Los Angeles Times

Man in the Window: Rape in the '70s

Fifteen-year-old Kris MacFarlane was alone in the house practicing the piano in the living room when she heard the soft sound of fabric tearing. She paused. It's nothing, she thought. She resumed playing.

Suddenly there was a large man behind her, pressing a knife to her throat. She thought that if she coughed, it would go in.

"Make a move and I'll kill you," he rasped between closed teeth. She obeyed in mind-numbed terror as he slipped prepared bindings - her sister's shoelaces - around her wrists. He stuffed a cloth from his pocket into her mouth, tied another around her head as a gag and pushed her to the backyard picnic table.

"If you say anything or flinch," he commanded, "I'll push the knife all the way in and I will be gone in the dark of the night."

It was days before Christmas 1976, early in a series of increasingly nightmarish attacks on terrified suburbanites in Sacramento and beyond. The rapist would advance from stealth attacks on vulnerable victims to blitz rushes on couples, entire families in the house. He would hold men prisoner with plates balanced on their backs as their wives were raped again and again. He locked children in the bathroom. He loitered, rifled drawers and raided the kitchen, and spent long minutes silently gazing at his victims.

He had stalked them for days, standing outside windows, in the bushes. He slipped undetected past police patrols, planted false clues to taunt detectives.

Kris had been alone at home just 10 minutes. Her parents were at a holiday party. Her sister was

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