded like they were coming in for a landing. This told police that the lair was under the flight approach to the Melbourne Airport.

Routes-40

Route 40 is significant. It is marked in yellow arrows. It connects the northeast and east area of Melbourne where Mr. Cruel struck with the north of Melbourne and the communities under the airport flight path. It also connects to the M3 (broad red line)Attack points are marked in numbers. Drop off points are marked by stars.  Click to enlarge.

The communities under this flight path were Keilor, Plenty, Watsonia, McLeod, Strathmore, and Coburg. Most important here for us is Coburg. The roads we have discussed above lead straight to Coburg. This is where we begin.

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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.

Mr Cruel’s 4th Night Out

It hadn’t been the usual stretch between attacks. It was April 13, 1991. The location (Templestowe) fit with Mr. Cruel’s broad area of attack off the M3 in the east/northeast of Melbourne. It was a corner house, at a main cross road– Serpells and Church.

13 year old Karmein Chan was home with her two younger sisters. They were watching a documentary about Marilyn Monroe. The parents were tending to one of their popular Chinese restaurants. It was a little past 9 p.m. Karmein and one of her sisters went to the kitchen. There facing them in the darkened hallway was a man standing there wearing a balaclava ski mask. In his hand was a large carving knife. ChanHe led them back to the bedroom and shoved both of the younger sisters into a closet and sealed them therein using the bed.

Karmein Chan was his intended victim. He took her. When the sisters got free they found the house was empty. The police came screaming to the area. A thorough search revealed a cut window screen via which the intruder had entered. Curiously, the Chan’s car outside in the driveway was spray-painted: “Payback Asian Drug Dealer.”  The door was lettered: “More and more to come.”

Police investigation proved that the Chans weren’t connected with drug dealing. The lettering on the car, coupled with the location of the attack, and the sisters’ description of the intruder, all smacked of Mr. Cruel. It was his MO to leave a false motive as a misleading clue. In each case, so far, he had done that. Usually it had been verbal, something one of the parents or siblings could relate to the police. While the police were chasing false clues, this gave him time with the kidnapped Mr.cruelgirls to assault and film them in his hideous lair before he returned them to a street corner somewhere.

He didn’t do that here. He didn’t leave any false clue with the sisters. The false clue was in the lettering of the family car.

But then there was a kink in the MO. Karmein never returned. Despite her mother pleading on the TV, despite days going by, Karmein was never seen again. This wasn’t Mr. Cruel’s MO.

Almost a year later on April 9, 1992, Karmein’s remains were found in a field at a cross street under development. The bulldozer uncovered the skull first. Forensics proved it was Karmein. She had been dispatched by 3 bullets to the back of the head (presumably a small caliber gun).

Chan grave

There is therefore some debate. Was Mr. Cruel responsible? From the broader picture, it seems he was. Therefore there was some speculation. Karmein was pretty feisty.  She was the kind to fight back. It is possible that she got a view of Mr. Cruel and he disposed of her to protect his wicked identity.

If so, this fits with Mr. Cruel’s excessive zeal to protect his identity.  Yet what were the chances that Karmein’s composite of him would truly lead to his identity? Many villains have had more than one sketch done of them by eyewitnesses and have never been caught. Either Mr. Cruel was a very recognizable citizen, had a distinguishing mark under the mask, or he was truly ignorant of the stats that a single eyewitness, even briefly, could lead to his identity.

Either Mr. Cruel was really dumb or really smart, from an evil standpoint anyway. Or perhaps she saw something more incriminating. Perhaps she saw the lair and it was in a distinctive area.

In any event, Mr. Cruel was obviously cold-blooded enough to commit the murder of a 13 year old child just on the belief he was protecting his identity.

Mr. Cruel never struck again. Either killing Karmein took too much out of him or. . . or why? Perhaps because he had a murder charge hanging over him now, and the coward realized it was too risky. He disappeared, and remains one of Australia’s most sought after villains.

As this case ends the known and accepted Mr. Cruel attacks, it is time to go into some analysis. Mr. Cruel left clues, and the most revealing are found in the broader picture of the crime spree and his stalking MO.

In the next post we will begin to assemble these.

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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.

 

 

 

 

In Quest of the real Phantom of the Opera– NORCAL RAPIST

Still . . .

He is the last holdout. He is the last of the calculated predators who methodically assessed their victims long before the fact. He has faded into obscurity and this has helped preserve his evil identity in the shadows despite one victim having put a scar over his right eye. Rapists don’t get the press they deserve. Only murderers get those catchy monikers that draw our attention. This villain in question here is only known as NORCAL Rapist because he traveled the distance between the Bay Area, Sacramento and Chico– thus northern California. But he is more than a rapist. His name and the number of his attacks do not reflect his evil. He is the last of the tainted breed of calculating predators.

