Nationwide campaign launched, $50K reward offered in search for - KPTV - FOX 12

Nationwide campaign launched, $50K reward offered in search for 'Original Night Stalker'

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The suspect was dubbed the "East Area Rapist," "Diamond Knot Killer" and "Original Night Stalker." More recently, he was referred to as the "Golden State Killer." (Suspect sketches provided by FBI) The suspect was dubbed the "East Area Rapist," "Diamond Knot Killer" and "Original Night Stalker." More recently, he was referred to as the "Golden State Killer." (Suspect sketches provided by FBI)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The FBI is renewing the search for a serial killer and rapist who terrorized California communities in the 1970s and 1980s.

The FBI launched a nationwide campaign Wednesday that includes a $50,000 reward to track down a man dubbed the "Original Night Stalker."

The man, who may be 60 to 75 years old now, killed 12 people and committed at least 45 rapes in California between 1976 and 1986. Victims ranged in age from 13 to 41 years old and included women who were home alone, women at home with children and couples.

All the crimes have been connected by DNA or other evidence.  

Burglaries and sexual assaults linked to the suspect began occurring in the Sacramento area during the summer of 1976, During these crimes, the man would ransack the homes of his victims and take small items such as coins, jewelry and identification.

At least 14 law enforcement agencies investigated sexual assaults and homicides connected to the suspect. After July 1981, there were no reported incidents linked to him for five years. In 1986, however, he is believed to have raped and murdered an 18-year-old woman in Irvine.  

No additional crimes have been connected to him since that time.  

The suspect was dubbed the "East Area Rapist," "Diamond Knot Killer" and "Original Night Stalker." More recently, he was referred to as the "Golden State Killer."

The suspect is described as a white man, 5 feet 10 inches tall with blonde or light brown hair and he had an athletic build. He may have had an interest or training in military or law enforcement because he was familiar and proficient with firearms. 

Detectives have DNA evidence from some of the crime scenes that can either positively link or exclude a possible suspect. Investigators said that allows them to quickly rule out innocent people, meaning the public should not hesitate to provide information about possible suspects.

"People who know the subject may not believe him capable of such crimes. He may not have exhibited violent tendencies or have a criminal history," according to an FBI statement.

Tips can be left at FBI.org or by calling1-800-CALL-FBI.

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