Monday, August 29, 2016

Help Identify the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer

Contact Information
FBI Sacramento
Public Affairs Specialist Gina Swankie
(916) 977-2285

FBI Announces $50,000 Reward and National Campaign to Identify East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer

Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office, and Contra Costa Sheriff’s Department held a press conference to announce the launch of a reward and national campaign to help identify the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer, a violent serial burglar, rapist, and murderer who terrorized multiple communities in California throughout the 1970s and 1980s.

The digital media campaign includes the launch of a webpage,; digital billboards throughout the country; social media outreach on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; and audio broadcasts via podcasts and radio PSAs. 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 60-75 years old now, was described as a white male standing approximately 5’10” 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:

AgencySex AssaultsHomicides
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department24Two
Sacramento Police DepartmentFourOne assault with a deadly weapon
Contra Costa Sheriff’s DepartmentFiveNone
Concord Police DepartmentTwoNone
David Police DepartmentThreeNone
Fremont Police DepartmentOneNone
Modesto Police DepartmentTwoNone
San Jose Police DepartmentTwoNone
Stockton Police DepartmentTwoNone
Walnut Creek Police DepartmentTwoNone
Irvine Police DepartmentNoneTwo
Orange County Sheriff’s DepartmentNoneTwo
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s DepartmentNoneFour, two attempted
Ventura Police DepartmentNoneTwo

Today, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sacramento County Sheriffs Department held a press conference to announce the launch of a reward and national campaign to help identify the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer, a violent serial burglar, rapist, and murderer who terrorized multiple communities in California throughout the 1970s and 1980s.  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. Between 1976 and 1986, this individual was responsible for approximately 45 rapes, 12 homicides, and multiple residential burglaries throughout California.
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. Between 1976 and 1986, this individual was responsible for approximately 45 rapes, 12 homicides, and multiple residential burglaries throughout California.
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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Grand Canyon Nightmares
by Robert A. Waters

About a dozen people die each year while visiting America's most cherished natural wonder, the Grand Canyon. Steep cliffs, narrow trails, and rugged terrain can lead to fatal falls, but plane crashes, suicides, and homicides also account for many deaths. The Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide, and up to 6,000 feet deep. With millions of visitors each year, it is likely safer vacationing in the Grand Canyon than driving your car to get there, but don't tell that to the families of those who died.

Colleen Burns, an Orlando, Florida resident, was enjoying her visit to the famous park when she plunged off a ledge and fell 400 feet. She'd been hiking with friends, and posting pictures of her vacation on Twitter. As she moved aside on a squeeze-box narrow trail to let another hiker pass, Burns lost her footing. The coroner ruled that her death was accidental, due to “blunt trauma” caused by the fall. Burns' heartbroken family stated that she had been in a good spot in her life. She worked as a marketing director for Yelp, and was a booster of her adopted hometown. Her father, Jim Burns, spoke for many when he said: “I never realized how many deaths occur at the Grand Canyon.” Just a few weeks before, 23-year-old Californian Jamerson Whittaker also died from a fall in another section of the park.

A Japanese tourist, Tomomi Hanamure, aged 34, was brutally murdered by Randy Redtail Wescogame on an Indian Reservation just outside the Grand Canyon. The long-time ne'er-do-well saw Hanamure hiking alone and offered to guide her to a series of remote waterfalls in the Canyon. Instead, he robbed the tourist, then bludgeoned her and stabbed her to death. Wescogame had been in trouble with the law since he was eight-years-old. By age thirteen, he was addicted to methamphetamine. He had committed dozens of violent crimes by the time he murdered Hanamure, but had served almost no jail time. While Japanese media highlighted this crime, most American news organizations ignored it. Wescogame pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced to life in prison.

In 2009, the United States Forest Service reported that Gheorghe Chiriac committed suicide by driving over the edge of the Canyon. Park rangers reported that “a car had been driven up onto the curb of the loading area between the El Tovar Hotel and the Kachina Lodge. The tracks indicated that the car then veered left, traveling through the grass behind the Kachina Lodge until it reached the Thunderbird Lodge where it veered right and [drove] into the canyon.” Chiriac's car was located 600 feet below, and his body found nearby. After investigating, the Forest Service ruled his death a suicide. One of the most bizarre deaths on record was that of Richard Clam. While taking a helicopter tour over the Canyon, Clam unbuckled his seat belt, opened the chopper's door, and leaped into the abyss. Forest rangers found his remains 4,000 feet below. After gathering bits and pieces of Clam's body, the Forest Service ruled his death a suicide. In 2001, a cherry-red plane flown by a single pilot disappeared in the Canyon. Four years later, hikers discovered the mangled plane between two giant boulders. A skeleton sat in the cockpit, a macabre ending to someone's lonely life. After investigating, the Forest Service determined that the pilot was a lovelorn soul who intentionally killed himself.

More than 100 helicopter flights each day transport visitors over the Canyon for spectacular views. Since 1980, about 30 have crashed in the Canyon. In 2011, a tourist helicopter crashed near Lake Mead, killing the pilot and all four passengers. In 2001, a family from New York died when a Eurocopter AS350 crashed into a ridge-line high in the mountains.

