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Season of Madness

Season of Madness

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Season of Madness

5/5 (4 Bewertungen)
244 Seiten
4 Stunden
Jun 1, 2013


California Nightmare. . .

Annette Edwards was a vivacious 19-year-old on her way to watch the Fourth of July fireworks. Eighteen-year-old Pam Moore was a former beauty pageant contestant, hitching a ride on a busy street. Linda Slavik was a young mother enjoying a night out with a friend. Annette Selix was just eleven, an innocent child on her way home from the market. Each of them was attacked without warning, brutally assaulted, and left for dead by a bitter, disfigured man in the grip of a violent frenzy: the so-called "Hilltop Rapist." But serial predator Darrell Rich didn't stop at just four victims. He couldn't stop. . .

"Scott tells a true story with compassion and taste." --Reviewing the Evidence

Praise for Robert Scott and Shattered Innocence

"Compelling and shocking. . .a ground-breaking book." --Robert K. Tanenbaum

"Fascinating and fresh. . .a fast-paced, informative read." --Sue Russell
Jun 1, 2013

Über den Autor

Robert Scott discovered that true-crime writing is incredibly interesting, as "You have to be part journalist, part detective and part analytical writer for the true crime market." Robert's books have detailed the lives of killers and victims, police detectives and FBI agents—from California to Iowa, from the Canadian border to the Mexican border. They've depicted stories from a murderous male/female team in the High Sierras to a psychopathic killer on the mean streets of Los Angeles. They've also told the stories of victims, from an exotic dancer, to a beautiful but naive college girl, to a loving and vulnerable ranch wife. "The lives of the victims, and the detectives who brought them justice, are vitally important in these stories," Robert said. "I absolutely believe in a comment related to me by an Assistant United States Attorney, 'To the living we owe respect, to the dead we owe the truth.'" Robert is currently working on true crime books set in Oregon and Northern California. Robert has been on many television shows on Discovery ID, A&E, E!, and Tru TV.

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Season of Madness - Robert Scott



I’ve been surprised twice by astonishing murder cases that occurred in the Northern California city of Redding and surrounding area. I’ve wondered why the media outside of Redding hadn’t picked up on these incredible stories. Perhaps part of the reason is Redding is just far enough north of San Francisco and Sacramento, and far enough south of Portland, Oregon, to be off the main media grid.

I wouldn’t have known about the first case if in 2000 I hadn’t stopped off in Redding one morning for breakfast while on my way to Oregon. I began reading an article in a local newspaper about a case that was currently in trial, and decided to sit in the gallery and watch what was occurring. I was immediately fascinated and appalled by what I heard there. It was a tale of hit men, a secret ops organization, an assassination bureau and unbelievable deception. This case—the Todd Garton case—eventually became my book Kill Or Be Killed, and the book went on to be filmed twice on national television programs.

And then it happened once again in Redding. While looking up documents on an unrelated matter, I came across files concerning the Hilltop Rapist, who became the region’s most prolific killer in the late 1970s. The more I read, the more I became intrigued by this story that had not made headlines the way the Zodiac Killer had made during the same time period. And yet here was an individual who had killed and raped more women than the Zodiac ever had. And he’d done it all in one season.

In 2011 and 2012, the scenes of the crimes all looked peaceful as I did research in the area. Cottonwood Creek rolled along smoothly in a picturesque setting; Hilltop Drive in Redding was buzzing with tourists and locals; Shasta Lake was a peaceful scene with boaters and campers. But in 1978 it had all been different. The upper reaches of Cottonwood Creek hid dark and deadly secrets. Hilltop Drive was rape central as one young woman after another was abducted, assaulted and even murdered. And the shores of Lake Shasta harbored a murder so terrible that veteran law enforcement officers were aghast at the barbarity of it.

This story delves into all of those crimes and more, and it sheds light on one very dark page in the region’s history. It was a time when women hurried home before the sun set. It was a season of madness.

Chapter 1

A Time of Escapism

Redding, California, 1978

In the summer of 1978, disco was king. There were still some rockers who bucked the trend: Queen, with We Are the Champions; Bob Seger, with Still the Same; Patti Smith, with Because the Night. The very top of the charts that year, however, was dominated by the Bee Gees. Their Stayin’ Alive and How Deep Is Your Love stayed at the top, week after week. And they weren’t alone. Other disco hits such as Boogie Oogie Oogie, If I Can’t Have You and many others did just as well.

The same sense of escapism could be found at the movie theaters that year. There were some films such as The Deer Hunter and Coming Home, which dealt with the recent trauma of the Vietnam War, but the most popular movies were Grease, Superman, Animal House and Every Which Way But Loose.

If anything, people wanted to forget Vietnam, Watergate and long lines at the gas pumps. It was a time of new, escapist shows premiering on television such as Fantasy Island and Dallas. Up in Redding, the same sense of let’s forget the past prevailed. You could skate at a local roller rink to the pounding sounds of disco music or play miniature golf at a new fun center in the area. Trying to forget the bad things in life was a common theme everywhere.

