LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Long before police dubbed Richard Ramirez “the Night Stalker,” authorities in Santa Barbara county were on the trail of an elusive serial killer who also struck with no pattern, no warning.
It made catching the mad man even harder. He could still be out there.
Police say the Original Night Stalker was responsible for at least 52 rapes and ten murders in the late 70s and early 80s. And then his crimes…just…stopped.
As Serene Branson reported in the KCAL9 News at 10 p.m. Thursday, the investigators who have been tracking the killer aren’t sure what happened to him. Prison or dead? Officials aren’t sure, of course.
But either way, they haven’t stopped trying to find him and bring him to justice.
The last known murder was 25 years ago, Janelle Cruz of Irvine.
Like Ramirez, the original stalker would enter through an unlocked or open window…he carried a knife or gun.
He started with sexual assaults and rapes. More than 50, said police. And then, by the early 80s, he moved on to murder.
Just two weeks ago, the 1981 murders of a Santa Barbara couple…once a cold case, was definitively linked to the mad man through a DNA match. Cheri Domingo, 35, and Gregory Sanchez, 27, were house-sitting when they met a horrible fate.
The killer’s DNA is in the state database…so far, no hits. Officials believe…if he is alive, the killer/rapist is between 53 and 67 years old.
And the search continues.