Los Angeles Times

Man in the Window: Golden State Killer

There was a man in the window.

The boy in the bed could see him, a head hanging over the eaves, the tassled top of a knit cap bobbing. And he could hear him, thudding on the roof.

Then came the sweep of a flashlight beam across his bedroom.

The terrified 4-year-old ran to his parents' bed.

It wasn't until morning that Inspector Richard Shelby woke to the story from his son.

Shelby was a lead detective on the East Area Rapist case. There was no question in his mind who had been on his roof. His Rancho Cordova home was in the heart of where the EAR - as the police called him - was operating; in fact, the rapist would later stage his 44th assault just four blocks away.

What Shelby didn't know was whether the rapist knew he lived in that house. Was he casing his next victim or targeting the detective trying to catch him?

It was May 1977, a month in which five attacks would be reported. The month the rapist began to openly taunt police.

"Tell those (expletive), those pigs," the EAR swore that month between clenched teeth in his 21st home invasion rape, "if I hear about this I'm going to go out tomorrow night and kill two people. People are going to die."

Another detective on the case, Carol Daly, was tasked with taking victim statements at the crime scene. After one attack, she arrived at a house and recognized the husband of the rape victim. Seven months earlier, he had stood up at a crowded community meeting to berate police for failing to catch the rapist.

With few exceptions, Daly interviewed every woman in Sacramento raped by the serial attacker. They told of two- and even three-hour nightmares in which couples were bound, threatened with maiming and death, the women repeatedly sexually assaulted.

Daly kept styled wigs at the ready so that when the predawn call came she could roll with composure.

Her way with rape victims instilled trust, made them feel safe despite their bathrobes, the crime not yet washed off their bodies, their wrists still raw and their homes filled with officers dusting for fingerprints and collecting evidence.

To Daly they confided the horrific details, every sexual position used, the size

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