The Original Night Stalker

One of various police sketches of the suspect
One of various police sketches of the suspect

EDIT: After the arrest of Joseph DeAngelo on April 24, 2018, this article is no longer accurate. Click here to read the new article about the original night stalker

The Original Night Stalker is the name given to an unidentified serial killer and rapist who committed 50 rapes in Northern California and murdered twelve people in Southern California from 1979 through 1986. The crimes initially centered on the then unincorporated areas of Carmichael, Citrus Heights and Rancho Cordova, all east of Sacramento, where at least fifty women were sexually assaulted between June 18, 1976, and July 5, 1979. The perpetrator was dubbed The East Area Rapist. In 2001, several of the Northern California rapes were linked by DNA to murders in Southern California. All of the DNA linked rapes occurred in Contra Costa County, but the distinctive modus operandi (MO) of the rapist makes it extremely likely that the same man was also responsible for the attacks in the Sacramento area. His last crime and the only one after 1981 was in 1986.

The Original Night Stalker has never been apprehended; several suspects have been cleared through DNA, alibi, or other investigative means and methods. Other monikers include The East Area Rapist, The Diamond Knot Killer, and since 2013, he has also been referred to as The Golden State Killer. On June 15, 2016, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies conducted a press conference to announce a nationwide push and a US$50,000 reward for his capture. They plan to erect electronic billboards nationwide and other forms of exposure for the push.


California law enforcement authorities estimate fifty rapes in the California counties of Sacramento, Contra Costa, Stanislaus, San Joaquin, Alameda, Santa Clara and Yolo were committed by the Original Night Stalker. DNA evidence conclusively links him to eight murders in Goleta, Ventura, Dana Point, and Irvine, California, with two other murders in Goleta linked by MO but not DNA. Some investigators also suspect the same perpetrator in three other murders, two in Rancho Cordova and one in Visalia.

– East Area Rapist crimes

The Sacramento East Area Rapist is believed to have started as a prolific burglar, only later graduating to rape. His initial modus operandi was to stalk middle class neighborhoods at night looking for women who lived in single-story homes, generally located near a school, creek, or other open space that afforded a quick escape. He was spotted on a number of occasions, but sprinted away upon detection. On one occasion, a youth who closely pursued him was shot and seriously wounded. Most victims had seen or heard a prowler on their property before the attacks, and many had suffered break-ins. Police believed the offender had a pattern of using extensive reconnaissance on several homes in a targeted neighborhood before selecting one for attack. As part of his surveillance, the stalker was also known to call victims both before and after the night of the attack, sometimes hanging up, sometimes pretending to have the wrong number, and sometimes (in calls placed after the attack) threatening them. In one of these messages which was recorded by the victim in January 1978 the stalker repeats, “Gonna kill you.”

Various police sketches of the East Area Rapist
Various police sketches of the East Area Rapist

Although he originally targeted women either alone in their homes or with children, he later came to prefer attacking couples instead. His standard procedure was to break in and awaken the occupants, threatening them with a handgun. Victims were generally bound with ligatures that the criminal brought to the crime scene, often blindfolding and/or gagging them with towels taken from the residence that he had carefully cut into strips. The female victim was made to tie up her male companion with bootlaces before being tied up herself. In many cases, these bindings were made so tightly that the victims had no feeling in their hands for hours after they were untied. He would then separate the couple, often stacking dishes on the back of the male, and telling him that if he heard the dishes rattle he would kill everyone in the house. The intruder at times spent hours in the home, ransacking closets and drawers, eating food in the kitchen, and coming back to utter more threats to the victims, who were often unsure as to whether he was still in the home. The perpetrator was believed to use a bicycle to travel to and from his car, and also made extensive use of parks, school yards, creek beds, and other open spaces that allowed him to stay off the street.

