The Physical Evidence that Ties these Cases Together
It surprises most people new to the case that out of 60 or so known attacks, only a handful can be tied fairly definitively to the same perpetrator. There are many reasons, both known and unknown, why this is so but one thing is known for certain: this was a careful, methodical criminal who left us very little to work with. Which is why one of the best ways to tackle this case is to take what we do know, and work our way out from there.
The Linked Attacks
As you'll see on the image above, evidence can link 12 different attacks for us pretty conclusively:
- Attacks on the top row, which includes 3 EAR attacks and most of the ONS attacks, have been linked by DNA.
- Attacks on the second row link to each other because of paint evidence. You can read more about that here.
- Attack #18 was linked to Attack #27 because of identical, consecutive phone calls. You can read more about the respective attack pages.
Other Physical Evidence
I've mentioned that the attacker left very little in the way of physical evidence, but we do have a few data points to work with.
- The shoe size of the EARONS appears to be about a 9 or 9 1/2. Shoe prints left at the scene of almost all crimes, from the first one in Sacramento to the ONS crimes, measured about that size. Additionally, most shoeprints either had a herringbone pattern or appeared to be waffle-stomper type shoes.
- Semen samples and even blood samples apparently belonging to the assailant shows that he's a "non-secretor with a PGM 2-1" (we'll go into that more later), which covers roughly 20% of the population. This evidence showed up again and again.
- The EARONS' height was usually somewhere around 5'9", though these are estimates by witnesses and victims and can't be relied on solely. He was probably a white male, with somewhat lighter eyes and with brownish hair.
- A lot of fuss is made over the assailant's penis size, though it's difficult to be very accurate about it. It was either average or smaller than average and the assailant often wasn't fully erect during any part of the attack.
- There are other one-off pieces of evidence, such as some papers that were found depicting a map and an essay, a security badge, and a few other things. Unfortunately none of these things could be tied to other attacks or to other individuals.
Some Common Questions
The most common question is about the DNA evidence. Why are so few cases tied by DNA? The simple answer is that during the EARONS crime spree, DNA technology didn't exist yet, so only material that was preserved from that time period has been able to be tested. Unfortunately, the statute of limitations on the rape crimes expired before any murders could be definitively tied to the assailant, so tons of evidence from the Sacramento crimes was thrown out.
At this point, most folks who are fairly new to the case have another big question. "If physical evidence is so scant, then how can we be sure that the same person is behind the 50 other crimes you attribute to him?
The answer to that is the distinct M.O. of the EARONS. Read on to learn more...
Next -> The M.O. Ties Together The Rest