These are statements from survivors of the East Area Rapist / Golden State Killer. They lost a sister and a mother to the most prolific and deadly uncaught serial killer in California’s history.
They both were happy to see the recent release of information by the joint task force on the case. But they are not just survivors who have overcome tragedies. They are fighting back. They are taking steps to get ALL information and documents released, and spread awareness of the case.
Though it is painful, they are taking action here, and are welcoming invitations from the media for interviews, in an effort to spread knowledge of the case and generate that crucial lead. The can be reached by email:
They can also be contacted via the Facebook pages they moderate:
The “RIP Janelle Lisa Cruz” Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/janellecruz1986
The “Who Is the Golden State Killer” Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/whoistheoriginalnightstalker
Statement From Shelly
My name is Michelle. I am the sister of Janelle Cruz, the last known victim of the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer. I need to say, it has been a horrifying 30 years since Janelle was brutally raped and murdered in our home in 1986. I was seventeen and she was eighteen years old. It is very hard for me to describe how this has affected my psyche. For a person to pass away is a sad event, but to live with the thought and vision of how my sister was raped and beaten to death, and the struggle she put up in order to fight to stay alive is what really haunts me. She suffered. My poor sister made phone calls to friends just before she was killed because she was scared to be home alone.
This one offender has over 40 rape victims and has brutally murdered 12 people, possibly more. Plus all of the rape victims and surviving family members deal with the thought of this murderer still walking free after forty years. The FBI states he is likely between the ages 56 and 66 now, thus there is every reason to believe he is still alive today.
After Janelle’s murder, our home was sold. For a while we were living with friends out of our suitcases. Our family unit was gone, and it has never come back. What I grew up knowing was no more… I lost my identity, and for about 20 years lived in complete fear because of my sister’s murder. During those years, I have slept with the lights on, and I am mostly never home alone. However, when I am, there is always something propped in front of the doors and windows for protection. Recently, I have installed surveillance cameras all around my home and window alarms plus some other things in order to feel safe. I shouldn’t have to live with fear every day. It is a very lonely feeling that I’ve succumbed to. Not many people can relate to having a loved one killed by a serial killer who has been free for 40 years.
I am tired. I am tired of being afraid. I am tired of hiding. This is why I am finally reaching out. Something needs to change, and not just for me. I am talking for all the victims and family members who are too tired and afraid to speak out. We need more people to get involved! We need more people to help research because 40 years of doing things the same way is not working! There are so many people dedicated to researching this case in order to find EAR/GSK. We need to let them help! Let them help piece together the information you have. Make the documents available. After forty extremely long years, I think it is time to release ALL the information.
I was very happy to see the recent release of information and the publicity drive by the task force of city, county and federal agencies, of which the Sacramento PD was a part. This is a great start but does NOT go far enough. Unfortunately there is no one outstanding sketch of EAR/GSK. His description as to height, weight and features are all fairly average. This generates tips, but not solid leads.
What some officers there today may not know is that EAR sent in writings to the police. A poem called “Excitement’s Crave” has been released, but not a copy of the original poem or the envelope it came in. The envelope and the actual poem would reveal handwriting or at least typewriter font. The EAR sent a letter to the Sacramento City Council. There are reports of other letters and poems were sent in. All of these can and should be released. The release of these items will reveal the word usage, phrase usage, unique vocabulary of EAR. They would show something of his views, opinions and thoughts. A family member, friend or co-worker may recognize these characteristics. This is exactly how the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, was recognized and turned in by his brother.
I have made a formal request under the California Public Records Act to obtain the release of these records. I also urge all law enforcement agencies involved in the case to release ALL information, evidence, files and records. Keeping them secret only protects the killer.
I urge residents of the City and County of Sacramento to write an email or letter to their mayor, city council, county commission and governor stating your concern about the case and requesting that ALL documents be released. Victim and witness names can be blacked out for privacy. The release of these documents might be the difference between this offender finally being brought to justice or him continuing to elude capture.
Please read the statement that follows mine, by a fellow survivor of EAR/GSK, a daughter of a murder victim. At the end of her statement she has information on how you can learn more about the case and where to go if you have information that might help.
Statement From Deb
My name is Debbi. I am currently 51 years old, married, with children and grandchildren, a home and a career.
Over 35 years ago, when I was about to turn 16, my Mother and her boyfriend were murdered, very savagely, by an intruder in our home, in Goleta CA. They were stalked, assaulted while they slept, and bludgeoned to death. Their names were Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez. My mom was 35 years old, and Greg was only 27. Fortunately, I was not home that night. But as you can imagine, my life was forever changed. The murders were investigated, but never solved.
