FBI seeks the public's help in identifying East Area Rapist

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - The FBI is asking for the public’s help identifying a man they call the most prolific killer in California—perhaps the nation. The man terrorized several areas in California during the late '70s into the '80s. Local law enforcement says they don’t know if the man ever made his way to northern Nevada, but are looking at cold cases to see if there are any connections to him.

“Blindfolded, hands tied, legs tied, then he pulled me up like this on my stomach, and put me back in bed and said if you move, I will kill you,” one rape victim says on a recorded audio tape to investigators.

They are the words of a woman who survived the rape of a man law enforcement calls the East Area Rapist or the Golden State Killer.

Responsible for approximately 45 rapes, he also burglarized the homes when he was done.

“After it was all over he went through stuff in the room,” says another East Area Rapist victim.

These women know how fortunate they are, because the East Area Rapist is also linked to 12 killings over a seven-year period.

The suspect's known criminal history runs from June 1976 to February 1978.

“It was a time when the community was taken hostage, everybody knew it. It was on the news every night, and the only thing anyone knew...it was a white male,” says Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County District Attorney and Sacramento native.

The man evaded police for years.

But about five years ago, law enforcement from communities impacted by the East Area Rapist joined forces and exchanged information and evidence, and finally linked the crimes.

The Diamond Knot Killer was the same man as the Golden State killer and as the East Area rapist because investigators say he used an elaborate knot to bind two of his victims.

DNA would tie all the cases together.

An artist's drawing is from 1978.

Investigators say the man, if alive, would be in between 60 and 75 years old now. He may have had an interest in military or law enforcement techniques as he was familiar and proficient with firearms.

“There may be other crimes that have not been attributed to him. And that's also another plea for other people that are watching this. If he maybe matches something that they have had in their community throughout the United States,” says Sergeant Paul Belli with Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office

When you consider how close we are to Sacramento, that plea goes out to us in the Truckee Meadows as well.