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The East Area Rapist would break into middle-class homes in respectable neighborhoods in the dark of night, tie up his victims and tell them over and over they were going to die. Only he didn’t kill anyone-not at first. The East Area Rapist got his start in the summer of 1976 in Sacramento County and raped 30 women between June 1976 and July 1978. He moved on to Contra Costa County in October 1978, then continued south to Santa Barbara and Orange counties (where he was known as the Night Stalker, named before his crimes were linked to those up north). Psychiatrists helping the task force talked with imprisoned sex offenders, who said EAR was looking for an excuse to kill, not just to rape. They were right.
Crompton was working in the crime lab in Contra Costa County doing crime scene investigations when EAR arrived in late 1979. After EAR’s third attack, a task force of local police agencies, the DA’s office and the crime lab was formed and Crompton was appointed to it. The first murder was a double homicide in Santa Barbara County in December 1979. His attacks continued until, after another double homicide in 1981, the East Area Rapist vanished for five years. He reappeared for another double homicide in May 1986. Crompton had retired but In May 2000, he got a call from a criminologist in Contra Costa County who was working with DNA and the EAR files. Crompton gave him the names of three rape victims, and by July it was confirmed that the same man was behind them. Further DNA worked proved in March 2001 that six of the 1o murders then attributed to EAR were by the same person. And in April 2002, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office flew Crompton down to help with the investigation.
The East Area Rapist, Original Night Stalker has yet to be arrested. SUDDEN TERROR-Larry Crompton
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