– – East Area Rapist Crimes 6/18/76 to 10/1/79

  1. – 6/18/76 Fri – 4:00am Rancho Cordova, CA

  2. – 7/17/76 Sat – 2:00am Del Dayo. Carmichael, CA

  3. – 8/29/76 Sun – 3:20am Rancho Cordova, CA

  4. – 9/04/76 Sat – 11:30pm Citrus Heights, CA

  5. – 10/5/76 Tue – 6:45am Citrus Heights, CA

  6. – 10/9/76 Sat – 4:30am Rancho Cordova, CA

  7. – 10/18/76 Mon – 2:30am Del Dayo, Carmichael, CA

  8. – 10/18/76 Mon – 11:00pm Rancho Cordova, CA

  9. – 11/10/76 Wed – 7:30pm near Greenback Ln, Citrus Heights, CA

  10. – 12/18/76 Sat – 11:30pm Carmichael, CA

  11. – 1/19/77 Wed – 1:00am Glenbrook/College Greens

  12. – 1/24/77 Mon – 3:00am Primrose Dr., Citrus Heights, CA

  13. – 2/7/77 Mon – 6:45am Crestview Drive & Madison Ave., Citrus Heights,

  14. – 3/8/77 Tue – 4:00am Robertson & Whitney Ave, Sacramento, CA

  15. – 3/18/77 Fri – 10:45pm Rancho Cordova

  16. – 4/2/77 Sat – Madison & Main Ave.

  17. – 4/15/77 Fri – 2:30am Madison & Manzanita Aves, Crestview Area, Sacto, CA

  18. – 5/3/77 Tue – 3:00am Glenbrook/College Greens

  19. – 5/5/77 Thu – 12:15am Orangevale, CA

  20. – 5/14/77 Sun – 3:45am Greenback Ln & Birdcage St, Citrus Heights, CA

  21. – 5/17/77 Tue – 1:30am Sand Bar Circle, Del Dayo, Carmichael, CA

  22. – 5/28/77 Sat – 1:00am Fourth Parkway, South Area, Sacramento, CA

    Unexplained 3 month break in attacks, then first attacks outside Sacramento Area

  23. – 9/6/77 Tue – Lincoln Village West, North Stockton, CA

  24. – 10/1/77 Sat – 1:30am La Riveria & Toulomne Dr, RC, CA

  25. – 10/21/77 Fri – 3:00am Gold Run Ave, Elkhorn Blvd, Diablo Drive, Foothill Farms, Antelope, CA

  26. – 10/29/77 Sat – 1:45am Mission & Eastern Ave., Sacto, CA

  27. – 11/10/77 Thu – 3:00am La Riviera Dr. near Watt Ave.

  28. – 12/2/77 Fri – 11:30pm Lobrett & Revelstok Dr. Foothill Farms, CA

  29. – 1/28/78 Sat – 10:15pm Winding Way, E. of Walnut Ave.(near American River College)

  30. – 3/18/78 Fri – 1:05am Parkwoods, Stockton

  31. – 4/14/78 Fri – 10:00pm Piedmont Drive, Seamas & Riverside Aves. South Sacramento,

    Attacks move out of Sacramento to Modesto and Davis

  32. – 6/5/78 Mon – 3:50am N.E. Modesto, CA

  33. – 6/7/78 Wed – 4:00am Davis, CA Apartment, N. side UCD

  34. – 6/23/78 Fri – 1:30am North East Modesto

  35. – 6/24/78 Sat – 3:00am Davis

  36. – 7/6/78 Thur – 3:00am Westwood Div, Davis, CA

    three month hiatus then attacks move to Contra Costa County and south

  37. – 10/7/78 Sat – 2:30am Concord, CA

  38. – 10/13/78 Fri – 4:30am Ygnacio Valley, Concord, CA

  39. – 10/28/78 Sat – 4:30am San Ramon, CA

  40. – 11/4/78 Sat – 3:30am San Jose, CA

  41. – 12/2/78 Sat – 4:30am San Jose, CA

  42. – 12/9/78 Sat – 2:00am Danville, CA

  43. – 4/5/79 Thur – 1:00am Fremont, CA

  44. – 6/2/79 Wed – Walnut Creek

  45. – 6/11/79 Mon – 4:00am Danville, CA (two blocks from #43)

