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FBI Offering $50,000 Reward in ‘Golden State Killer’ Cold Case

Serial rapist/murderer is believed to have committed 2 double homicides in Goleta in 1979 and 1981

The FBI is offfering a $50,000 reward as part of a campaign to identify the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer, who is suspected in four homicides in Goleta in 1979 and 1981,
The FBI is offfering a $50,000 reward as part of a campaign to identify the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer, who is suspected in four homicides in Goleta in 1979 and 1981, 

A $50,000 reward is being offered as part of a national “cold-case” campaign to identify a violent serial burglar, rapist and murderer who terrorized several California communities — including Goleta — in the 1970s and 1980s.

The effort to find the so-called East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer was announced Wednesday at a press conference in Sacramento by the FBI and several other law-enforcement agencies.

The unknown suspect, who also has been called the “Original Night Stalker,” is believed to have committed two double homicides in Goleta — in 1979 and 1981.

Dr. Robert Offerman, 44, and his girlfriend, Alexandria Manning, 35, were found shot to death in his condo on Avenida Pequena on Dec. 30, 1979.

Eighteen months later, on July 26, 1981, Cheri Domingo, 35, and her former boyfriend, Gregory Sanchez, 27, were slain while house-sitting at a home on the 400 block of Toltec Way. They had been savagely beaten and shot.

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

They apparently were the last of the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer’s victims to escape with their lives.

Composite drawing of East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.
Composite drawing of East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.

All told, the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer is suspected in 12 homicides, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries across California from 1976 to 1986, according to the FBI.

In addition to Goleta, his crimes were committed in Ventura, Orange County, Sacramento, Contra Costa, Modesto and Stockton, among other California communities.

His victims ranged in age from 13 to 41, and included women home alone, women at home with their children, and couples.

(Another notorious serial killer was known as the Night Stalker during a murderous two-year crime spree that terrorized California before his 1985 capture. However, the two suspects are not the same, and the second killer, Richard Ramirez, was convicted in 1989 and died on Death Row earlier this year.)

In May 2011, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department announced that DNA technology had allowed them to positively link the Domingo/Sanchez slayings to the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.

Composite drawing of East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.
Composite drawing of East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.

Two years later, the department reported that it had a new lead — traces of paint found at several of the crime scenes led them to believe the suspect may have worked on a Calle Real construction site, "possibly as a painter," according to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

On Wednesday, the FBI and several law enforcement agencies held a press conference in Sacramento, asking the public to consider the following information when reviewing information about the case:

— Did they live in one of the areas of criminal activity and remember someone in the area who matches the physical description of the subject or may have been known to spend a considerable amount of time in the areas?

— Have they discovered a hidden collection of items among the belongings of a friend or family member—notably coins and jewelry—as described on the FBI webpage about the crimes?

The East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer, who may be 60-75 years old now, was described as a white male, about 5-foot-10 and having blond or light brown hair and an athletic build.

Composite drawing of East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.
Composite drawing of East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.

Authorities have three composite sketches of what he looked like at the time of the crimes.

He may have had an interest or training in military or law enforcement techniques, the FBI said in a press release, and was familiar and proficient with firearms.

“People who know the subject may not believe him capable of such crimes,” the FBI said. “He may not have exhibited violent tendencies or have a criminal history.”

The digital media campaign to find East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer includes the launch of a webpage, www.fbi.gov/EastAreaRapist; digital billboards throughout the country; social media outreach on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube; and audio broadcasts via podcasts and radio PSAs.

“Detectives have DNA evidence from some of the crime scenes that can either positively link or exclude a suspect,” the FBI said. “This enables investigators to quickly exclude innocent parties, and the public should not hesitate to provide information — even if it is the name or address of an individual who resided in the areas of the crimes — as many parties will be quickly excluded by a simple, non-invasive test.”

The East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer was active in the greater Sacramento area from June 1976 to February 1978, the FBI said.

Burglaries and rapes began occurring in the Sacramento area during the summer of 1976.

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

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

On Feb. 2, 1978, Rancho Cordova couple Sergeant Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, were on an evening walk with their dog and were chased by the subject who overcame the couple and shot them at close range.

His activity continued primarily in the East Bay Area of Northern California in 1979, and, by October 1979, his activity escalated into rapes and homicides/attempted homicides along the California Coast with the homicides in Goleta, Ventura (March 16, 1980); Laguna Niguel (Aug. 19, 1980); and Irvine (Feb. 6, 1981 and May 5, 1986).

After July 1981, no associated incidents are known to have been reported for five years.

In 1986, an 18-year-old woman was raped and murdered in Irvine.

No additional crimes have been connected to the subject after this incident.

Law enforcement is seeking any information that may help identify the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer. Anyone with information about the subject is urged to call 800.225.5324.

Additionally, information may be submitted to the FBI’s online tip line at tips.fbi.gov.

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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