From 1976 to 1986, the East Area Rapist (also known as the Golden State Killer and the Original Night Stalker) was responsible for approximately 45 rapes, 12 homicides, and several burglaries throughout California.
Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, is thought to have drawn inspiration from this horrific predecessor.
According to the FBI’s special investigation webpage, “If he is still alive, the killer would now be approximately 60 to 75 years old.”
“He is described as a white male, close to six feet tall, with blond or light brown hair and an athletic build. He may have an interest or training in military or law enforcement techniques, and he was proficient with firearms.”
The East Area Rapist liked to keep trophies from his victims like rings and coins, which is a major clue investigators say to look out for.
With a $50,000 reward and advanced DNA science, officials are hopeful they will find the East Area Rapist or that someone who knows him will talk to law enforcement.
“Just like any homicide investigation, our lifelines are people who give us information. It all boils down to people helping,” said Sgt. Paul Belli of the Sacramento County sheriff’s homicide bureau.
The FBI notes that, “detectives have DNA from multiple crime scenes that can positively link — or eliminate — suspects. This will allow investigators to easily rule out innocent parties with a simple, non-invasive DNA test.”
“We believe he’s alive. There’s no reason to believe he’s not alive,” Belli told the LA Times.
Anyone with tips or information on the East Area Rapist is urged to get in touch with the FBI.