Experience Teaches. . .History to Bear in Cold Cases

Sadly, the True Crime genre is governed by an economic mentality, not by the true hunters who seek the elusive serial predators. If you look at Wikipedia (if you must) on the list of unidentified serial killers the individual articles are largely a quick hash of the crimes and then, if any, an equally slim overview of the original suspects. And it is stretching to call some of the latter “suspects.” There’s the True Crime genre in a  nutshell.

For historical cases it is diabolic. Details are not preserved. Much has been lost. This is most poignantly felt in such cases as the Mad Butcher of Kingsbury Run in the 1930s. Jack the Ripper is well documented, but the Horrible Headhunter is not, and he is the closest thing America has to Jack the Ripper– he stalked the down-and-out and used them to experiment.

There is only one suspect in the rehash– crazy Dr. Sweeney, a man who frankly was not sober long enough to lift a dog’s tail let alone a scalpel. In the context of the crimes he would have been unable to perfect the precision seen in some of the victim’s dismemberment, especially in Andrassy. As such he’s a poor fit. But he got in the narrative and one point and that becomes the reality.

Dr. Sweeney holds his position because, it is said, Elliot Ness suspected him– brand name! The genre loves that! But, in truth, all we have is that Sweeney wrote to Ness for years from Happy Dale, the local madhouse. He taunted. He provoked, and sometimes he may have very subtly implied he was the butcher.

Experience teaches us that this is nothing. In the case of EAR/ONS, for instance, I have at least 2 correspondents who could make Freud sit up and blink. Their communication is nearly identical to mad Dr. Sweeney’s. They progress from the pitch they are going to cut me into the identity of the true criminal, to assertions they are the true genius who will out the man, then to insults, little jibes, and then the implication that they are the perp themselves. Snarky insults and degradations follow. The thrill of the poison pen pal has reached its ultimate level.

As you might imagine they have the IQ of shoe size, and despite their delusions of grandeur they have no originality.

Anybody who attains notoriety in True Crime is subject to mad Dr. Sweeney ripoffs.

Mad Dr. Sweeney’s inclusion as the prime suspect in the case of The Mad Butcher or Cleveland Torso Murders is a reflection of naivety of actually practicing investigation. They don’t understand how commonplace these generic madmen are. The anonymous nature of the internet only helps them spontaneously reach a wider audience. But they are paper doll cutouts of earlier loons like Sweeney.

But the point here, ultimately anyway, is that the most bizarre string of serial murders in the US remains poorly documented, and its anemic rehash follows the pattern of highlighting Sweeny rather than documenting the cases accurately first (in detail!) and then proceeding to investigate it.

So much more has to be done to find and release as much as possible relating to this Depression era case of a skilled, ghoulish figure of the night who prowled the down and out in the hobo villages of Kingsbury Run and experimented on them in horrid ways. He’s the true American Ripper, but time and formula has obscured him.

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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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Looking for Playboy Johnnie– The Sacramento Nurse Murders

Over 1967-68 Carol Hilburn had lived in Sacramento while studying as an X-Ray technician. Carol was a lively strawberry blonde, with a definite sparkle in her eyes, as an old friend remembered. She got a job at the 40 Grand on Del Paso Blvd as a waitress and paid for her way through her tech classes in hopes of finally becoming an assistant nurse.

Carol really enjoyed working at the lively and popular lounge, and she often stayed after work to dance with the men.  It is during this time that she met a man she would only call “Playboy Johnnie” to her friend. It was clear that she had a crush on him. Did she know his actual name? Nobody knows.

Then there occurred an event that is a reflection of the times and the culture of popular bar lounges. She danced with a black man and the owner personally fired her. She had no job now and had finished her nursing courses. The only choice was to move to Santa Rosa where her mother now lived.

But Carol liked Sacramento and the friends she had met. It was the new age and antiestablishment movement at full swing. She wasn’t wild, but she definitely had that type of character that was easy to like, and she lived and partied like the young did at that time.

About a year after being fired she called a Sacramento friend and asked if she could stay with her the next night. It was November 12, 1970. She was coming for a visit and she specifically mentioned she would be meeting with that mysterious Playboy Johnnie.

Her friend said of course, and told her to call her when she needed to pick her up the next day (she didn’t have a car). Carol never called.

