SUDDEN TERROR: The True Story of California's Most Infamous Sexual Predator, The East Area Rapist, AKA The Original Night Stalker by Larry Crompton

sudden terrorPUBLISHING INFO: AuthorHouse, 8/2010
GENRE: Nonfiction/True Crime
FORMAT: Hardcover, Paperback, E-Book
CRIMESPAN: California, USA, 1970's-1980's
PURCHASE: AuthorHouse, Amazon
MY GRADE: A

FROM PUBLISHER: This book is based on the actual case of the East Area Rapist, later also known as the Original Night Stalker, a masked man who terrorized California communities for ten years; 1976 through 1986, and possibly to this day.

Because I was not involved in the initial rape investigations, they are written from hundreds of reports, notes, memos, newspaper clippings, conversations and interviews with those who were involved.

The crimes are factual. The crimes are real. While all characters and events have direct counterparts in the telling of the story, I have created some dialogue in the interest of readability. The cops in the initial rapes are not factual, their actions are. Their names and descriptions are completely fictitious. The names of the victims, witnesses and suspects are fictitious; the terror, the dialogue during the crimes, and the investigations are real.

The cops involved in the cases after I was involved are real, their names and dialogue is factual, the investigations are real.

The pain and terror may have diminished in the minds of the victims, I hope that the pain does not return. My intent is to tell the story without endangering the privacy or the dignity of the victims. They have suffered enough.

MY THOUGHTS: What a great book. I've been fascinated by the elusive, unapprehended EAR (East Area Rapist, also known as the Original Night Stalker and Golden State Killer) since I first learned of him in early 2001 on an episode of MSNBC's MSNBC Investigates. This is the first of only two books that have been written on the case.

The author, a former detective on the case after EAR had been active for a few years, presents us with facts about the rapes and murders with rape victims' dialogue taken right out of police reports. There's even a list of rape/murder dates and times in chronological order in the back and a few black and white photographs of murder victims and crime scenes.

Only about thirty-two pages were about the ten murders, towards the end of the book. Some reviewers complain about that but since they're dead and can't tell you what all happened like the rape victims can, I understand why more time wasn't spent on it.

One thing I really like about true crime books is that we usually learn about other rapists/murders who were active in the area we're reading about and with this book, I learned about several from the 1970's that I want to research, including a couple of California rapists who are still on the loose: East San Diego Rapist, Car Key Rapist, Stinky Rapist, Early Morning Rapist, and Wooley, a copycat EAR rapist.

I loved the book and consider it a must-read for anyone interested in this case.

Listen to what is believed to be EAR's voice in three phone calls here.

Please watch the documentaries below before they're taken down!

Parts of the MSNBC Investigates 'Deadly Behavior' episode.

E!'s True Hollywood Story from 2009.

I.D.'s (Investigation Discovery) Dark Minds, from season 2, episode 1, from 2013.


There are several websites dedicated to this monster: Ear-ons.com (earons), Casebook of the Bedroom Killer. There's an informative discussion board dedicated to the case, earonsgsk, here. Earons has a complete listing of all EAR's crimes, link.

Here's an audio interview that Larry did with Blogtalk Radio in early 2013, I think.

Here's an excellent article Michelle McNamara (she's married to Patton Oswalt) did on EAR for L.A. Magazine.


I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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