He did not waylay. Somehow he found out the identity of his victims and attacked them in their house. He had carefully planned his performance. He wore masks– on a Halloween attack he wore a trick-or-treat mask. He even sluiced some of his dialogue with sarcasm. He had the gall, above all else he did, to even park in one victim’s garage. When she returned home from work, she thought it was her roommate’s friend’s car. It was NORCAL. He had already bound her roommate inside, parked his car in the garage, and awaited his next victim. Just like a spider in its web. He raped both and then took both into the shower to try and get rid of any forensic evidence.

300px-Phantomtechnicolor

Only Sacramento County, as I have said before, filed against his DNA– thus bypassing statute of limitations. I don’t believe any information was officially preserved in the other jurisdictions where he struck. Police reports have probably been thrown out.

He has been silent since 2006. Ten victims fell before him– twice as many as that attributed to Jack the Ripper.

It is essential that this villain is outed. A step in this direction, of course, is detailed information. The location of the strikes need to be revealed. This will assist in finally solving this case. This will eventually reveal his stalking MO and probably how he uncovered and scoped-out his intended victims.  It is still possible to catch this dramatic, taunting home and life breaker.

He attacked in Rohnert Park, Martinez, Vallejo, Woodland, Davis, Sacramento, Chico starting in the early 1990s. He robbed his victims and in one case was captured on an ATM camera wearing a distorting facial mask.

If you have any information, please message or email me. Thank you. It will remain confidential.

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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.

ZODIAC II– The New York Zodiac Killer– What if?

As those who follow me know, I don’t touch much on solved cases. I quest for the solution to many mysteries. True crime holds little interest to me. Pursuit of mystery for the sake of solution does hold great interest. And I think many who follow me here share those sentiments.

But there are benefits to studying some solved cases. They do not really tell you what might be at play in unsolved cases, but they show you potential. They teach you never to rely on any stereotype.

A case in point is the New York Zodiac, also called ZODIAC II. You all know my stance on copycat crime sprees– they are pure folklore. On the surface the crimes of ZODIAC II would seem to disprove that assertion. Yet a study of the case, which is actually one of the most fascinating solved cases, reveals not a copycat of the Zodiac Killer of the Bay Area, but stolen inspiration from a far more exciting folklore surrounding the Zodiac Killer.

Anybody familiar with both crime sprees would know that Seda, the New York Zodiac, was actually far more imaginative and original than the Zodiac Killer. Astrology was a sham and ruse to the real Zodiac, but it was integral to ZODIAC II. I am going to be starting a series of articles here on Seda, approaching the crime spree from an unsolved aspect to show how easy it is to build up a villain into something he is not. Had ZODIAC II gone unsolved, Seda would have committed the No. 1 crime spree in this nation, and he would have been the last to be suspected. Taking the case purely on its clues and not solution may shed light on the world of unsolved serial murders. The truth behind any evil villain is not so impressive after the mask of mystery is removed.

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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.

Stalking Mr. Cruel– Q Style

After his kidnapping of and repeated assaults upon 13 year old Nichola Lynas, Mr. Cruel became a household name in Australia. With these 3 accepted attacks, it was clear he was an ongoing menace. To fully appreciate why Melbourne held him in such dread for only 3 attacks it is necessary to understand a few things. Each of the attacks came after an interim of about 1.5 years– the first in August 1987, then the second in December 1988, then the last one discussed was in July 1990.  It didn’t seem he was going to stop, and he didn’t mind waiting for a long time. Melbourne realized he could and would strike again. The citizens braced themselves and waited.

It was still mysterious how he selected his under-aged victims, and this kept people on edge. It must have been done very carefully and over a period of time, so carefully it was unnerving. For his attack on Victim No 2, Sharon Wills, he knew the family kept the key in the front door. He came ready with a tool to push it through and a piece of paper to slip under and catch it and then pull it gently out under the door so he could unlock it.

All of this planning paled compared to the lengths he took to prevent forensic evidence. For his first known attack he wore a nylon windbreaker underneath his clothes.  Bizarre but knowledgeable. And in taking into consideration the vast and unfortunate vault of true crime, quite a bit overkill. Since that time serial rapists and killers have struck without 10 percent as much aforethought taken to preventing evidence and still they escaped into the night. Mr. Cruel was obsessive in details, and in not wanting anything that could lead to him.