I spent the first 15-20 years after the murders in a sort of “blur.” I can’t even begin to describe the effects of such a gruesome event. Not just the tragedy itself, but the lack of closure, knowing that the killer was still on the loose. To say I suffered from depression and Post Traumatic Stress would be putting it mildly. I went through the motions of functioning in life, but inside, I felt like most of me had died on July 27th, 1981. This is something you never recover from.
In 2001, I was contacted by detectives from Santa Barbara County, who surprised me by telling me that my Mom’s homicide was still being investigated. I had long since assumed it was lost in the Cold Case file and forgotten. Well, I was shocked to learn that not only was the case being worked. It was believed to be linked to other attacks. And not just murders, but rapes, as well. Not just a few, but dozens upon dozens of brutal rapes and murders. One man was believed to be responsible for destroying lives all over Northern and Southern California over a 10 year span. They were searching for clues leading to his identity.
In the past 15 years, many developments have been made. Hundreds of people- both in Law Enforcement and in the civilian community- have scrutinized these cases.
In Northern CA, the perpetrator is known as The East Area Rapist (“EAR”.) He is known to have committed at least 45 rapes and 2 murders, mainly in the Eastern part of the Sacramento area between 1976 & 1979. In Southern California, he has been referred to as The Original Night Stalker (“ONS”,) but due to confusion, he is now being identified as The Golden State Killer (“GSK.”) He murdered at least 10 people in Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties between 1979 and 1986. His M.O. and DNA profile form the connections. But his identity, after 40 years, remains a mystery.
“How can this be?” people ask, upon learning of this savage serial offender. It’s simple: Lack of public awareness. Lack of accurate information in the public eye. Lack of communication.
Have you heard of him? Do you know the details of his attacks? Do you know his physical characteristics and mannerisms? Do you know the areas that he frequented over the span of 10 years when he was raping and killing? Guess what. MOST PEOPLE HAVE NEVER HEARD OF HIM. And those who have, assume that- after all this time- he must surely have been caught. But, no. He has never been identified.
He may very well be alive and living as an unobtrusive member of society. He could be your neighbor. Your co-worker. Your child’s coach. Your Sunday School teacher. Your gardener. Your banker. The security officer who patrols your neighborhood. He could work in your grocery store. He could be installing cable or internet down the street. He could be driving an ambulance. He could be building a house close to yours. Or guess what. He could be your cousin.
Or your ex-boyfriend. Or your spouse. I’m not kidding.
About this perpetrator: The East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer, if he is still alive, is probably in his 60’s-70’s. At the time of his crimes (40 years ago,) he was reported to be a white male, believed to be in his early to mid 20’s. He was approximately 5’ 9” tall, less than 200 lbs., with a very muscular build. He had dark blond hair, and blue or light-colored eyes. He wore a size 9 ½ shoe. Very athletic and strong. He was known to talk through clenched teeth and to whisper. He tied his victims up using shoelaces or twine. He was known to escape by jumping over fences, driving (sometimes stolen) cars, riding (often stolen) bicycles, and running through creek beds. In many cases he stalked his victims first, broke in through windows or sliding glass doors, then bound his victims, instilled fear, raped and/or killed, stayed in the house for long periods of time, and left his victims still bound. He sometimes took jewelry or coins from the homes. He also made “crank” phone calls to his victims. His voice has been recorded. He may have had experience or interest in the military and/or law enforcement. He was proficient with firearms. His DNA is on file.
There is tons of information on the internet about the search for this predator. Several books have been written…some by the original detectives who pounded the streets looking for him in his heyday. Two of the best books on the case so far are “Sudden Terror” by Larry Crompton, former detective with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department, and “Hunting a Psychopath” by Richard Shelby, former detective with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. I would encourage EVERYONE in the United States to start learning about this killer. Read and SHARE the following websites:
See if you might recognize any of the descriptors or scenarios. Try to remember if you may have seen or heard something. And if you have, PLEASE contact the investigative teams. Work teams from all the jurisdictions with EAR/GSK activity have teamed up, along with the FBI, to really push to find closure in these cases. There are over 57 known victims of his violence. But the true victims are those who remain waiting for answers. I am one of them. He needs to be identified. Even if he is dead. We need to be able to put a name on him and put these tragedies to rest.
With heartfelt thanks,
The search for this perpetrator is ongoing.
There is a $50,000 REWARD for tips leading to his arrest.
Submit tips by calling 1-800-CALL-FBI or via tips.fbi.gov