  46. – 6/25/79 Mon – Walnut Creek

  47. – 7/5/79 Thur – 3:45am Danville, CA

    As below attacks move to Southern California

  48. – 10/1/79 Mon – Queen Ann Lane, Goleta, Santa Barbara County, CA

    Last known attack

  49. – 12/30/1979 – Sun – Goleta , Santa Barbara County , California

  50. – 3/13/1980 – Thur – Ventura , California

  51. – 8/19/1980 – Tue – Dana Point , Orange County California

  52. – 2/6/1981 – Tue – Irvine, Orange County , California

  53. – 7/27/1981 – Mon – Goleta , Santa Barbara , California

  54. – 5/4/1986 – Sat – Irvine, Orange County , California

– – FBI Investigation

On June 15, 2016 the FBI released further information in relation to the crimes including new composite sketches, victims and investigator testimony. They also announced a US$50,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of the East Area Rapist. The initiative includes a national database to support law enforcement investigating the crimes and to handle tips and information.

– – Murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore

On the night of February 2, 1978, a young Sacramento couple, Brian and Katie Maggiore, were walking their dog in the Rancho Cordova area, close to where several East Area Rapist attacks had taken place. A confrontation in the street caused the couple to flee, but they were chased down and shot dead. Some investigators suspected the couple had been murdered by the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker due to the location, and the fact that bootlaces were found at the scene.

Sketches released of two suspects in the Maggiore murders
Sketches released of two suspects in the Maggiore murders

On June 15, 2016, the FBI announced that they were confident the East Area Rapist murdered the Maggiores.

– Original Night Stalker crimes


  • On October 1, an intruder broke in and tied up a Goleta couple. The attacker alarmed them by chanting “I’m going to kill them” to himself. When he left the room, the man and then the woman made attempts to escape during which the woman screamed. Realizing the alarm had been raised, the intruder fled. A neighbor, who was an FBI agent, responded to the noise and pursued the perpetrator, who abandoned the bike he was on and fled on foot through local back yards. The attacker also abandoned a knife at this point. The attack was later linked physically to the Offerman-Manning murders (see below) by shoeprints and the same roll of twine being used to bind the victims.

  • On December 30, Dr. Robert Offerman, 44, and Debra Alexandra Manning, 35, were found shot dead at Offerman’s condominium on Avendida Pequena in Goleta. The bindings on Offerman were untied, indicating he had apparently lunged at the attacker. Neighbors heard the gunshots but failed to respond to them, attributing them to innocuous causes. Prints from a large dog were found at the scene, leading to speculation that the killer may have brought it with him. There is evidence that he fed the dog some leftover Christmas turkey from the fridge. The killer also broke into the adjoining residence, to the west of the crime scene, which was vacant at the time, and stole a bicycle from a third residence in the same complex. The bicycle was later found abandoned on a street to the north of the crime scene.


  • On March 13, Charlene Smith, 33, and Lyman Smith, 43, who was about to be appointed a Judge, were found murdered in their home in Ventura. Charlene had also been raped. A log from the fireplace was used to bludgeon both the victims to death. Their wrists and ankles had been bound with a drapery cord. An unusual Chinese knot, known as the diamond knot, was used on their wrists. The same knot had been noted in the East Area Rapist attacks in Sacramento, with at least one confirmed case publicly known.

  • On August 19, Keith Harrington, 24, and Patrice Harrington, 27, were found bludgeoned to death in their home on Cockleshell Drive in the Niguel Shores gated community in Dana Point. Patrice had also been raped. Although there was evidence that the Harringtons were bound at the wrist and ankles, no ligatures or murder weapon were found at the scene. The Harringtons had been married for three months at the time of their deaths. Patrice was a nurse in Irvine, while Keith was a medical student at the University of California, Irvine. Keith Harrington’s brother later spent nearly $2 million supporting California Proposition 69 (2004).