Redding had always been a jumping-off point for somewhere else. To the west, the goldfields around Weaverville went back to the 1850s. Later, copper was king around the more immediate area. Soon logging operations started up in the mountains on three sides of Redding. And to the south, agriculture boomed. When Shasta Dam was built in the 1930s, the town began to boom as well. Workers and families moved to Redding, and roads all over the area became better. Soon Redding was a stopping-off point for travelers up and down US 99 and later Interstate 5. In fact, Redding became the largest city for hundreds of miles in any direction.

There were some problems of crime, but nothing compared to larger cities located north and south. There seemed to be no hints of violent crimes—the kind that seemed to pervade the big cities elsewhere. Crimes like those were starting to be perpetrated by the I-5 Killer, but that was in the Portland, Oregon, area, three hundred miles up I-5 from Redding. Closer to home there was Richard Trenton Chase, Sacramento’s Vampire Killer. His demonic reign of terror included four dead adults and two dead children. He had dismembered his victims and used a blender to make a kind of heinous concoction, allowing him to drink their blood. Yet, even the Vampire Killer was nearly two hundred miles down I-5, across miles of agricultural land in Sacramento.

Nothing as bad as those crimes had ever occurred in Redding, and the small-town feeling of security and safety still pervaded the region. However, as the June days lengthened in 1978, all of that was about to come to an end. There was a young man in the region who had lived an ordinary life for years, but he was now seething with anger. Nothing seemed to have gone right for him. And by 1978 he had reached a tipping point. His wife had left him and his anger was about to boil over into outright rage. He felt like getting back at the world, especially when it came to women. Now he would take what he wanted, and he didn’t care who his targets might be.

Chapter 2

Terror on the Dark Streets

It all began at 10:15


, on June 13, 1978, in the city of Redding when twenty-five-year-old Brenda Simmons walked from her parents’ home to a Circle K convenience store to cash in some bottles. Brenda lived about three blocks away from the Circle K on the south side of Redding. It was not considered to be a dangerous neighborhood, even at that time of night.

It was very dark, however, on certain sections of her walk along Hartnell Avenue. Brenda crossed the Churn Creek Bridge, and just as she got to the other side, a man came running up from behind. He pushed her hard, and Brenda went tumbling down the embankment all the way to the bottom. Soon her assailant was right beside her.

He grabbed her by the hair and blouse, and Brenda pleaded with him, If you let me go, I won’t say anything, and I won’t call the police.

His response to this was, Shut up, or I’ll kill you!

He then ripped her blouse and said, as if it was a question, Do you want to give me a blow job?

What? she asked in complete surprise.

So he repeated his question. Do you want to give me a blow job?

No! she cried.

This only made him extremely angry. She started to rise, but he pushed her back down on the ground and began hitting her head. He was very strong, and his fists were pounding her like blows from a hammer. At some point he picked up a rock and began bashing her head as well. After repeated blows he left her lying on the ground, all alone in the dark. He climbed up the embankment and disappeared.

Brenda was not sure if the man had raped her or not. By now, her thought processes were badly damaged from the beating she’d taken. Brenda tried to rise and climb up the embankment, but she couldn’t do it. She slipped back down the slope and crumpled to the ground. She tried again and again with the same results. She even had a hard time just sitting upright. All night long Brenda tried at different times to climb the slope up to street level. She almost made it once, only to tumble back down the embankment.

After hours of struggle she just lay there, drifting in and out of consciousness. Finally, the next morning, a woman crossing the bridge spotted her and called the police for help. It was lucky the woman had seen her at all. The area was filled with trees and thick brush along the banks of the creek.

The first person to arrive on scene was John Goldsmith, and the early reports of this didn’t mention if he was a paramedic or policeman. What was related was that Goldsmith observed Brenda to be covered in blood and was badly bruised. She was not coherent when she tried to speak and seemed to be in a state of shock. Goldsmith also noted that her clothes were ripped in several places.

An ambulance arrived and Brenda was brought up the embankment on a stretcher. Then she was whisked away to a local hospital. Brenda’s mother was alerted that her daughter was there, and she later said, Her hair was all matted with blood. She wasn’t just purple—she was black-and-blue from head to toe!

Brenda’s initial examination at the hospital was that she was suffering from exposure and neurological dysfunction. She had major bruising and motor control problems. There was swelling to the back of her head, and one of her eyes twitched constantly. A computerized tomography (CT) scan supported the original diagnosis, and X-rays showed a linear occipital skull fracture.

Redding Police Department (RPD) investigators went to the crime scene and noted just how dark it would have been in that location after ten o’clock at night. There were no houses in the area by the bridge and lots of brush down the embankment. Investigator Charles Chuck Henry also noted that traffic passing on Hartnell Avenue could not have seen where Brenda had been lying all night.

