SACRAMENTO — The FBI announced a $50,000 reward today for information that helps find a “prolific serial rapist and murderer” whose crime spree stretched from Sacramento to Orange County between 1976 and 1986.
“The violent and elusive individual known as the East Area Rapist, and later as the Original Night Stalker and the Golden State Killer, committed 12 homicides, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries in multiple California communities,” according to the FBI.
“His victims ranged in age from 13 to 41 and included women home alone, women at home with their children and husbands and wives,” the FBI said.
Authorities announced the reward this morning in Sacramento for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect. Officials said they are coordinating a nationwide campaign to once again bring the case to the public’s attention.
According to the FBI, all of the crimes thought to have been committed by the suspect have been linked by DNA and/or details of the cases.
The suspect was active in the greater Sacramento area from June 1976 to February 1978. His activity continued primarily in the East Bay Area of Northern California in 1979.
By October 1979, his activity escalated into rapes and homicides/attempted homicides along the California coast with homicides in Goleta (Oct. 10, 1979, Dec. 3, 1979, and July 27, 1981); Ventura (March 16, 1980); Laguna Niguel (Aug. 19, 1980); and Irvine (Feb. 6, 1981, and May 5, 1986).
During the commission of the homicides, the subject tied up both victims, raped the female victim, and then killed the couple, authorities said.
No additional crimes have been connected to the suspect after the 1986 Irvine case, which involved the rape and murder of an 18-year-old woman.
“Regardless of the amount of time that has passed, the sheriff’s department never gave up on the investigation,” said Sgt. Paul Belli, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department detective assigned to the case.
“This person ruined a great number of lives, and he should be held accountable,” Belli said.
The FBI’s digital media campaign includes the introduction of a webpage, www.fbi.gov/EastAreaRapist; 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,” the FBI said.
The suspect, who may be 60-75 years old by now, has been described as white, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with blond or light brown hair and an athletic build. He may have had an interest or training in military or law enforcement techniques, since he was familiar and proficient with firearms.
“People who know the subject may not believe him capable of such crimes,” according to the FBI. “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,” according to the FBI.
People with information about the case should call (800) CALL-FBI, or submit information online at tips.fbi.gov.