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True Crime/Cold Case Files     EAR Crime Index

The Case of the East Area Rapist AKA The Original Night Stalker

261 Rape

Victim No. 42

December 2, 1978

About 4 a.m.

Kesey Lane

San Jose

Sobbing in San Jose

East Area Rapist

  He is the real life Michael Myers. He looked like the average teen, except for his morose eyes. Yet he is the No. 1 serial offender in history. He was so careful, he is known only by his DNA. The East Area Rapist, as he was known, struck California communities for 10 years— 1976-1986. Toward the end he became a murderer now known as the Original Night Stalker. He has 50 rapes and 12 murders to his record. Then he vanished. He would be about 58 years old now, living what appears a normal life. These are the files on his crimes.


Police responded to the emergency call at 4:30 a.m. and arrived at the house on Kesey Lane. There they found the side door to the garage had been pried open at the bolt by a sharp instrument, probably a knife. Wood chips from the door jam sprinkled the cement. The door to the house inside the garage was still locked and untouched. Walking around to the backyard, the police noticed herringbone tennis shoe impressions in the ground. Tracing the intruder, they saw that after he had left the garage he went around the backyard to the window of the guest bedroom. Evidently he had opted not to pry the wood door into the house in the garage and had then tried to enter the house via the guest bedroom window. The glass was broken by the lock. The window was slid open, but a wood dowel had prevented the window from opening more than a few inches. Following the footsteps the police went to the patio sliding glass door. The window next to the glass slider had a small break in it and, apparently, the intruder had slid his arm in and unlocked the glass slider, slid it open and quietly entered.

     While surrounded by police, the victim sat in a chair and recounted her terrifying ordeal for the officer generated report.

     Victim spoke of how she and her husband were awakened by a flashlight beam in their eyes. Victim awoke first and saw a man standing at the foot of the bed. He was wearing a ski mask, dark blue windbreaker. Victim screamed.

     “Shut up or I’ll kill you!” he snarled through clenched teeth.

       Her husband jolted awake and looked over. The dark figure shined the bright light in his eyes. “Don’t look at me,” he then growled.

     Husband threw covers off,  and swung his legs out. Before his feet could touch the carpet, the assailant was by his side and hit him twice on the shin with the barrel of a pistol. “Don't move, motherfucker,” he threatened. “You try that again, motherfucker, I’ll shoot you. All I want is food and money and I’ll leave in my van.”

     Husband laid flat.

     Assailant kept the gun on the husband. Victim now noticed that shoelaces dangled from assailant’s hand, the hand that held the flashlight. He tossed them to her. “Tie his hands,” he ordered. “Behind his back. Tight.” He looked down to the husband. “On your stomach, motherfucker.”

     Husband rolled over. Victim tied her husband’s wrists.

     After this, assailant growled at her: “On your stomach.” He tied her wrists painfully tight. He then tied her ankles loosely. He went around the bed and retied the husband’s wrists to the point circulation stopped. The police investigators could appreciate the victims’ agony as their hands were still purple as they sat there.

     To continue. . . .

     Assailant then tied husband’s ankles tightly.

     When finished the assailant whispered threateningly at them: “Don’t move. Shut up and don’t move or I’ll fuckin’ shoot you both.”

     Assailant then left and they heard him ransacking through the house. After a while he padded back into the bedroom. “I only want money and food because I’m hungry,” he deceived them through his clenched teeth.

     Victim told them that the food was in the refrigerator in the kitchen. The husband said: “Our money is in the hallway under linen closet. That’s all we have.”

     Once again the assailant left the room. They heard him rummage in the hallway. They thought he was taking the money. However, now he returned, but he said nothing. Instead they heard him tearing linen towels. He blindfolded them with one strip and then gagged them with another.

     None of this made sense in order to rob them. They didn’t know why he hadn’t left. Strangely, he started to remove the ligatures from victim’s ankles. She jolted. He then pulled her up. Husband felt the wife pulled off the bed. Though blindfolded, he looked over. “Don’t move, motherfucker,” the assailant growled in response.

       Victim was pushed into the hall and into the living room.

     “On your stomach,” he hissed.

       She heard him walk away from her. He rummaged in the kitchen at the cupboards. She heard plates and bowls being stacked. She then heard him pad past her back to the master bedroom.

     Here the assailant set them in one heavy heap on the husband’s back. The husband, of course, was clueless. The assailant rattled them a bit, conveying they were plates. “If these fall, I’ll hear them. I’ll kill you if I hear them fall,” he hissed with sinister intent.

     Victim heard assailant padding about her. She heard a lamp turned on and then the shade made strange sounds. From the evidence, at this time the assailant was putting a towel over the shade to filter and dim the light.