A few days later Sacramento papers expressed their concern about yet another murder of a young woman. There was growing concerned about a serial killer afoot. A sweet court secretary Nancy Bennallack had been murdered in her own apartment on October 26, sliced up with a knife for no reason. Just across the street at another apartment complex nurse Judith Hakari had been abducted on March 7, 1970, and her body found buried near Weimar on the way to Lake Tahoe. There was that strange disappearance of another nurse in South Lake Tahoe named Donna Lass. That had happened on September 6, 1970.

Now on November 13, 1970, a body of a young woman had been found in North Sac at 4th and Ascot in a field that was a part of the Hansen Park, a huge undeveloped area bordered by old country homes and orchards. The body was almost nude. It had panties and a brown suede boot. The victim had not been sexually molested, but she had been beaten to death beyond recognition.

No one knew who she was, so the coroner had to have a forensic artist try and draw a semblance of what she had looked like. It was posted in the Sacramento papers on November 16, 1970, asking for help in identifying the victim. Articles brought up the Bennallack and Hakari murders and now wondered if there was a connection. Carol’s friend read the article but didn’t connect it to why Carol had not called her.

SacUnion-11-16-70

Due to the description of the victim (boot most likely), someone called the sheriffs and suggested Carol. Finally she was identified. The newspapers wrote about how the sheriffs spoke to a man about her, but we do not know if this was the mysterious Playboy Johnnie. When the article identifying Carol was published, her friend was stunned that this victim had been her old friend Carol who was to stay with her that night.  She kept the newspaper editions of the Sacramento Union.

Sac-Union

To this day the case remains unsolved, as do the cases of Hakari, Bennallack and Lass. Was there one killer? Nothing really fits. Carol was having a lively time out visiting a couple of bars, from the rough part of West Sac to Del Paso Blvd in North Sac. Ascot and 4th was an easy drive north of Del Paso Blvd on Rio Linda Blvd. It seems she met someone here and afterward went with them and eventually ended up alone with them.

The murder scene was never found.  But whoever drove her body to the dump site must have known the area. It all depends on which site is correct. Both 4th Street and a few blocks away West 4th street end at Ascot Avenue. 4th is the first street into the community from main the road Rio Linda Blvd. It would make for an easy and quick site. But West 4th is much further in by an old olive orchard. If West 4th is the site then the killer drove much further into the country community than necessary to dump a body. Presumably because he knew the orchard made the road a lonely, dark place here at night.  He drug the body across the street into the open field that is now the very northern perimeter of the country park.

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Ascot Avenue and the field beyond, as seen from West 4th through the orchard at the possible dump site. Taken on February 11, 2013.

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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.

New Years Resolutions– not Revolutions!

It is that time again, and my New Years Resolutions are, in fact, to resolve, not revolve! My eyes are set at True Crime more than anything. I need to get 2 of my trifecta out of the way. This means EAR/ONS and Zodiac. Come hell or high water HorrorScope has to come out in 2018. If you follow me on Twitter, you see I have been sharing edits.

Most importantly, I want EAR/ONS off my back. I need to conclude my investigation and, frankly, get the world of toxic fandom away from me. I don’t know who would enjoy reveling in this kind of stuff. I am not at liberty to say how many people I have forwarded to the FBI, both sincere and sometimes quite crankish. But amidst my own badger sniffing along my own line of investigation many others come to me. I have had more than enough jacket jobs, and a few online stalkers. One continues to try and hack my Amazon account.

I must prepare a little addendum for a cold case DNA unit concerning one POI already thrown in. I was able to secure a little more info, but especially a better photo of him. For me, this is inspiring. This is the original prime POI, whom I supplanted for RAP, when I decided to reinterpret the strike map. A little reminder of what I have often said– I have a core group of POIs within a network of auto wrecking and use car sales. The one who is dead has been eliminated, the others are alive.

My EAR investigation has been as public as possible, as I said it would be. But you all know that with living POIs it must become more restricted. I submitted a 12 page thesis outlining his viability a couple of months ago to the task force and it is being followed through. Since then two photos have been secured and more data. Hopefully the thesis I have submitted and the addendum will inspire a DNA test.

So there is my resolution– I want to move on swiftly and get to some happier and adventurous topics to investigate without the enmeshing clutches I have encountered with EAR/ONS for the last few years.

