GENRE: Nonfiction/True Crime
WIKI BIO: link
MY GRADE: B+
FROM PUBLISHER: Between 1976 and 1979, a prolific serial rapist prowled northern California's leafy neighborhoods and affluent suburbs in the dead of night. When the rapist found a home to his liking, he would break in, confront the residents at gunpoint, then rape the female while her male partner lay bound and helpless nearby.
In 2001, a forensic scientist with the Orange County Sheriff's Department linked the rapist's DNA to ten murders which occurred in southern California during the 1980s. Detectives dubbed this offender the East Area Rapist-Original Night Stalker (EAR-ONS), but despite unprecedented investigative efforts, his identity remains a mystery. Drawing on years of academic research, Hot Prowl offers a comprehensive analysis of the EAR-ONS's life and crimes.
MY THOUGHTS: This self-published book was written by a man who's rumored to be a private investigator in California. He's got a master's degree in criminal justice from Boston University and said he's a local of southern California. I feel he's well-spoken and very intelligent.
He clearly did a lot of research but didn't talk to anyone in law enforcement. He divided the EARONS's crimes into six phases and divided each of those into categories; dates and times, location, m.o., signature, evidence, victimology, offender descriptions, and conclusions. I found that to be helpful.
I wish he'd have talked more about the Vasalia Ransaker (VR) and had listed all of his one hundred-plus crimes. I love a list and like when information's laid out/listed right in front of me. Something of note is a librarian he was talking to about old articles about the VR in 2012 told him that a couple of months before, some detectives had been inquiring about articles on the VR too.
The last chapter is both very good and bad. In it he gave his theories on the EARONS's childhood (which was done too in a previous chapter that I enjoyed) and what he must have been like precrime spree. Then he gave fictitious dialogue between the EARONS and his victims while describing some of the murders. That was totally unnecessary, puzzling, and I just can't figure out why he'd add fiction to a nonfiction book.
Something he said that I agree with is he feels there should be a law enforcement-supported website filled with accurate information on this case and accurate composite sketches.
A personal complaint I have about the author is when describing the female victims they're always called 'attractive' regardless of morals yet he calls women in bars 'slutty' and 'floozies'.
Author's theories on the EARONS in his youth:
-Was born between 1947-1952
-Is from California or a neighboring state
-Likely from broken, middle-class home
-Physically and psychologically abused
-Possibly was a bedwetter
-Possibly chronic liar and fire-starter and animal abuser
-Displayed inappropriate sexual conduct
-Possible shoplifter and burglar
-Learned to keep his dark side hidden so as not to get in trouble at home
-Would have seemed normal to others as teen
-Above-average IQ and underachiever
-Class clown who liked the attention
-May have been arrested for breaking and entering or peeping and was put on probation and later, spent time in the California Youth Authority (YA)
-Was a fan of detective magazines, porn, and police television shows in his youth
-Possibly suffered a head injury in his youth, as many violent criminals have
-May have served in Vietnam
-Started out as a peeping Tom
-Was possibly sexually assaulted while locked up and learned advanced burglary skills
-May have gone into military, possibly in Vietnam, or college
-By 1976 had no job but had source of income, possibly from military pension
-When moved to southern CA in 1979 it may have been because of a new job after college or because of military transfer
You can read all about The Original Night Stalker on Wikipedia.
Big thanks to Jason for sending this to me.