Either he was very smart or very dumb.  . . . or he was not an obscure citizen.

Yet he laid down a pattern. It is impossible for anything that acts from volition not to leave a pattern. Let’s start to have a look at that here in hopes of taking the preliminary steps to outing the aptly named villain “Mr. Cruel.”

With his attack on Nichola Lynas, he broke his previous pattern. He ventured far from a highway or main road into the suburban communities of north and east Melbourne where he struck. Monomeath Avenue was so deep within the old grid of city streets in Canterbury he had to park his junker of a car on Chaucer Crescent, walk across Canterbury Road and up Monomeath in order to access the house. Obviously, this prevented him from walking his kidnapped victim back to the parked car. As a result he stole the family’s rental car from the driveway.

Monomeath2

1, Monomeath Avenue; 2, Chaucer Crescent; 3, Canterbury Road.

If Nichola is correct, he now did something strange. Hidden on the floorboard at his orders, she felt that when he pulled out he went in the direction of Mont Albert, turned left and then later turned left again and came to the street where they parked. They got out, walked a little bit and got into his own car.

Mont Albert is in the opposite direction of Chaucer Crescent. He could have simply pulled out on Monomeath, crossed Canterbury and then turned onto Chaucer Crescent and Bob’s your uncle. What was the point of not doing so? Mr. Cruel knew the family car would be found parked on Chaucer Crescent. This would tell the police in general where he had parked his own car. It seems pointless not going there direct.

Monomeath1

1, Monomeath; 2, Mont Albert; 3, Canterbury Road; 4, Chaucer Crescent. That is not a main highway to the south of Chaucer. It is a railroad track.

But the overall area of Chaucer Crescent does indicate he had parked near the park there. Perhaps this is also how he had stalked the area– jogging or biking. (Still, how he had come across Nichola Lynas so that his brain became so heated he had to take the extra risks in this posh neighborhood is unfathomable.) He apparently felt he left no forensic clues in the family car. This reflects his pattern of wearing a unique set of clothes for the occasion of the attack and then destroying them.

He turned up and down many side streets on his way to his secret lair. It took some time, but Nichola finally arrived at the place where she would endure 50 hours of bizarre sexual assaults.  She was able to count the number of jets that flew over and noted they sounded like they were landing in the distance. This suggested to police that Mr. Cruel’s nasty abode was under the flight pattern of the Melbourne International Airport at Tullamarine. More specific than that, however, they could not pinpoint it.

Chaucer Crescent1
Chaucer Crescent– exact location where Mr. Cruel parked is unknown by me.

 

From the description of both girls (Wills; Lynas), the lair was not big. Each knew there was a bedroom, a bathroom, a separate toilette, and a kitchen. The driveway was on the right side of the house, and the house a step up. There was a slider door in the bedroom covered by a full length drape. There was a case in the bedroom that was covered with a towel, indicating something was therein that was a dead giveaway to Mr. Cruel’s identity.

But Nichola gave us more clues than Sharon. When Mr. Cruel led her from the abode to that junker car of his, she said it was about 5 steps on the driveway from the side door, and they went through the kitchen to get to the driveway. Obviously, he didn’t take them to and from the house via the front door, and the side door through which he took them was right off the driveway and this was in the kitchen. There was no garage.

But far more important is one intriguing fact which is implicitly contained herein. It tells us about his front yard. Mr. Cruel did not fear neighbors seeing him lead a blindfolded girl out to his car.

All these are clues on the type of lair and its location on a street.

But there is a bigger picture here that helps us track Mr. Cruel. There is his relatively tight area of catch and release, if you will. He remained within the east and northeast of Melbourne. His attacks on Wills and Lynas, and soon on his final victim, Karmein Chan, will reveal that he used the M3 Highway. He may have driven Wills and Lynas around hither and thither to confuse them as to where they were being taken, but he had no need to do that for his first attack in Lower Plenty. He invaded the home and sexually assaulted the 10 year old victim within the house while her parents were tied up in their bedroom.

Since Mr. Cruel did not need to hide the location of his evil lair here at No 1, he must have taken a fairly direct route to Para and Main Road, near where the house of the victim was situated. The same is true when he returned to his abode. The M3 is no good for getting to and leaving from Lower Plenty. Thus we have more than one route to which Mr. Cruel limited himself. The first was not a highway, and then when wishing to access his next victims further to the southeast of Lower Plenty, he chose the M3.

We now have the clues in place that allow us to narrow down and start looking in a community under the Melbourne airport flight path. But first, we must look at his final attack in our next Mr. Cruel post. More clues will help lead the way.

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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.