On Wednesday, the FBI announced a $50,000 reward is being offered to anyone providing information leading to the capture of the Original Night Stalker, a notorious cold case.
ABC News reports that he is believed to have carried out 12 murders, 45 rapes, and countless burglaries throughout California in the ’70s and ’80s. The serial killer was called the East Area Rapist and the Golden State Killer before authorities realized he was the same person.
The Original Night Stalker (not to be confused with the “Night Stalker” Richard Ramirez, who died in 2013), would break into victims’ homes and shine a flashlight into their eyes while wearing a ski mask, according to LAist. He was also unique in that his victims didn’t fit a “type,” as he victimized men, women, and children.
“This serial offender was probably one of the most prolific, certainly in California and possibly within the United States,” Sacramento County sheriff’s homicide Sgt. Paul Belli said recently.
Though his DNA is on file, the Original Night Stalker’s identity remains a mystery. And with June 18 being the 40th anniversary of his first attack, officials are eager to bring him to justice. Along with the hefty award, the FBI says they are launching a nationwide multimedia campaign to increase public awareness.
An FBI press release highlighted some details they hope will facilitate an arrest. If alive, they believe the Original Night Stalker would be anywhere from 60- to 70-years-old. They describe him as a white man “close to six feet tall, with blond or light brown hair and an athletic build.”
Based on his style of carrying out crimes and proficiency with guns, they suspect he is interested in the military or law enforcement. The FBI also released audio of the serial killer saying, “I’m gonna kill you. Gonna kill you. Gonna kill you,” to one of his rape victims following the attack.
“Regardless of the amount of time that has passed,” Sgt. Belli said in the statement, “the sheriff’s department never gave up on the investigation. This person ruined a great number of lives, and he should be held accountable.”