I am very grateful for the support and kindness of many people out there. It has truly been appreciated. The public nature of my investigation into this case has helped educate many on how the system works and the time it takes to be careful. Do not mistake the slow process at the official level. It does not reflect a lack of interest, but quite the opposite. It reflect a very serious, dedicated desire to nail the right guy and have all the information in order to go to court with. The closer the investigation comes to EAR, the more careful it must become. It takes more than DNA. It takes putting it all in context and then ready to go before a judge.

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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.

Changing Fortunes– The Zodiac Killer

When I first tread into True Crime in 2010 the case of the Zodiac Killer was quickly tanking. It had received a blast of popular interest because of the 2007 movie, but with popularity came all sorts of contention, as I understand it, amongst those who followed the case. I completely missed all that, for which I am grateful. I entered True Crime concentrating on Jack the Ripper. In 2012 I openly entered the Zodiac case investigation.

Media wise the Zodiac Killer case was far out of the limelight. A few of those involved were rather nice to me, though many did not understand my “different take” on the topic. Compared to EAR/ONS, Zodiac was nothing. EAR/ONS was fomenting and now has entered the limelight.

According to my analytics, however, The Zodiac case is returning in popularity. It could be because next year is the 50th anniversary of the case. That will always set the news off, but only next year. It is going on now, and so I must assume the interest to be cyclical. I would like to flatter myself and say it is just my “different take” that has finally caught on, but I think it truly is cyclical, and now that more return to think about the case they visit as much cyber stuff as they can on it.

Lake_Berryessa_Suspec sketch

They should marvel about it the case. The Zodiac swung along the spectrum from bungling perpetration to cerebral game playing. He was a truly bizarre braggart in the annals of crime. On Q Files I limit myself to purely official investigative material, my own investigation, and to those pearls of great price that others have uncovered. What Ricardo Gomez discovered in 2008 was particularly good.

So for all those following me now, just a note to remind you that The Quester Files section on Zodiac remains that “different take” because I did not follow the narrative. I limited myself to investigative material. This led me to my POI, and my investigation has refined him into the most likely candidate.

My web site has allowed me to reestablish the original foundation, so we can start all over fresh again and follow the trail of the most pompous killer in history. The popular folklore has built Zodiac up into such an arch villain, that it has undermined the  process of elimination. It has caused people (and perhaps even official investigators) to doubt the DNA profile and the bloody fingerprints in Stine’s cab—what both Toschi and Armstrong considered conclusive.

Soon I hope to move forward with the formal turn-in of my suspect “Steve Beard.” As I write the dossier (or thesis) I will share some outcroppings here, some things I have never outlined before. But I think some can be shared. The thesis will be different from HorrorScope. The thesis goes right for the throat.

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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.

Happy Halloween! Cold Case Updates.

I have made some significant progress in identifying one of the lost NorCal Rapist crime scenes, and perhaps I am closer to finding another. This theatrical, smug rapist struck once on Halloween (1996) and another time close to it– a fit time for a masked creep who liked to play his own trick-or-treat with the lives of others.

Fortunately, his DNA was filed against (at least in Sacramento County) so that statute of limitations has been circumvented. He can still be prosecuted. And I hunt him. . . sadly to do so I must uncovered the strike locations, most of which have been lost.

As for EAR/ONS, I hope to have a few more POIs submitted by Thanksgiving. I have my own route for submitting my information to the task force, but people do contact me and on occasions when it is a legitimate concern over a POI I forward to them the FBI contact. A couple of POI are under scrutiny via this method as well.

Since I have made very concise my approach to the crime spree, I do my own legwork and investigation and I am able to submit any pertinent and potential leads I uncover. No one else follows my angle, which is good. Each has his own angle of approach– real estate, development, etc.

So this update is basically the gist of this post– all is good. The process of elimination continues. Between 600 to 700 have been DNA tested from about 6,300 or so POIs– if my memory serves. The others have been eliminated via other means. This is major progress. There is no failing in the process of elimination.

As I understand it, the FBI and Air Force are sweeping all Sacramento area schools, checking the records of all male students attending between 1968 and 1976 and comparing them to custody records between 1982 to 1986 to see if a name appears. Those that do, naturally, they will look into more deeply to see if this is EAR/ONS.

With the same fervor of Dr. Loomis, everybody involved wants to get this real life Michael Myers for all he did.

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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.

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.

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.