     Soon the victim could tell the assailant was standing over her. He was lubricating himself. “I’ve been watching you for a long time, [name],” he said through his clenched teeth. “I’ve been wanting to fuck you for a long time.” He straddled her and sat down on her numb, purple hands. She could tell that the offending organ in her hands was aroused. “Play with it!” he demanded.

     After a while of this awkward torture, he yanked her into a sitting position. Then he hit her on the side of her head and knocked her down. He pulled her back up. “You better not hurt it!” he growled through clenched teeth. He emphasized this by putting the point of a knife to her neck. He pushed the offending organ into her face. “You better make it feel nice or I’ll cut your throat.” He orally sodomized her.

     A minute or so later he pushed her to the floor. He lifted her nightgown. He removed her red underwear. He pressed a gun barrel against her head. “If you scream,” he hissed wickedly, “I’ll blow your brains out.”

     He raped her. 

     By victim’s estimation it was only for a few seconds. Then he left and she heard him, of all things, crying in the kitchen. Deep sobs. “You motherfucker. You motherfucker,” he repeated while he cried. “You motherfucker.”

     [There was more roaming of the house and ransacking.]

     It was quiet for some time now. Victim hoped he was gone. She struggled to her feet. Vigor was limbering her as she thought the nightmare was over. She had barely gotten to her knees when she was pushed back down. “Lie still,” the snakelike whisper threatened, “or I’ll kill you.” 

     At that moment the dishes crashed onto the floor in the bedroom. Assailant leapt back down the hallway. Husband told the police how he heard him running to the bedroom down the hall. He was sure it was over for him.

     “Just try that again, motherfucker,” snarled the assailant through his clenched teeth. “I’ll shoot your wife first, then you.” He piled the dishes back on.

     Victim began to shake as she heard assailant returning down the hall. She was sure he was coming to torture her more.

     [Victim was raped again.]

     He went back into the kitchen and paced back and forth, sobbing.

     She heard him returning. But he padded past her. She heard him wander the house. The feeling was he was retracing his steps and checking to make sure he hadn’t left anything.

     Then it was silent.

     Time passed. Victim’s hands were in excruciating pain. She finally risked it again. She got up and staggered down the hall. They were able to get free.

     Finished with her account, the victim was taken to the hospital for her long and arduous rape examination.


Investigation uncovered that the assailant had taken $70,  a six pack of Coors beer, the husband’s gold nugget wedding ring, and a General Electric digital clock. The house was ransacked. Dishes covered the side of the bed. Strips of towel littered the floor, lint was peppered about where he had torn the strips. Lubricant bottle was found. The shoelaces, the red panties. All the tokens of a house violated. Suspect had also eaten a box of Nabisco crackers, the empty box was on the counter.


Victims could not identify their attacker to any extent.


   Kesey Lane is located just a little north from the location of Attack 41, just up North Capitol Avenue. 

Aerial-42-42-icon Kesey-aerial1-icon
Kesey-park-icon Agua Vista-park-Kesey-icon
Agua Vista-icon


There was some question about whether the East Area Rapist was responsible for the earlier Havenwood attack. However, this attack removed any doubt. The actions and dialogue of the perpetrator confirmed it. Within each community along the 680 corridor EAR had grouped his attacks and remained close to the highway. The same rings true here. Havenwood was close by down North Capitol Avenue.

     The fact that both victims in San Jose were Japanese is very significant. EAR had limited himself to the northeastern area of San Jose, which is northeast of Japantown, but this does not wholly account for it. There were many areas in these new developments offering parks, two canals and even a CAT corridor, but rather he limited himself to communities quickly accessible off North Capitol. A highway onramp was close to each.

     The only answer appears to be that EAR was far from his base of operations in the Contra Costa Corridor. He didn’t remain in the houses in San Jose for as long as he did in some victims’ homes. He seems to have selected the most desirable victims he could find first after a briefer than usual period of stalking.

     EAR was probably led to this second community by noticing it from the onramp at North Capitol. After his usual casual stalking period, he would have left this area to go north again, back to Contra Costa County along 680. The easiest way to get back on the highway is the North Capitol onramp. The uncultivated park made for an unobstructed vista to his right. Beyond that it was easy to see the new housing development. He saw before him two communities separated by an open field, and this was conducive to his typical prowling MO. He could return, park off Agua Vista, jog about and cross the field (not yet a park) onto Bethany and jog about. He could return in the early morning and stealthily scout the yards.

     While this was his MO, he clearly had not done much house specific prowling here. He was unaware the family locked the inner door to the house from the garage. He was also unaware of dowels protecting the windows. Yet he remained ever-undeterred. This was pretty gusty. He must have known enough to believe there was no gun in the house, or he was sure he could handle it. Like with some previous Cataldi-iconvictims, nothing stopped him here. 

