The Curious Case of MRL, alias, etc, etc.
In continuance of both the introduction page and the first person of interest page, the case of RAP, we have come to MRL. He is not EAR/ONS, but he may be a bridge to his identity.
Let us begin. . .
The young neighbor on La Alegria the night of the Maggiore Double Murders (February 2, 1978) and others were the source of a sketch of the man who jumped the fence and fled the the scene of the crime.
This composite, above, is the second or “refined” sketch of this suspect, which was labeled the “First Suspect” due to the fact he was the one who was seen jumping the fence of the yard where the murder had taken place. The first sketch showed him with a mustache. That may be a mistake. He is supposed to be in his early 20s, so the composite above tends to make him look a little older. He also has a military style haircut; not common for the 1970s unless you were in the military.
These sketches, right, published in the newspapers at the time, show him as he was first sketched and then as he was refined. This progression confuses the issue as to which one of the two men seen that night should have the mustache. This is the same suspect, old description placed next to new description.
However, this and all the other later news articles go on to describe the other man seen out there that night, crediting him with having the mustache. In addition to this feature, this other man is described quite differently than the “First Suspect” of interest here. He had also been seen clearly enough to warrant an official sketch. Taken on a conglomerate of EAR sketches and composites, this “Second Suspect” resembled the infamous night predator who was at this time Sacramento’s No. 1 Most Wanted. This is that suspect:
“Second Suspect” is described as: “20 to 21 years old, 5 foot 10 inches tall, with a medium build, medium brown hair, appearing thin in front, short sideburns . . . He was wearing a dark colored jacket with slash pockets, dark pants, black shoes or boots, and brown leather gloves.” This sketch was humanized below:
This sketch has never been adjusted with a “refined” sketch being released as in the case of the other suspect. But given the fact one of them had a mustache, perhaps that mustache should be placed on this sketch. Therefore we must accept the possibility that he really looked like this:
Coincidentally, at EAR’s next attack, in Little Pocket, an “unexpected jogger,” who possibly was EAR, was described as having a mustache. This could indeed have been EAR. So it is entirely possible he was wearing the mustache here on the night of February 2, 1978.
One of the two was also described as having “fat lips.” This featured appeared first on the first sketch of the “First Suspect.” This feature was then removed from the “refined” sketch. Like the mustache, this feature perhaps should be placed onto the “Second Suspect” above. A fat lower lip is, of course, a feature of RAP and some of the EAR sketches.
Altogether this brings us back to the first sketch shown.
I am not being flippant in my introduction here. I wish to underscore the probable accuracy of the final sketch for “First Suspect” above and therewith underscore that this sketch does not describe the features of EAR. This suspect is described as: “a white male adult, about 6 foot tall, 20 to 21 years old, with a slim build, and brown hair in a medium length cut. He was wearing a brown leather-type coat with a spot or stain on the back near the left middle, dark pants, and brown cowboy-type boots.” Supposedly a gold dragon was on the jacket pocket, and the stain migrated in the retelling, sometimes placed on the back lower right side.
Cowboy boots are certainly not the footwear of a prowler; and indeed EAR never wore cowboy boots. We thus have two men, with the above “First Suspect” being very likely in company that night with the notorious East Area Rapist and therewith a link to his identity.
To reiterate my theory, as expressed in Critical Clue and in the page on RAP, it is my contention that an hypothesis must be followed, a model by which data can be organized to see if it justifies the underlying thesis and therewith continue to propel us forward to more clues. The hypothesis being followed here is that Brian Maggiore knew and could recognize one of the two men he and his wife came across that night, February 2, 1978. Furthermore, the hypothesis posits that Maggiore recognized one or both of the men doing something illegal. Part of the hypothesis is that this illegal activity was not something minor, but something that could identify one of them as the EAR, who was then in 1978 the terror of Sacramento County.
One can argue against this hypothesis, but anti-hypothesis leads nowhere. Hypotheses are not introduced for debating purposes, but are part of the process of scientific inquiry. Theories are for debate. Hypothesis are a part of the investigative process leading toward theory.
Victim, Brian Maggiore, right.
Taking to heart the conviction that Brian Maggiore could identify one of the two men, I began a search of his past. He was raised in Fresno, California. He graduated from Fresno High in 1974. Soon thereafter he joined the Air Force, and his connection with Fresno, except for that family was still there, was largely at an end. By 1978, his past therefore could be divided between growing up in Fresno and close to 4 years of military service in the Air Force. That’s about it. He had been stationed in Texas, Alaska, and Mississippi, and now Mather Field. He was part of the security police squadron (an “administrative specialist”), so he was trained in some military law.
