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Cold-Case Detectives Pursuing New Leads in Search for Serial Killer Suspected in 4 Goleta Slayings

Sacramento County Sheriff's Department releases latest information in effort to identify man dubbed the Golden State Killer

Cheri Domingo and Greg Sanchez were brutally murdered on July 27, 1981, in Domingo’s home on Toltec Way in Goleta by the Golden State Killer. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department recently announced that it has two new leads under active investigation in the search for the killer.
Cheri Domingo and Greg Sanchez were brutally murdered on July 27, 1981, in Domingo’s home on Toltec Way in Goleta by the Golden State Killer. The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department recently announced that it has two new leads under active investigation in the search for the killer. (Domingo family photo)

Cold-case investigators are asking for the public’s help in pursuing their latest leads in the hunt for the Golden State Killer, a prolific serial rapist and murderer whose victims included at least four people slain in Goleta.

The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department recently announced that it has two new leads under active investigation in the search for the man dubbed the Golden State Killer, who also is known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker.

All told, the Golden State Killer is suspected in at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries throughout California from 1976 to 1986, according to the FBI.

DNA evidence has been used to link the same person to many of the crimes, but the suspect's identity remains unknown.

In Goleta, he is suspected of killing Dr. Robert Offerman, 44, and Offerman's girlfriend, Alexandria Manning, 35, on Dec. 30, 1979. They were found shot to death in Offerman's condo on Avenida Pequena.

The serial-killer is also believed to have murdered 35-year-old Cheri Domingo and her longtime boyfriend, Gregory Sanchez, 27, on July 27, 1981, in a residence on Toltec Way.

The victims were found in a bedroom, and both had been severely beaten.

Three months before the Offerman and Manning murders, a couple on nearby Queen Ann Lane were accosted, tied up and terrorized by a man, presumably the same suspect, but they managed to flee the home and were not killed.

The spree of burglaries and rapes attributed to the Golden State Killer began in communities east of Sacramento during the summer of 1976, giving rise to the moniker “East Area Rapist.”

During these crimes, the suspect would ransack the homes of his victims and take small items such as coins, jewelry and identification.

Those cases included the homes of families, couples and single women; burglaries in a neighborhood tended to precede clusters of sexual assaults.

The East Area Rapist was active in the greater Sacramento area until 1978, when the violence escalated to homicide.

On Feb. 2 of that year, almost exactly 40 years ago, a Rancho Cordova couple — Air Force Sgt. Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie — were on an evening walk with their dog and were chased by the assailant, who accosted them and shot them at close range.

The attacks then shifted primarily to the East Bay area of Northern California, and by October 1979, the activity escalated into rapes and homicides and attempted homicides along the California coast, with the killings in Goleta, Ventura (March 16, 1980), Laguna Niguel (Aug. 19, 1980) and Irvine (Feb. 6, 1981).

Some of the several composite portraits of the Golden State Killer, who also was known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker. Click to view larger
Some of the several composite portraits of the Golden State Killer, who also was known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker. (Contributed photo)

After July 1981, no incidents associated with the Golden State Killer are known to have been reported for five years, and there is speculation he may have been incarcerated during that time.

The last crime linked to the serial killer occurred on May 5, 1986, when 18-year-old Janelle Cruz was raped and murdered in her Irvine home.

The latest investigative leads involve a man who arrived at American River Hospital (now closed) at 11:47 a.m., on May 30, 1977 for treatment of a possible broken shoulder, according to Sgt. Shaun Hampton of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department.

“The patient was potentially suspected of being the East Area Rapist by member(s) of the staff, for unknown reasons, who contacted the Sheriff’s Department,” Hampton said. “The suspect fled the scene prior to treatment and prior to the arrival of sheriff’s deputies.”

The patient used a stolen identification card from the Local 17 Warehouseman’s union that was in a wallet taken from an incident two years earlier, Hampton said.

He added that all of the other information on the form, such as phone numbers, addresses, etc., was found to be fictitious or related to the identity of the wallet-theft victim.

No description was given of the patient, but the emergency room staff member who completed the form had the initials “BK,” Hampton said.

“It is conjectured that if the individual 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,” Hampton said. “The rapist jumped a fence into a very steep canal where avoiding injury would be difficult in the dark. This sexual assault also preceded an over 13-week break in the rape series and an 18-week break in attacks in Sacramento.”

The second lead involves 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, California.

Sheriff’s detectives visited this optical center to attempt to identify a subject from a pair of prescription lenses dropped at the scene of a burglary in Rancho Cordova in January 1973, Hampton said.

An FBI poster announcing the renewed search for the Golden State Killer. Click to view larger
An FBI poster announcing the renewed search for the Golden State Killer. (FBI photo)

“The burglary victims stated detectives advised them they had been able to identify a possible suspect in the case from the lens prescription and description of the suspect,” Hampton said. “It doesn’t appear any case was filed, nor arrest made, and the identity of the optical patient they identified is unknown.”

The burglary suspect was described as a white male, 16-22 years old, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, 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 persons familiar with the staff at the center in 1973 who may have information if contacted.

The Golden State Killer, who today could be anywhere from his late 50s to 70 years old, was described as a white male in his 20s, about 5-foot-10 and having blond or light brown hair, and an athletic build.

The attacks apparently stopped after the 1986 killing in Irvine, and investigators speculate that the killer may have died or been sent to prison in a state that does not collect DNA evidence from inmates.

He also may have left the state or the country, or could simply have stopped raping and killing.

Investigators do know that his crimes were meticulously planned, and he left little physical evidence — no fingerprints or weapons.

He typically chose locations adjacent to creeks, parks and other open spaces that allowed him to enter and exit without being seen.

Anyone with information about this case is urged to email the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department at [email protected]

Also, the FBI has offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the identity of the Golden State Killer.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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