Q: The FBI and local law enforcement held a press conference June 15, 2016 announcing a nationwide multi-media campaign to bring the East Area Rapist/Maggiore murder case to the public’s attention. A $50,000 reward was offered as an incentive to solve the 40-year-old cold case. What is the status of the investigation?
A: The man who terrorized Sacramento County residents from 1976 to 1978 has been linked to more than 175 crimes throughout California.
Variously known as the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker and the Golden State Killer, he is the subject of a nationwide campaign launched last year in an effort to elicit new information that would help identify him. Gina Swankie, a spokeswoman for the FBI’s Sacramento field office, said nearly 700 tips have been received to date, but the man has not been identified. The FBI and members of a law enforcement working group are following up on leads.
“All remain hopeful that tips will continue to flow in and that the subject will be identified,” Swankie said in an email. The FBI has a web page devoted to the case: https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/help-us-catch-the-east-area-rapist. Anyone with information regarding the case is asked to call the FBI’s toll-free tip line at 800-225-5324 or their local FBI office, or submit a tip online, at tips.fbi.gov.
The man was linked to at least 30 rapes and one homicide in Sacramento County, where he was dubbed the East Area Rapist because most of the crimes occurred in the county’s eastern area, including Rancho Cordova, Carmichael, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Orangevale and Arden Arcade. He usually targeted homes of lone women or couples, according to stories in The Sacramento Bee.
The rapist typically wore a ski mask. But a witness who observed a man fleeing the scene of the fatal shooting of Brian and Katie Maggiore in Rancho Cordova in 1978, the one Sacramento County homicide linked to the East Area Rapist, saw him unmasked and provided a description used to generate a composite sketch.
The same man is also believed to have committed rapes in Stockton, Modesto, Davis and the East Bay Area. Between 1979 and 1981, he was suspected in the rape and murder of several individuals, including couples in Southern California, according to the FBI. The last known case in California linked to the man was the rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl in Irvine in May 1986.
Authorities believe the man they seek would be between 60 and 75 years old now. He was described as white, about 5 feet 10 inches tall, with blond or light brown hair and an athletic build. He was said to be proficient with firearms.