Given the vast body of clues and evidence that indicate EAR was quite local to the area of Carmichael and Rancho Cordova, plus the amount of time he spent prowling prospective neighborhoods to strike, it is virtually impossible to believe that he was in the military at the time of his crime spree. However, since this person of interest is raised here in the context of not being EAR but being a link to him, MRL could both have been in the military at Rancho Cordova at that time and would also, for whatever reason, know EAR. In what context, however, would a military man based temporarily at Mather Field be doing at night with a young man, a local, who stalked and prowled neighborhoods?
The chances of finding all personnel who were stationed at Mather Field and who looked like the composite above is probably nil. It is equally useless to second-guess a motive from 38 years ago as to why a military man from Mather AFB would be on a residential street nearby in Rancho Cordova.
However, a search of Brian Maggiore’s past in Fresno was easier to commence. Also, the fact that the suspects, both “First” and “Second,” were described as the same age as Maggiore underscored the possibility that this was someone Maggiore had once known as a peer. This revealed that a classmate of his, MRL, looks identical to the above sketch, even more so when it was suggested at the time that the above person of interest may have had a mustache.
A mere similarity in appearance, even a marked one, means nothing. However, a search of his name made a hit, several hits in fact, in databases of registered offenders. MRL has not had a happy life, at least insofar as his contacts with the law have been concerned. Violent rape, yes, forced oral sodomy on a mere 14 year old, yes. Youthful offender, yes. Several arrests, priors, failures to register— several arrests for that violation.
As a construction worker it is not surprising that he should come northward, eventually ending up far north of Sacramento in a trailer. His sojourn in the capitol area, unfortunately, is not that documented. However, his crimes are. Such a man like this may well have found himself in Sacramento in construction at the time of the EAR crime spree, and such a man as this would be the type one would expect EAR might come across.
Remember, EAR may have been funding a drug habit and had a doper. The places to go in the East Area for deals were Del Dayo and then Del Camp Park, the areas where EAR struck first in Carmichael. He may have known these areas due to his habit. EAR may also have had connections in construction. There is more than one way for the two to have met, and the purpose of this hypothesis is to pursue MRL as a link to EAR.
As presented so far, it is a thin connection, though it fits within the current hypothesis. MRL has a similar appearance and name that matches a past classmate of the victim. Coupled with a nasty record, this would be enough in a “hot case” to urge further and immediate follow-up. In a cold case, that is a little more tenuous. Thirty-eight years has gone by. It takes some verification, probability, and refinement of approach.
Could it be a coincidence that there is a man out of Brian Maggiore’s past who looks like the POI sketch of “First Suspect” in question, has the same name, looks like MRL in which we are interested, but who is not the subject in question? Curiously, if we are to believe all the records this appears to be the case here.
On the face of it two MRLs exist, both remarkably similar in appearance, but the nasty one of interest here has a birth date which places him two years younger than Maggiore’s graduating classmate of the same name from Fresno High in 1974. The different birth date could be a clerical error. It is not uncommon; if so, there is only one single-o MRL and he was able to get away with a false ID that started the misperception he was two years younger.
The MRL of interest here would most likely enjoy a false age and ID, considering he has about 4 known aliases, which, of course, indicates he was into a little more illegal activity than rape on a minor. Drugs? Dealing? Fencing? Avoiding child support? One jump ahead of the sheriff? Take your pick.
Let us adopt a helpful attitude here. Even if there are two MRLs entirely separate from each other, one law-abiding and from Fresno, the other not so laudable, this rare coincidence does not rule out the nasty MRL from being the “First Suspect” seen that night on La Gloria and La Alegria. It is merely serendipity that has led us to him. His connection to Brian Maggiore is not high school but could be that he had joined the Air Force and was stationed at Mather AFB.
Because he is alive, I could not pull military records. Military men usually don’t go into construction after discharge, and MRL’s background is firmly established as construction and laborer. If this MRL is Maggiore’s classmate, I would venture he was not for any period of time in the military. A construction job background soon after high school fits better with the clues in the case of EAR.
Either way it is sliced, he seems worthy of pursuing. To sum it up, he resembles and has the same name as one of the victim’s classmates. He resembles the sketches. He made his way to northern California, was in construction, and he fits a nasty bill.
What could the connection with EAR be?
EAR was a loner. This seems certain by the amount of time he prowled and stalked several communities over northern California and then when desired he could relocate easily enough into So. Cal. But EAR must have had a fence, to hock his stolen items and, even more so, a drug dealer.
MRL was an unlikely drug dealer. He was a rapist and child molester, and this is obviously only the tip of the iceberg for an underlying criminal attitude. But he has proven largely financially unsuccessful, and hasn’t been busted in any significant way for drugs. A petty amateur at one point, both fence and drugs, is possible.
EAR’s reference in a jotting to “Teichrt” could well reflect a need to pick up MRL, or some other friend or contact, for whatever reason. Teichert was a major northern California construction company and highway builder. EAR’s jotting establishes him in the orbit of construction, in whatever capacity— towing, delivering, driving.
