On June 18th, 1976, the Sacramento Sherriff’s Department responded to a break in, and rape of a young woman. By the end of the year, there were ten attacks in total, all attributed to the one serial offender, who the media dubbed, “The East Area Rapist”.
Detectives with the Sherriff’s Department noticed the MO of the East Area Rapist fairly early on but kept the information under wraps. They didn’t want a state of panic, they didn’t want a copycat, and they didn’t want to alert the East Area Rapist that they were onto him.
But by November 1976, the community started to become aware that a violent serial predator was walking their streets.
The Sacramento Sherriff’s Department attended a local school meeting. Their intention was general crime prevention, but as people questioned rumours of the rapes, they were forced to confirm that a serial rapist was at large.
The police were shocked at the brazen nature of the attacks and the meticulous planning. The East Area Rapist moved through the community with military precision. He seemed to always know where the police were. Did he have a police radio? Did he have ears in the force? Or was he just lucky?
He had no sense of fear, his level of bravado was rarely seen in criminal investigations. And he had only just gotten started.