Steve Huff at The Dark Side digs up a forgotten serial killer who was more dangerous and deadly than the infamous Wichita BTK (Bind, Torture, Kill) Strangler. This serial killer is variously called the East Area Rapist, or Orange Coast Serial Killer, or the Original Night Stalker. The Dark Side said this:
Before Richard Ramirez, the famed Night Stalker who killed 13 people in California in the early 80's, there was the East Area Rapist, now known as the Orange Coast Serial Killer, or the Original Night Stalker.It is not known if the killer is still alive or dead.
Between roughly 1976 and 1986, the Original Night Stalker committed 50 rapes in Northern California and at least 10 [Orange County Sheriff reports 12] murders in Southern California, Orange County.
The only reason we know this now is because a criminologist from Orange County matched the DNA from the Northern and Southern California crimes in 2001. A portrait suddenly emerged of a terrifying and prolific sexually sadistic killer.
The actual URL for a site I found about this killer is www.ear-ons.com. If you click on the killer's moniker in the first paragraph you will go to the index page where there is a digitally-rendered drawing of him in a ski-mask. The drawing borders on the comical, until you click it, and hear his voice. The recording is a phone call attributed to the Original Night Stalker, made in the late 70's or early 80's - I was unable to clarify the time.
It's easily one of the most chilling things you'll ever hear, so be warned. It's a man whose voice is obviously, to my singer's ear, rather high, consciously and rather effectively disguising his voice with heavy breathing and a hissing sort of delivery. Victims who survived his attacks confirm this impression, the younger ones saying he spoke in a self-consciously gruff way, the older saying he sounded 'normal.'
He targeted what are known as 'low-risk' victims - lawyers, medical professionals, computer programmers. He began with raping individuals, and progressed to attacking couples....
Serial Killer Update [Orange County Sheriff's Department]
The Original Night Stalker case-Message Board [A&E TV]
DNA Links '70s 'East Area Rapist' to Serial Killings - Evidence suggests suspect moved to Southern California [SFGate.com, April 4, 2001]
Richard Ramirez-Night Stalker [Wikipedia]
The Night Stalker: The Serial Killer Richard Ramirez [Crime Library]
The Original Night Stalker, Pt. 2 [The Dark Side, Jan. 23, 2005]