  • On February 6, Manuela Witthuhn, 28, was raped and murdered in her home in Irvine. Again, while the body showed signs of being tied before being bludgeoned, no ligatures, or murder weapon, were found at the scene. The victim was married, but her husband was recuperating from an illness in the hospital; thus she was alone at the time of the attack. A lamp and crystal curio were removed from her house, presumably by the killer. Also, detectives remarked that Mrs. Witthuhn’s television was found in the backyard, which was possibly the killer’s attempt to make it appear as a botched robbery.

  • On July 27, 1981, Cheri Domingo, 35, and Gregory Sanchez, 27, became the 10th and 11th murder victims of the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker/Golden State Killer (EAR/ONS/GSK). Both were attacked in the Domingo home on Toltec Way in Goleta, several blocks south of the Offerman-Manning crime scene. Their murder has been linked to the EAR/ONS/GSK by DNA left at the scene. The Original Night Stalker (identity unknown) is believed to have broken into the home in Goleta, which was up for sale at the time of the attack. Law Enforcement believe the attacker may have worked as a painter or related role in the Calle Real Shopping Centre.

About Cheri

Cheryl Grace (Smith) was born in Covina, California on the June 14, 1946. She was raised primarily in the San Diego area. She was married to Roger Domingo, with whom she had two children, from 1964-1975. She had resided in Santa Barbara County from 1975 until the time of her death. Cheri had worked for Burroughs Corp in Goleta, where she had met Greg. Just prior to the attack she worked as an Administrative Assistant for a small manufacturer of office furniture Trimm Industries, but had been laid off shortly before her death[17].

About Greg

Greg Sanchez was 27 years old. It is believed he planned on travelling to Florida soon after the attack, although he would never get to make that journey.

About the attack

It is unknown how the Original Night Stalker selected Cheri and Greg as victims. Through encountering her in her job, at leisure or from prowling the area. The perpetrator had entered the property via a small window in the bathroom. Greg was not been tied. He had been shot in the cheek, although not fatally. He was then been bludgeoned to death with a garden tool taken from the property. Some believe Sanchez may have realized he was dealing with the man responsible for the murder of Offerman and Manning, and made a desperate attempt to tackle the killer rather than be tied up. As in the Offerman-Manning case, no neighbors responded to the sound of the gunshot. Cheri had been bound, raped and bludgeoned.

Cheri Domingo’s daughter Debbi (who was 15 at the time) was staying with friends on the night of the attack. Her son was out of state with other family members. The home in Goleta belonged to Cheri’s family and she was staying there temporarily.

FBI Investigation

The FBI re-launched an investigation into the murders on the 15 June 2016. 40 years after the first East Area Rapist attack. This included a $50,000 reward for information that may lead to the killer.


  • On May 4, Janelle Lisa Cruz, 18, was found bludgeoned to death in her Irvine home. Her family was on vacation in Mexico at the time of the attack. A pipe wrench was reported missing by Cruz’ stepfather and was thought to be the probable murder weapon. She had also been raped.

These murders in Southern California (Goleta, Ventura, Dana Point, and Irvine, California) were not initially thought to be connected by investigators in their respective jurisdictions. One Sacramento detective strongly believed the East Area Rapist was responsible for the Goleta attacks, but at first the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department attributed them to a local career criminal who had himself subsequently been murdered. Investigating the crimes that did not occur in Goleta caused local police to follow false leads related to men who had been close to the female victims. One suspect, later acknowledged to be innocent, was charged with two murders. Linking all of the cases together was achieved almost entirely by DNA testing, which was not done until many years later.