Brenda Simmons was pushed down this slope by an assailant

and nearly beaten to death. (Author photo)

What couldn’t be ascertained was if her attacker had been someone she knew or a complete stranger. Brenda didn’t think she knew the man, but then her reasoning by now was so damaged that it was hard to know if this was true or not. Also, it had been very dark in that location. All she knew was that her attacker had been a man in his late twenties or early thirties. The man had dark hair and a dark beard. If the assailant had been a stranger, then it was wondered why Brenda had been targeted. The most likely explanation seemed to be that she was walking alone on an unlighted section of street after ten at night. Even with that as a possibility, these kinds of things did not happen very often in Redding.

Brenda suffered from dizzy spells and was extremely afraid for months afterward. She had terrible headaches and double vision much of the time. Whenever she tried to sleep, she had nightmares of being attacked all over again. Her bad dreams included the man entering her residence and attacking her while she slept. In her dreams he crawled into her bedroom through a window and she was powerless to stop him. There were times she was afraid to fall asleep.

Slowly she got better, but by that point her attacker had struck many more times. And he didn’t wait long to do it after attacking Brenda Simmons. Only six days after her assault, he was at it again with another young woman.

On June 19, 1978, teenager Jeanne Maddox went to the county fair in Anderson with a friend. Anderson was a city about ten miles south of Redding on Interstate 5. Around eleven o’clock at night, Jeanne left the fair alone and began to walk home. Just like Brenda Simmons, she had no fear of being out alone at night in her area. Like Redding, Anderson didn’t have much in the way of violent crime and, in fact, was much more rural than Redding. And besides, it wasn’t like the county fair was way out in the countryside—it was right in town on a main street.

As Jeanne walked down a sidewalk on West Center Street, she spotted a man in a parked car about twenty feet in front of her. He seemed to be watching her. Thinking it might be safer, she moved from the sidewalk to the middle of the street. The man got out of his car and approached her. In a rough voice, he said, Hey, come here!

Jeanne panicked and yelled at him, No!

Surprisingly, the man replied, Ah, forget it! Then he got back into his car and drove away.

Jeanne took off her shoes so that she could run quickly if she had to. She decided she would turn around and head back to the fairgrounds, where there were people. But before she went very far, she surmised the man might have doubled back toward the fairgrounds and would be waiting for her.

Jeanne turned around once again and started running toward the Greyhound bus station in town. She ran down a darkened street under the branches of shadowing trees. The street was completely empty; suddenly out of nowhere, the man was there again. He grabbed her and she started to scream. Quickly his hand flew over her mouth, cutting off her scream. Then he whispered into her ear: if she didn’t scream, he wouldn’t hurt her.

The man was strong and dragged Jeanne to his car. He threw her onto the front-area floorboard. He grabbed her by the hair and forced her head down between her legs. Once she was in that position, he climbed in over her and started the engine. As he took off, he had one hand firmly clutching her hair.

After about two to three minutes driving down a dark road, the man told her, Take your clothes off. Jeanne begged not to do that, but he insisted. Too frightened to argue with him for long, she finally complied. One by one, she pulled off her garments until she was completely naked.

Jeanne noticed they were heading down Olinda Road, an area that she knew. This was a region of small farms and ranches, with houses widely spaced between each other. When her clothes had been removed, the man kept driving with one hand on the steering wheel; he fondled her breasts with his free hand. After about eight more minutes, he turned off onto a dirt road in the countryside. He stopped the vehicle and told her to put her shirt over her eyes. Jeanne recalled later, There were no lights, no houses, just trees there.

The man dragged her to the backseat and then began to have intercourse with her. It was rough and unpleasant. On top of that, he also fondled her and orally copulated her as well. This seemed to go on and on, and Jeanne lost track of time. All she wanted was for him to stop and this nightmare to be over. And yet, in the back of her mind, she worried what might happen once it was over. Would he kill her or just let her go?

It wasn’t over yet, however. After he had sexually molested her for a while and orally copulated her, he had Jeanne sit up and told her to suck his penis. Afraid to refuse his demands, she orally copulated him. This disgusted her, but she worried if she didn’t do as he said, he would hurt her.

Finally, after what seemed an eternity, the man was through. He dragged her once again into the front seat of his car. Then he began driving. He told her he knew where she lived and declared, I’ll get you if you ever tell about this!

The man drove for a distance and then suddenly told her to get out of the car, crouch down on her hands and knees and not get up until he drove away. Jeanne did as he instructed. When she heard the car take off, she finally rose from the ground. Shaken and terrified, she made her way to a phone booth and called her sister-in-law. Her sister-in-law came out to where Jeanne was, and they called the police.

Jeanne was taken by an officer to the station house. She told an investigator about the events that had just occurred. One officer noted, She was quiet, dejected and despondent. After the interview Jeanne

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