GENRE: Nonfiction/True Crime
SETTING: California, USA, 1970's-1980's
MY GRADE: A
FROM PUBLISHER: He’s the most prolific, enigmatic, and dangerous offender the State of California has ever known... yet he remains unidentified and unpunished to this day. With over one hundred burglaries, fifty rapes, and possibly a dozen murders, the “East Area Rapist” / “Golden State Killer” / "Original Night Stalker" was truly one of history’s most vile and heinous criminals. He seemed to appear out of nowhere in the mid-1970s near Sacramento, California, where he began a series of rapes and murders that left police baffled and communities on-edge. He couldn’t be tracked, he couldn’t be found, and he couldn’t be stopped. Over a ten-year period, towns like Modesto, Davis, Concord, San Ramon, San Jose, Danville, Fremont, Walnut Creek, Goleta, Ventura, Dana Point, Irvine, and the neighborhoods of Sacramento were all violated by this monster. He left behind thousands of clues spread throughout over a dozen jurisdictions but still somehow outmaneuvered efforts to capture him at every turn. This book culls together information from every source possible to present a comprehensive rundown of each and every attack. Evidence is explained, myths are debunked, and viable leads are presented.
Other cases which might be related like the Visalia Ransacker, the Ripon Court shooting, the Maggiore murders, and the Eva Davidson Taylor murder are explored. Never before has such a detailed and thorough chronological volume been published about this case. Going over the nuances and evidence with such granularity is a worthwhile exercise. This case is solvable, and the offender is probably still alive. The clues to his identity are in here. Because, as they say… The Devil is in the details.
MY THOUGHTS: I've read the previous books on this criminal, who's also know as the EAR/ONS, and because of how well the crimes are detailed, this one's my favorite of the lot.
Such incredible detail was given to each and every rape, including a lot of pre- and post-attack information that was previously unknown publicly. The author couldn't have done a better job.
At times the book had an amateurish quality to it because there was such a large amount of typos and terminology like saying something was 'totally weird', something's 'sketchy', a male victim being 'a big muscular dude', the criminal 'got off' on psychologically torturing this victims, and something being 'creepy', just to give a few examples. There was overuse of words and phrases like 'though' and 'keep your eyes peeled' and I feel things were in quotation marks and too many things were in parenthesis that shouldn't have been. This self-published book definitely needs to be cleaned up by a professional editor. I didn't like the author giving her own speculation or spending time pointlessly analyzing certain phrases the EARONS would use, like 'gimme a good drop'.
Near the end of the book is a helpful section called EAR/GSK Communications. All contact the EARONS made with either victims', police, and others is listed chronologically. There's also a section after that that's dedicated to the break-ins of the Vasalia Ransaker, a man who some believe may be the EARONS, and that too is in chronological order. Another helpful section is last in the book and it's frequently asked questions about the case, including information about paint chips found at a few crime scenes and why the FBI hasn't taken advantage of technology that can render a lifelike image of the EARONS.
A tidbit I learned was that in the early 1990's, years after his last known crime, there were some EAR-like burglaries in Irvine that are being looked into.
Being interested in this case since early 2001 and liking a lot of detail to be given for any crime, I appreciate the hard work and time that went into writing this. It couldn't have been fun.
Other books on the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker:
Hunting a Psychopath
Frozen in Fear (written by an EAR victim)
Murder on His Mind Serial Killer
I'll Be Gone in the Dark
FYI- The author has publicly called someone who gave her book a 1-star review on Amazon a 'troll'.
A big thank you to Jason for sending this to me.