Thank you for being a part of the AETV.com community. We are re-launching our site in the upcoming weeks and this community section as you know it will no longer exist. But we still want to hear from you. On our new site, you’ll be able to interact with fans of the show – and the stars themselves – directly on show pages. You can also follow us on our official Facebook and Twitter accounts to get even more great content and join the conversation about your favorite shows. Please note that if you want to archive any of your past community posts or any content currently living in the community, you’ll need to do so before Tuesday, December 10 at 9 p.m. ET.)
It appears that there are many serial killers that at one time or another served in one of the branches of the US Military. The Green River Killer (Gary Ridgeway) was in the Navy. Richard Allen Davis was in the Army. I know there are many many more.
Lets put some life into this board
Deadbolt, This is an article that appeared in Argus June 11, 1977:
State and Federal officials are supplying technical assistance to local police authorities in a massive manhunt for a Sacramento rapist who has attacked 24 women in 19 months, an official said yesterday.
Sacramento Sheriff's Department spokesman Bill Miller said the FBI has loaned local law enforcement special equipment and the State Department of Justice has provided an analysis specialist to assist in the search.. .He said that the hunt for the rapist- who has raped 24 women, many of them housewives, since October 1975- has already consumed more than 40,000 man hours in the sheriff's department alone.
In the Weston Lushbaugh textbook "Criminal Investigation" it is stated that 2.5 million dollars was expended on the hunt. I have other articles that state that the CHP helicopters were brought in on a regular basis to assist Sac LE. In the E THS Investigates the Original Night Stalker Carol Daly stated that state of the art surveillance equipment was positioned in the creek beds.
I think a great deal of effort was made by the LE agencies involved. So how was he able to elude them all? Have you read the article that stated that Ears was once on a rooftop while police were still inside interviewing the victim? This was a brazen , bold psychopath who probably enjoyed the aftermath of his crimes as much as the acts themselves. Frankly, it wouldn't surprise me if he left the crime scenes ala Tarzan tree to tree. Also note the interactive map on Arch's site. He always returned to the neighborhood where I believe he lived.
F1guyus. Ears couldn't have been too evidence savvy , because even prior to DNA, semen was used to determine blood type. He also bled in a struggle. That's how we know he was a blood type A non-secretor. Not using a condom was a really stupid move on Ears part, but with his performance issues, the condom probably wouldn't have worked anyway. He couldn't have predicted that DNA analysis would one day be so sophisticated, but he should have know that he was placing himself in less than 15% of the male population in the US by leaving his non-secretor status behind and a blood sample behind.
I do believe though, that he had some kind of training that helped in executing these crimes. I lean towards military, but it could be any number of things from being a hunter, scouting, law enforcement, FFA, security etc. He could also have been self-trained.
Edited by PortofLeith, 3 years ago
In the good ole days during these crimes, investigations of a large nature were very difficult to monitor. I know myself that I always shuddered when I was a lead investigator on a major case. Keeping track of all the information that other detectives were feeding you was a huge challenge. If I heard something that I thought was valuable, I would take off in that direction immediately. This approach is fine if that lead is a good lead. If not, you are then back to square one and trying to pick up information that others had found.
Then, there was the big problem of other detectives not writing reports on what they had learned. Yes, hard to believe, but this happened time and again. Many people, including detectives don't want to memorialize their findings and the information goes away as soon as it came. I recently determined that this happened in one ONS jurisdiction. Information that had been apparently important enough to have a detective sit down with a suspicious bystander for about three hours. Whatever that person told the detective has been lost forever. I would often demand that they write reports to the point of calling it to the attention of the detectives' superiors. You can imagine that I was not the most popular crime fighter on the block sometimes, but come on folks, its part of the job and a very important job given that now all these years later were are relying almost solely on these old reports to solve these crimes.
Computers totally freed up many many hours of a detectives' time and helped maintain control and order of information. There are whole programs now designed to maintaining case investigation information management.
Finally, in the world of LE as in many others, knowledge is power. If one jurisdiction had what they believed was a valuable piece of evidence, they would run with it right away and not share it in a timely manner with other interested agencies. Then, when the information proved useless, they would rarely mention to the other agencies anyway thinking that its "useless" to them so hence it is "useless" to others. It would have been a huge feather in a LE cap to have been the agency to solve these cases given the magnitude. At the end of the day, LE is a collection of tremendous egos.
I have pointed this out in past posts but it struck me as interesting even at the time. This offender largely operated in small police jurisdictions and/or sheriffs jurisdictions. You notice that ONS avoided Los Angeles County and Los Angeles city, San Francisco proper, San Jose, etc. Sacramento was a large jurisdiction but they were hardly at the forefront of crime fighting in those days. I actually worked with Sacramento at the time on another matter and found them to be behind the times in many areas. These jurisdictions also had less money and manpower to dedicate to such cases which is probably why the FBI did go in and help out. This translates to less likely to solve these cases. Now, was this an accident on the part of ONS or part of his decision as to where to strike.