The Original Night Stalker speaks

– Letters and Writings

“Excitement’s Crave” poem (December 11, 1977)

In December 1977, letters were sent to the editor of the Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento mayor’s office and the KVIE 6 TV station titled “Excitement’s Crave” written in poem form by an individual claiming to be the East Area Rapist. It should be noted that December 11 is also the same date that a masked man, likely the Original Night Stalker, eluded pursuit by multiple law enforcement personnel after he had apparently alerted authorities by telephone that he would strike on Watt Avenue that night. Though the authenticity of his authorship of the poem has never been proven, it is entirely possible that his successful evasion of the police on that morning inspired him to write it.

‘Excitement’s Crave’

All those mortal’s surviving birth
Upon facing maturity,
Take inventory of their worth
To prevailing society.
Choosing values becomes a task;
Oneself must seek satisfaction.
The selected route will unmask
Character when plans take action.
Accepting some work to perform
At fixed pay, but promise for more,
Is a recognized social norm,
As is decorum, seeking lore.
Achieving while others lifting
Should be cause for deserving fame.
Leisure tempts excitement seeking,
What’s right and expected seems tame.
“Jessie James” has been seen by all,
And “Son of Sam” has an author.
Others now feel temptations call.
Sacramento should make an offer.
To make a movie of my life
That will pay for my planned exile.
Just now I’ d like to add the wife
Of a Mafia lord to my file.
Your East Area Rapist
And deserving pest.
See you in the press or on T.V.

“The homework” pages (December 9, 1978)

During the investigation of the 42nd attack in Danville investigators discovered three notebook pages not far from the scene of the attack where a suspicious vehicle had reportedly been parked.

First page: “General Custer” essay

Written on the first page is what appears to be an essay on General Custer.

Second page: “Mad is the Word” journal entry

The second page contains a journal style entry where the author writes about a school teacher who made them write lines, and how humiliating they found the experience to be:


Mad is the word that reminds me of 6th grade. I hated that year

I wish I had know what was going to be going on during my 6th grade year, the last and worst years of elementary school. Mad is the word that remains in my head about my dreadful year as a 6th grader. My madness was one that was caused by disappointments that hurt me very much. Disappointments from my teacher such as field trips that were planned and then cancelled. My 6th grade teacher gave me a lot of disappointments that made me very mad and made me built a state of hatred in my heart, no one ever let me down that hard before and I never “hated anyone” as much as I did him. Disappointment wasn’t the only reason that made me mad in my sixth grade class, another was getting in trouble at school especially talking thats what really bugged me was writing sentences, those awful sentence that my teacher made

me write, hours and hours I’d sit and write 50-100-150 sentence day and night I write those dreadful paragraphs which embarrassed me and more important it made me ashamed of myself which in turn, deepdown in side made me realize that writing sentance wasn’t fair, it wasn’t fair to make me suffer like that, it just wasn’t fair to make me sit and wright until my bones ached, until my hand felt ever horrid pain it ever had and as I wrote, I got mader and mader until I cried, I cried because I was ashamed I cried because I was discusted I cried because I was mad and I cried for myself, kid who kept on having to write those dame sentances. My angriness from sixth grade will scar my memory for life and I will be ashamed of my sixth grade year forever

Front side of the 'Mad is the Word' page
Front side of the ‘Mad is the Word’ page
Reverse side of the 'Mad is the word' page" page
Reverse side of the ‘Mad is the word’ page” page

Third page: “Punishment” map

A hand drawn map of what appears to be a suburban neighbourhood. Investigators were unable to identify the area depicted in the map. Detective Larry Pool believes the map to be a fantasy location representing the Original Night Stalker’s desired striking ground.

Front side of the 'Punishment' map
Front side of the ‘Punishment’ map
Reverse side of the 'Punishment' map, showing the word punishment scrawled across the page.
Reverse side of the ‘Punishment’ map, showing the word punishment scrawled across the page.