If MRL is the one and same classmate of Brian Maggiore, he fits into the hypothesis at hand. EAR could have known such a person, through job, drugs, fencing, whatever. It is impossible to place anybody on La Gloria that night anymore, except the victims and the witnesses. All we know is that MRL came through this area at one point in time.
According to the hypothesis at hand, he becomes an immediate bridge between Brian Maggiore and EAR, if the other man out there that night was indeed EAR. And I would say it is safe to assume it was.
According to the hypothesis, Maggiore approaches MRL, whom he recognizes in a compromising position— in a neighbor’s yard he shouldn’t be in, coming out of a window, or standing by the house and EAR suddenly pops out the house’s window. Maggiore, in the Air Force police unit, makes his move. But, in the hypothesis, EAR reacts quickly. He draws his gun. The Maggiores run, with Katie calling for help. Berserk, EAR chases them down and kills them.
In doing so, EAR has preserved his identity’s secret, which Maggiore would have learned through MRL if he had been officially pulled in.
The problems with this approach, that is, pursuing the identity of EAR via uncovering an accomplice, are numerous, specifically here in the case of the Maggiore Double Murders, where more than one man was suspected and where one of the sketches of these two men underwent a radical change. Even appearances therefore are a shaky starting point. The first sketch showed “First Suspect” with a mustache and fat lower lip; the second without. The latter remains the accepted best sketch of this “First Suspect” seen out there that night. The mustache and fat lower lip perhaps should have been restored or, very possibly, placed on the other suspect sketch— the “Second Suspect.” But neither correction reveals the murderer.
The current hypothesis is predicated on the view that there is a connection between EAR and the Maggiore Double Murders. However, it cannot rely on the fact that EAR killed them. Unfortunately, of the two men seen previously on La Gloria, only one was seen to jump the fence of the yard in which the murders had occurred. This is the “First Suspect” described above, not the one who resembled EAR. It would thus seem, on the surface anyway, that the man above is the shooter and killer, not the one who looked like EAR. Approaching him to make a link to EAR that night would not likely yield anything if he is actually the killer. It may yield some information if he was only a bystander, and this is thin unless he has other charges coming up and has the ability to plea bargain.
A definite connection to EAR was always predicated prior to this writing on the fact that pre-knotted ligatures were found on the lawn of a home nearby to the crime scene. EAR knotted two shoelaces together to lengthen them. However, this is not the case here.
Recently the Sac. Co. Sheriffs released the crime scene photo of the ligature found on the lawn on La Gloria. Sadly it is only one blue shoelace and yet it had some kind of knot in it. The plastic ends of the shoelace had not been cut off. EAR cut his off.
Sac. Crime scene photo, 1978. The plastic tips can clearly be seen on the blue shoelace.
At first this seemed discouraging, but an examination of other released photos of EAR’s bindings revealed this exception. It is not necessary in the thesis at hand to account for the reason for these variations. However, it is known that sometimes EAR used laces taken from the shoes of the homeowners he was going to attack. More likely than not he did not cut the plastic tips off of these. He only cut the tips off of those he had bought and had the time at his lair to do so before he brought them with him.
Not many ligature photos have been released. Fortunately, in those released by Stockton PD the exception can be seen.
Above, what the bindings looked like on a victim. Here, the plastic tips on the shoelaces are cut off. The fortunate exception is below.
In comparison with the photo on the lawn above, it is plain to see that not only are the plastic tips on the brown shoelaces, there is a knot near to one tip similar to the one seen in the picture from the Maggiore crime scene.
According to the hypothesis here, the shoelaces fell out of EAR’s pocket as he withdrew his gun. Conceding this nonetheless, one cannot be positive that he killed the Maggiores. Since the “First Suspect” of interest here jumped the fence, the possibility exists that EAR did not chase and shoot the Maggiores, but that the man in the above sketch did. The existence of those knotted shoelaces may only mean that EAR drew his gun from his jacket pocket and out fell the shoelaces, which he had planned to use elsewhere that night.
In this context it should be noted that a prowler was seen and sketched in the communities around Winding Way on the very day (May 17, 1977) that EAR struck victim 21 in Del Dayo, relatively distant from the American River College area of Winding Way. EAR seems to have had a complex itinerary for stalking and striking, overlapping stalking in one location with striking in another. If EAR was the other man out on La Gloria, he may only have been stalking that night. Are some of the other events that night coincidences? Or did he have a partner for some burglary that night and intended to strike alone somewhere else. The questions cannot be answered, but the presence of two men does not negate EAR being one of them. Sadly, it also doesn’t mean the two “suspects” were together.
Thus in conclusion it seems EAR was present on La Gloria around this time. Whether he is the killer or not, the “First Suspect” could be a link to EAR’s identity. This could be MRL.
The thesis fulfills the requirements of The Process Skills of Scientific Inquiry, Process Skills No. 7 & 8 “Questions and Hypotheses,” those necessary steps before “Experiment.”