Finally, the point about the FBI and local LE. At the time, no agency wanted to ever call in the FBI to help with anything. There was tremendous animosity between us and a lot of it was based on ego. FBI would come in and act arrogant and treat locals in many cases as hicks so rarely did these liasions work out. Now, perhaps its different in Ca. but where I am the FBI is looked upon as basically internal affairs out to get any agency they can for wrongdoing. So, one thing this points out is the locals were pretty concerned to call upon them. They can only come in and work at request of a local agency as they are federal officers and have no local jurisdictional power. Also, the FBI may have had much more access to sophisticated criminalistics but they didn't necessarily share that access even in these cases. I know the one or two times I tried to get them involved to help out on some criminialistics issues the answer came back that "we are too busy to look into it" or "there are a lot of cases in line from across the nation in front of you so we will get back to you in a year." Essentially, they talked a better game than they could actually produce. Everything with them in those days had to go all the way up their food chain to back east. Imagine the slowness of getting a quick response.
Edited by deadbolt, 3 years ago
I have also read "Justice Waits" and it is a tribute to author Davis that he was so tenacious in not letting the case be forgotten. The real travesty,besides all the years the case sat cold, is that Hirschfield's trial has now been delayed until 2011. I guess the way California handles the death penalty, Hirschfield would just be sitting in prison anyway. I also agree with you that the jurisdictional blinders helped make these cases go cold. Imagine what a different outcome might have been achieved if McGowen and Shipley from Visalia had been given a warmer reception in Sac in May 77 or if any of these attempts to link the crimes had been met with more open minds:
July 1978 "East Area Rapist may be Snelling killer" or
FEb 1980 headline "Link to Ear in Couples Slaying" or
March 1980 "Police Debate Ties" or
Aug 1981 "Nightstalker Theory Disputed"
We are not privy to the information the LE agencies had at the time, but there are still people on these boards who don't believe the crimes are connected. I'm not one of them. Somewhere in all the boxes of files there may be one little piece that was overlooked.
As usual, you make many excellent points. If someone was questioned within the immediate vicinity of the crime scene and his interview and name are long forgotten, then what a missed opportunity! I have been down many trails while researching these crimes and quite frankly, without my computer files, I couldn't possibly remember why I researched certain people or events a year ago. Back then it was a different world- that is why I am in awe of the detectives like Crompton,Shipley and McGowen etc. who did make the connection without computers and DNA.
Weston and Lushbaugh's book states :
"Sometimes he would first slip into a home, swiping a photograph or other small item that would barely raise suspicion. He would gather details like the floor plan, how the garage door opened, how an outside light timer worked or the names and schedules of the occupants. At one home he removed bullets from a gun tucked under a mattress. . ."
Lushbaugh was a Lieutenant with the Sacramento County Sheriff. I think he knows more about the case than we do, so I take his written word as fact.
I don't think EARS ONS had any super-human or supernatural power. I just think he did his homework. He was a good student.
That’s some fascinatin
Edited by deadbolt, 3 years ago
There was a time when I was almost convinced that the Goleta Killer was not Nightstalker. The GK was too sloppy, he lost control and he didn't rape. But as I did further research I found more similarities than not. The "surprise" of entering the home, the confronting of his victim(s) with a flash light, the tying of the victim(s) with personal ligatures and/or with items from around the house, the size 9.5 shoe print and most importantly: The leaving of unusual fibers and burnt wooden matches on the floor. This was probably not something LE revealed to the media at the time. This was a pure Nightstalker quirk that as far as I know hasn’t been duplicated by any other known criminal. But why was there no sexual assault at the 3 Goleta crimes? I think it was done to purposely throw off LE! It’s quite brilliant, as he still has managed to fool people into believing it was a local gang member, drug dealer or some other bondage burglar, etc…
Nightstalker was all about subterfuge. JJ made a brilliant deduction that Nightstalker started bludgeoning because he wanted LE to believe that it was the Bedroom Basher roaming around and committing these crimes. Interestingly enough Gerald Parker (the BR Basher himself) was already locked up by the time of the Smith Murder.
I too believe that Sgt. Maggoire recognized The Ear from the AFB. At one of the early attacks, The EAR told a victim that he had seen her husband at the Officer’s Club. Now he could been making this up as to further scare his victim or as I believe he wasn’t being that evidence cautious (being his few first attacks) and therefore unintentionally revealed this information and potential secret.
In certain circumstances, criminals have been known to get too comfortable with their ability to fool and thus end up making smug mistakes. The apprehension of BTK is a prime example. If the Nightstalker is still loose out there, he’s most likely taken every precaution necessary to cover his tracks, especially with the publicity his story has received in the past 14 years. Being sent off to death row when your 60 odd years old is not something anyone would look forward to—especially not when you may be able to collect some military benefits (my assumption).
Edited by deadbolt, 3 years ago
© 1998-2011, A&E Television Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.