– Phone calls

“Merry Christmas” call (December 9, 1977)

A previous victim received a phone call during the Christmas period of 1977. She identified the caller as the man who had previously attacked her.

-“Merry Christmas, it’s me again!” (hangs up)

“Watt Avenue” call (December 10, 1977)

Shortly before 10:00 p.m. on the night of December 10, 1977, dispatchers from the County of Sacramento’s Sheriff’s Department and the City of Sacramento’s Police Department received calls threatening an attack on Watt Avenue (the calls were apparently recorded, and the caller was subsequently identified as the same individual who had made a call to law enforcement on December 2, threatening to commit a rape later that night; a home invasion attributed to the Original Night Stalker was in fact made several hours after that December 2 call but was aborted before a rape could occur). Law enforcement patrols were increased on the night of December 10 in response to the new round of calls.[4] Sure enough, at 2:30 a.m. on the morning of December 11, sheriff’s deputies spotted a masked man bicycling on the Watt Avenue bridge, but he was able to elude them. He was then located again at 4:30 a.m., this time by the city police. He discarded the bike and successfully fled on foot. The bicycle was quickly determined to have been stolen in Redding, California. It is noteworthy that the “Excitement’s Crave” poem is also linked with the exact same date of this bike chase.

-“I am going to hit tonight. Watt Avenue.” (hangs up)

“Is Ray There?” call (January 2, 1978)

The very first known rape victim received a “wrong number” call on January 2, 1978. The call was recorded, and law enforcement suspect that it may be the same caller who made a threatening call to her shortly afterward.

Victim: Hello?

Caller: Yeah, is Ray there?

Victim: Pardon?

Caller: Is Ray there?

Victim: I’m sorry, you must have the wrong number.

Caller: Sorry. (hangs up)

“Gonna Kill You” call (January 2, 1978)

Later that evening, the same victim received another call, much more sinister in nature. This call was also recorded and identified by the victim as being the voice of her assailant.

-“Gonna kill you…gonna kill you…gonna kill you…bitch…bitch…bitch…bitch…fucking whore.”


– Detectives connect the crimes

Even prior to 2001’s connection of the Original Night Stalker to the East Area Rapist, some law enforcement officials, particularly several from the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, sought to link the Goleta cases separately to the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker. These postulated links were considered primarily due to similarity in modus operandi. One of the already linked Original Night Stalker double murders did take place in Ventura, California, 40 miles southeast of Goleta, while the remaining murders took place in Orange County, California, an additional 90 miles to the southeast. In 2001, several rapes in Contra Costa County believed to have been part of the East Area Rapist series were linked by DNA to the Smith, Harrington, Whithuhn, and Cruz murders. In 2011, DNA evidence proved that the Domingo-Sanchez murders were committed by the Original Night Stalker.

June 2016 nationwide billboard campaign to locate him
June 2016 nationwide billboard campaign to locate him

– – Suspects eliminated

Throughout the course of the investigation into the Original Night Stalker murders, the following persons were suspected of committing the crimes, only to be determined to not be the culprit:

  • Brett Glasby – From Goleta, California, Glasby was considered a suspect by investigators in Santa Barbara County. He was himself murdered in Mexico in 1982. Glasby’s death, prior to the murder of Janelle Cruz, eliminates him as a suspect.

  • Paul “Cornfed” Schneider – A high-ranking member of the Aryan Brotherhood prison gang. Schneider is a career criminal who was living in Orange County, California, when the murders of the Harringtons, Manuela Witthuhn, and Janelle Cruz occurred. In the late 1990s, while serving time at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City, California, Schneider provided a DNA sample to authorities. This sample cleared him as the Original Night Stalker.

  • Joe Alsip – A business partner of the victim Lyman Smith. Alsip was a friend of the Smiths and visited their home on High Point Drive in Ventura the day before the murders. Alsip’s pastor claimed that he had confessed to him, during a family counseling session, but this confession was considered dubious by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. Nevertheless, Alsip was arraigned for the murders of Lyman and Charlene Smith in 1982. After the preliminary hearing, however, all charges against him were dropped.

