Marking the 40th anniversary of a double murder in Rancho Cordova linked to the East Area Rapist, the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department is asking the public’s help in pursuing leads in the case.
Brian and Katie Maggiore were walking their dog about 9 p.m. Feb. 2, 1978 in the neighborhood near their apartment on LaVerta Court in Rancho Cordova. During their walk, they encountered a man and ended up in the backyard of a residence in the 10100 block of La Gloria Drive, according to a Sheriff’s Department news release. The encounter turned violent and the couple fled through a blown-down fence into the rear yard of a home in the 10100 block of La Alegria Drive, the street immediately to the north.
They were each shot and died of their wounds at a nearby hospital.
Investigators believe the man they encountered was the East Area Rapist, who was active in Sacramento from 1976 to 1978. The Maggiores’ murder was the last time he struck in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction. But he continued attacks in the east and south Bay Area, before committing several murders in Southern California. The DNA in both series was linked in 2001, according to the news release.
The Sheriff’s Department cited current leads in the case and described individuals who are wanted for questioning but are not connected to the crimes at this time
Investigators would like to talk to anyone with knowledge of a man who arrived at the now-closed American River Hospital at 11:47 a.m. on May 30, 1977, for treatment of a possible broken shoulder. A member of the staff, who contacted the Sheriff’s Department, suspected the man, for unknown reasons, of being the East Area Rapist, the news release said. The suspect fled before being treated and before deputies arrived.
Investigators determined through the hospital admissions form that the patient used a stolen union identification card from the Local 18 Warehousemans’s Union. The card had been in a wallet that had been taken two years earlier, the news release said. All the other information on the form, such as phone numbers and addresses, proved to be fictitious or related to the victim whose wallet was stolen, the news release said.
No description of the patient was given, but the initials of the staff member who completed the form were “BK.”
Investigators suspect that if the man who sought treatment was the East Area Rapist, he may have suffered an injury related to his escape from the sexual assault of a couple on May 28, 1977. The rapist jumped a fence into a steep canal, where it would have been difficult to avoid injury in the dark, the news release said. The sexual assault also preceded a more than 13-week break in the rape series and an 18-week-break in attacks in Sacramento.
Investigators also would like to talk with anyone who knows about an investigation of a man who was a patient at the now-closed Bay Area Union Professional Center, located in 1973 at 6311 Fair Oaks Blvd. in Carmichael. Sacramento County Sheriff’s detectives visited this optical center in an attempt to identify an individual from a pair of prescription lenses dropped at the scene of a Rancho Cordova burglary in January 1973. The burglary victims said detectives told them they had been able to identify a possible suspect in the case from the lens prescription and the description of the suspect.
It doesn’t appear that a case was filed or an arrest made, and the identity of the optical patient they identified is not known, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The burglary suspect was described as a white man, 16 to 22 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 10 inches tall, weighing 160 to 180 pounds, with medium brown hair touching his ears. He was wearing shoes that left a “waffle print” pattern.
Investigators are specifically looking for information about employees of the optical center, or people familiar with the staff at the center in 1973 who might have information about the man.
Anyone with information about the Maggiore murder or the East Area Rapist is asked to email the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.