The most infamous air crash occurred in 1956 when two jetliners collided, killing 128 people. A TWA Lockheed Super Constellation and a United Airlines Douglas DC-7 Mainliner had both wandered off course and ended up in exactly the same air space, directly over the Canyon. At the time, air traffic control was in its infancy, so the pilots had little real direction. After crashing, both planes plunged 21,000 feet. All passengers and crew aboard both planes died. The crash fueled demands for greater air safety, and soon afterward the Federal Aviation Agency (later renamed the Federal Aviation Administration) was formed.

The Grand Canyon can be a wild, unforgiving habitat. But it is also an exhilarating natural wonder. Scientists theorize that humans roamed its trails 10,000 years ago. In this era when most people live in cities and see little of nature, Grand Canyon National Park can be an eye-opener.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

The Crimes and Misdemeanors of NFL Stars
by Robert A. Waters

The 2016-17 National Football League training camps kicked off a couple of days ago just as a published study attempted to portray most players as non-violent teddy bears. The author stated that “only” 27% percent of the crimes committed by players are violent.  Listed below are just a few recent crimes, misdemeanors, and indiscretions committed by NFL stars.

Rolando McClain has been in the league for six years and been in trouble almost since day one.  Chosen number 8 in the 2010 draft, McClain, who currently plays with America's team, the Dallas Cowboys, has been arrested three times. In addition, last year he was suspended for four games because of substance abuse violations. This year, he re-offended and will sit out ten games for the same reason. Despite these offenses, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones signed McClain to a contract that gives him 40 million dollars in guaranteed money. Now Jones is squirming because he sees that money going down the drain. Due to an alleged addiction to “purple drank,” a mixture of Sprite, cough syrup and codeine, it's unlikely that McClain will play a single game this season. In fact, some pundits are comparing him to one of the NFL's biggest busts, Jamarcus Russell. The former Raiders quarterback signed a guaranteed contract worth millions and was released after bloating up to 300 pounds amid allegations of purple drank addiction.

As if the Cleveland Browns didn't have enough problems with perennial bad boy Johnny Manziel, now running back Isaiah Crowell has been forced to apologize for posting an online picture of a Jihadi John look-alike slitting the throat of a kneeling white police officer. The caption read: “They give polices (sic) all types of weapons and they choose to kill us...” Later, a lawyer-vetted apology and retraction appeared, and the offensive picture was removed. As training camp began, Crowell was said to have been welcomed back into the good graces of Cleveland fans. (Too bad he's not playing for the Philadelphia Eagles, whose partisans have been known to boo Santa Clause.) While Crowell's action was not violent and not a crime, it was despicable and he should be severely punished by the Browns and the NFL.

Montee Ball, who played for the Denver Broncos and New England Patriots, was recently arrested on a non-violent charge of “bail-jumping.” Having previously been charged with domestic battery, he went to a bar and began drinking. According to a police report, this violated his bond, resulting in his arrest. In the original incident, police reported that after he and his girlfriend argued at a Madison, Wisconsin motel, Ball picked her up and threw her across the room. The woman sustained a bruise to the back of her head and a cut leg that required stitches. Soon after this incident, the Patriots released Ball.

Legal difficulties seem to follow former San Francisco 49er Ray McDonald around like the plague. The eight year veteran was first arrested in 2010 on charges of drunk driving. In 2014, he was arrested for domestic violence. His then-girlfriend, however, refused to cooperate with police and the charges were dropped. His troubles finally caused the 49ers to release him—the general manager of the 49ers said McDonald's release was due to a “pattern of poor behavior.” He quickly caught on with the Chicago Bears. But, true to form, in 2015, McDonald was arrested in San Jose, California for “misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment.” Police stated that McDonald “physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby.” Three days later, he was rearrested for violating a restraining order against the woman. In addition to these problems, in yet another case he has been charged with “rape by intoxication,” meaning that he is accused of sexually assaulting a woman while she was drunk. In any other profession, these arrests and controversies would spell the end of a career. But the NFL is a parallel universe with its own rules, and, like a cat with nine lives, Ray McDonald could once again take the field as his adoring fans cheer him on to victory.

A talented player, New York Jets defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson is quickly weeding himself out of football. Although he made Rookie of the Year in 2013 and the Pro Bowl in 2014, he was suspended for four games in 2015 for failing a drug test after testing positive for marijuana. But then in July, 2015, Richardson was charged with resisting arrest along with a multitude of traffic offenses. St. Louis police stated that he was involved in a road race while driving his expensive Bentley. When police attempted to pull him over, he fled. Driving up to 143 miles per hour and blowing though a red light, Richardson finally stopped. Cops found a gun and smelled marijuana in the car. They also found three passengers, including a 12-year-old boy. Richardson plea bargained the case down to resisting arrest, speeding, and running a red light. He received two years of probation and 100 hours of community service. (I wonder what you or I would get for those offenses.) Speaking of his alleged marijuana addiction, Richardson told reporters that he will now stay off the drug because he risks losing lots of money if he continues toking and smoking.

And so it goes in the NFL. Our heroes commit crimes and misdemeanors with few consequences. And we settle back in front of the tube and cheer them on.