It would not be until 1996 when DNA testing came on-line that the murders would be linked.

In November 2002, journalist Colleen Cason wrote a newspaper series about the Original Night Stalker murders for the Ventura County Star. According to Cason’s articles, Detective Larry Pool of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department visited California’s Death Row at San Quentin State Prison in an attempt to locate the Original Night Stalker. Detective Pool suspected that the Original Night Stalker had been captured and sentenced to death for some other violent crime. Nevertheless, none of the genetic samples collected from Death Row inmates at San Quentin matched the DNA of the Original Night Stalker.

– – Psychological profile

After criminologists matched serological evidence found at the southern California murder scenes, a psychological profile of the Original Night Stalker was compiled. According to Leslie D’Ambrosia, who was the primary author of the profile, it’s likely that the Original Night Stalker would possess the following characteristics:

  • White male

  • Dressed well and would not stand out in upscale neighborhoods

  • Drove a well-maintained car

  • Emotional age of 26 to 30 at the time the crimes were committed

  • Engaged in deviant paraphilic behavior and brutal sex in his personal life

  • Engaged in sex with prostitutes

  • Had a criminal record as a teenager that was expunged

  • Had some knowledge of police investigative methods and evidence-gathering techniques

  • Had some means of income, but did not work in the early morning hours

  • Hated women for real or perceived wrongs

  • If married, probably has a submissive spouse who tolerated his sexually deviant behavior

  • Intelligent and articulate

  • Likely began as a voyeur in his late teens or early twenties

  • Lived and/or worked near Ventura, California, in 1980

  • Neat and well-organized in his personal life

  • Peeped into the windows of many potential victims who were not attacked

  • Possibly unmarried and did not enter into long-term relationships

  • Self-assured and confident in his abilities

  • Sexually functional and capable of ejaculation with consenting and non-consenting partners

  • Was a skilled and experienced cat burglar and may have begun that way

  • Was in good physical condition

  • Would appear harmless

  • Would continue committing violent crimes until incapacitated by prison, death, or some other intervention

  • Would have been described by those who knew him as arrogant, domineering, manipulative, and a chronic liar

In addition to describing the characteristics of the Original Night Stalker, the profile also speculates about the fate of the killer. According to the profile, the Original Night Stalker could have been incarcerated following Janelle Cruz’s murder or killed in the commission of a similar crime. (However, the last known contact with the Original Night Stalker was in 1991 when he made a taunting phone call to one of his victims.) As to the latter point, the profile indicates that law enforcement agencies should look into attempted “hot prowl burglaries” in the late 1980s that resulted in the death of a lone male offender. The profile also indicates that there is a slight chance the Original Night Stalker committed suicide; furthermore, it is speculated that it is unlikely that he is confined in a mental institution.

The profile reveals that following the original homicides in this series, teletypes were broadcast to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. These teletypes requested information on similar home invasion attacks involving sexual assault, murder, bludgeoning, multiple victims, and/or bondage. As of 2015, no similar crimes have been reported in the United States. The profile propounds the possibility, however, that the Original Night Stalker could have continued committing his crimes in another country where records were not consulted for linkage purposes.

As a psychological profile is based on a probabilistic analysis, its accuracy cannot be assessed before the offender has been apprehended.

The Original Night Stalker/East Area Rapist case was the motivating factor in the passage of legislation leading to the establishment of California’s DNA database, which authorizes the collection of the DNA of all the accused and convicted felons in California. California’s DNA data retrieval and storage program is considered by researchers to be second only to Virginia’s in size and effectiveness in solving cold cases. While the California DNA database motivated by this case has solved numerous previously unsolved cold cases across the country, the original case remains unsolved.



  1. Now that the alleged Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo has been arrested on April 24th, 2018, would a followup article be appropriate?


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