FBI Seeks Help To Find California's Elusive "East Area Rapist-Golden State Killer"

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department announced the launch of a reward and national campaign to help identify the East Area Rapist-Golden State Killer (EAR, GSK).

The perpetrator is described as an elusive, violent serial burglar, rapist, and murderer who terrorized multiple communities in California throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Significantly, the EAR-GSK expanded his sexual assaults to homicides during his reign of terror.

Between 1976 and 1986, the individual also known as the Original Night Stalker, committed 12 homicides, 45 rapes, and more than 120 residential burglaries in multiple California communities. His victims ranged in age from 13 to 41 and included women home alone, women at home with their children, and husbands and wives.

The FBI's digital media campaign includes the launch of a webpage, www.fbi.gov/EastAreaRapist; digital billboards throughout the country; social media outreach on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; and audio broadcasts via podcasts and radio Public Service Announcements.

The public can play an active role in helping law enforcement find the subject by sharing links to the website and official social media content. Law enforcement asks the public to consider the following information when reviewing information about the case:

  • Did they live in one of the areas of criminal activity and remember someone in the area who matches the physical description of the subject or may have been known to spend a considerable amount of time in the areas?

  • Have they discovered a hidden collection of items among the belongings of a friend or family member—notably coins and jewelry—as described on the FBI webpage about the crimes?

The subject, who may be 60 to 75 years old now, was described as a White male standing approximately 5-feet, 10 inches tall and having blond or light brown hair and an athletic build. He may have had an interest or training in military or law enforcement techniques, as he was familiar and proficient with firearms.

People who know the subject may not believe him capable of such crimes. He may not have exhibited violent tendencies or have a criminal history.

Detectives have DNA evidence from some of the crime scenes that can either positively link or exclude a suspect. This enables investigators to quickly exclude innocent parties, and the public should not hesitate to provide information—even if it is the name or address of an individual who resided in the areas of the crimes—as many parties will be quickly excluded by a simple, non-invasive test.

Between 1976 and 1986, this single subject committed 12 homicides, approximately 45 rapes, and multiple residential burglaries in the state of California. All the crimes have been linked by DNA and/or details of the crimes. His victims ranged in age from 13 to 41 and included women home alone, woman at home with their children, and couples.

The subject was active in the greater Sacramento area from June 1976 to February 1978.

Burglaries and rapes began occurring in the Sacramento area during the summer of 1976. During these crimes, the subject would ransack the homes of his victims and take small items such as coins, jewelry, and identification. These cases include the homes of families, couples, and single women; burglaries in a neighborhood tended to precede clusters of sexual assaults.

On February 2, 1978, Rancho Cordova couple Sergeant Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, were on an evening walk with their dog and were chased by the subject who overcame the couple and shot at close range.

His activity continued primarily in the East Bay Area of Northern California in 1979, and, by October 1979, his activity escalated into rapes and homicides/attempted homicides along the California Coast with homicides in Goleta (October 10, 1979; December 3, 1979; and July 27, 1981); Ventura (March 16, 1980); Laguna Niguel (August 19, 1980); and Irvine (February 6, 1981 and May 5, 1986).

During the commission of the homicides, the subject tied up both victims, raped the female victim, and then murdered the couple. After July 1981, no associated incidents are known to have been reported for five years. In 1986, an 18-year-old woman was raped and murdered in Irvine. No additional crimes have been connected to the subject after this incident.

A graphic illustrating the general location of these crimes is available on the FBI’s webpage.

The following is a listing of local law enforcement agencies who have investigated a crime believed to have been committed by the subject and the number of crimes in their jurisdictions:

Agency Sex Assaults Homicides

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department 24 Two

Sacramento Police Dept. 4 One assault w/ deadly weapon

Contra Costa Sheriff’s Dept. 5 None

Concord Police Dept. 2 None

David Police Dept. 3 None

Fremont Police Dept. 1 None

Modesto Police Dept. 2 None

San Jose Police Dept. 2 None

Stockton Police Dept. 2 None

Walnut Creek Police Dept. 2 None

Irvine Police Dept. None 2

Orange County Sheriff’s Dept. None 2

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Dept. None 4, 2 attempted

Ventura Police Dept. None 2

Law enforcement is seeking any information that may help identify the subject, dubbed the East Area Rapist in Sacramento. He has also been called the Original Night Stalker, Diamond Knot Killer, and, more recently, the Golden State Killer. Individuals with information about the subject may call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Additionally, information may be submitted to the FBI’s online tip line at tips.fbi.gov.

PUBLIC INFORMATION:

Reward:

The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual known as the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.

Remarks:
The East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer (EAR/GSK) is described as a White male, currently thought to be between the ages of 60 and 75 years old, and approximately 5'10" tall. He may have/had blond or light brown hair and an athletic build. He may have had an interest in the military, or had some military training, leaving him familiar and proficient with firearms.
Details:
The FBI and its law enforcement partners are seeking the public's assistance with information about an unknown individual known as the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer (EAR/GSK). Between 1976 and 1986, this individual was responsible for approximately 45 rapes, 12 homicides, and multiple residential burglaries throughout the State of California.

Beginning in the summer of 1976, burglaries and rapes occurred in Rancho Cordova and Carmichael, California, both suburbs of Sacramento. The EAR/GSK gained entry into the homes of his victims by prying open a window or door while they slept. He would then shine a flashlight into the face of his victims, tie up the female victim and, if a male victim was present, tied him up as well.

The EAR/GSK then ransacked the residence and raped the female victim. He often took small items from the residences including coins, cash, identification, and jewelry. Some victims reported receiving telephone calls from the suspect after the crimes.

Individuals with information about the subject may call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). Additionally, information may be submitted to the FBI’s online tip line at tips.fbi.gov.

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