     In regards to his prowling MO, EAR no doubt had indeed parked on Agua Vista at one point, but on the night of the attack his habit was to come in close. The problem here is that Kesey is in a rather tight community. The only ways out go to the same two roads, and neither of them connect to the highway. Agua Vista is a quick way out to North Capitol and the northbound onramp to 680. Yet due to the fact that EAR stole an entire six pack of beer and digital radio, it seems unlikely he had parked onCataldi-escape-icon Agua Vista this night. It wouldn’t be wise to walk around the street to Bethany, then cross the open field carrying stuff. He also didn’t jump fences with them in hand. He must have left the side gate and walked to his car, parked close by.

     With hindsight there is little reason to take the sobbing seriously. EAR did not regret his actions. He continued to calculate many more attacks, and when it would finally come to murder he would be even more careful. Rather the newspapers had been saying he was a paranoid schizophrenic, and this may have been his way of dovetailing upon those theories. He certainly wanted the victim to hear him and thus repeat it to the police. Sobbing, like the other things he said, should simply be chalked up to red herrings. He needed these, just like he needed to disguise his voice, to protect his true identity.   


Files on the EAR/ONS




A Word About Rape

   Notes on Personal Investigation

Logic verses Instinct

The Folklore of “Copycat”




The Summer of ’76

Victim #1
— The Beginning—
Rancho Cordova

Victim #2
—Careful Selection—
Del Dayo

     Victim #3
— Foiled Attack—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #4
— Violent Improvisation—

   Victim #5
— Selected Target—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #6
— Curious Tactics—
 Rancho Cordova

     Victim #7
— Baring Down—
 Del Dayo 

     Victim #8
— Interrupted Arrival—
 Rancho Cordova

Analysis of First 8 Strikes

Victim #9
— Revealing Mistake—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #10
— Fair Oaks—

  Living Dangerously
— The Year of the EAR—

Victim #11
— Cats and Fields—

Victim #12—
 Blind Spot Reveals—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #13
— Unexpected Jogger—

Ripon Court Shooting

 Victim #14
— Over the River . . .
and Through the Woods—

Victim #15
— Tactical Misuse—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #16
— Opportunity Knocks a Clue—

Victim #17
— Unexpected Spoke in the Hub—

Victim #18
— Moving Upwards—
La Riviera

Victim #19
— Presentiment
 Impromptu Danger—

Victim #20
— Blind Spot
 and a
Stop Watch—
 Citrus Heights

Victim #21
— Tactical 1—
Del Dayo

Victim #22
— Tactical 2—
South Sacramento


  After the Lull—
1977’s Autumn of Fear


Victim #23
— Tactical 3—

Victim #24
— Switcharoo—
 La Riviera

Victim #25
— Follow Diablo—
 Foothill Farms

Victim #26
—  Dump Truck Biker—

Victim #27
— Condo Commando—
La Riviera

Victim #28
— Tail of Diablo—
 Foothill Farms

Victim #29/30
— Assault!—

Maggiore Double Murders
— Critical Clue—
 Rancho Cordova

   Yet Another Year— 1978


       Witness in Charcoal

Victim #31
— Distant Roaming—

Victim #31B
— Back to Rancho—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #32
— Little Pocket, Big Clue—
 South Sacramento

Victim #33
— The Deep Dig—

Victim #34
— Co-Ed—

Victim #35
— Back—

Victim #36
— Forth—

Silent Victim
— Lateral—

Victim #37
— Forth North—

A New East—
 Contra Costa Corridor

Victim #38
—  Surreal Schedule—

Victim #39
— Opportunity Kicks—

Victim #40
— Cats and Fields Again—
 San Ramon

Victim #41
— The Way to San Jose—
 San Jose

Victim #42
— Sobbing in San Jose—
 San Jose

Victim #43
— Danville—
 Playing it Close


   No Stopping Him— 1979

Lacing with Ligatures— Thunderbird Place

Victim #43B
— Auld Lange Syne—
 Rancho Cordova

Victim #44
— Along the 680—

Victim #45
— Follow the Cats—
 Walnut Creek

Victim #46
— Sticking to Routine—

Victim #47
— Walnut Creek—
 Dig and Retreat

Victim #48
— Shouted Out—

Victim #49
—  The Unsuspected —


—Original Night Stalker—

— Doctor Duo—
 Dec 30, 1979

— Cats & Murder—
 March 13, 1980

Laguna Niguel
— Exclusive—
August 19, 1980

— Home Alone—
 Feb. 6, 1981

— Dig & Retreat Again—
 July 27, 1981

— Epitome of MO—
May 4, 1986


         Phantom Predator—
  Analysis of EAR Crime Spree

       Analysis of EAR Prowling MO

Portrait of Terror

The Lair of an Arch Rapist

     The Mystery of the Silent Dog

Phone Calls



Night Predator
Files on the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker

The Website of Gian J. Quasar