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Thread: CA - Patricia Neufeld, 34, murdered in Garden Grove, November 1978

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    CA - Patricia Neufeld, 34, murdered in Garden Grove, November 1978

    On November 22, 1978, Patricia Ann Neufeld, 34, was found murdered at her home in Garden Grove, California. To this day, her murder has not been solved. In 2006, the Discovery Channel featured the case on their show, Sensing Murder (this is where I learned about the case).

    November 22, 1978 was a Tuesday before Thanksgiving; it was a rainy day in Garden Grove (according to the Orange County Register). Patricia Neufeld, a housewife and mother of three, had been babysitting two children (described by the Orange County Register as two infants and by the LA Times as her 5-year old son and another child), a girl and boy, at 6231 Richmond Avenue that day. She was bludgeoned to death with a bowling pin. She was discovered by her ten year old son when he returned from school. The two children she had been watching were unharmed. Her husband was working at the time and cleared of any involvement.

    The Neufeld home was located near the 405 and 22 Freeways and Los Alamitos AAF. It is on the west side of Garden Grove.

    It has been suggested that Gerald Parker, a serial killer who was active in Orange County at the time (who is currently on California’s Death Row), was responsible for the murder. Although he admitted to other murders, he has repeatedly denied committing the murder of Patricia Neufeld. Personally, I don’t believe that she was murdered by Gerald Parker.


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    I looked on the Unsolved Crimes on the Garden Grove Police website. Mrs. Neufeld's case was not listed. http://www.ci.garden-grove.ca.us/?q=police/unsolved

    I e-mailed them and ask that they list it. I wonder why they hadn't originally. Does anyone know if it has been solved and that is why it is not listed?

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    According to the Garden Grove Police Department, the case has not been solved and it is still an active investigation.

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    It has been 33 years this month since Mrs. Neufeld was murdered. Hopefully the truth will come to light soon.

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    Any other sources of information available???

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    The Garden Grove Police Department added a page about Patricia Neufeld’s unsolved murder on their website

    http://www.ci.garden-grove.ca.us/?q=...d/1978/Neufeld

    Patricia’s murder was featured on Sensing Murder on the Discovery Channel a while back. This is where I learned about the case. This is the LA Times and Orange County Register articles about the show

    http://articles.latimes.com/2006/jul...l/me-psychic20
    http://www.ocregister.com/news/case-...l-neufeld.html

    She is also mentioned in news articles archived on this website discussing the Original Night Stalker.

    http://earbk.proboards.com/index.cgi...rint&thread=28

    This is all the information I could find right now, sorry. If I find anything else, I will post it here.

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    This article briefly mentions Mrs. Neufeld's murder. It also has some information about other murders that had occurred in California in the late 1970s. http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...-neufeld&hl=en

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    This sketch was distributed in regard to a series of bludgeoning attacks/murders that took place at around the same time as Mrs. Neufeld's murder in Orange County. Over a decade later, it was learned that several of those murders were committed by Gerald Parker, although the sketch looks nothing like Gerald Parker. Could the mystery man in the sketch also be the person responsible for Patricia Neufeld's murder?

    https://sites.google.com/site/jjmcgr/theirvinesketch
    More about the sketch -- http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...,3460799&hl=en

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    I found an article from the November 28, 1978 from the Santa Ana Orange County Register about Patricia Neufeld's murder. It has some information which is new to me.

    Cleanup Of Bludgeon Scene Stalled http://newspaperarchive.com/santa-an...avance&ref=fbc

    A preliminary coroner's report indicated that she died between 7 a.m. and noon from blows from a blunt instrument.
    there is a trail of blood on the bedroom floor ending at the door which is soiled with bloody hand and finger prints. He surmised that the assassin wiped his hands on the door.
    Does LE have a viable fingerprint from the killer? Has it ever been run for identification?

    According to the article, there is a lack of motive and suspects, but --
    No e x t r a patrol is planned for west Garden Grove because detectives feel it's a "unique case for that neighborhood," Burnett said, referring to the fact that Richmond Avenue has been a peaceful, single family residential area with few serious problems.
    Something about that doesn't sound quite right.

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    I just watched the Sensing Murder Episode about Ms. Neufield a couple of weeks ago- I wondered if she was an early ONS victim, but I don't think there were any documented attacks by him during the daylight (not that she wasn't just a victim of opportunity).
    Do you know when Parker's preferred hours of operation were? She was located in the heart of his geographical preference.
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    MADELINE ANNA BABCOCK HAS BEEN MISSING FROM VENIICE CALIFORNIA FOR 44 Years

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    I found an article from the November 28, 1978 from the Santa Ana Orange County Register about Patricia Neufeld's murder. It has some information which is new to me.

    Cleanup Of Bludgeon Scene Stalled http://newspaperarchive.com/santa-an...avance&ref=fbc






    Does LE have a viable fingerprint from the killer? Has it ever been run for identification?

    According to the article, there is a lack of motive and suspects, but --


    Something about that doesn't sound quite right.
    I agree, it's as if they know or suspect who's responsible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snufamonbobball View Post
    I just watched the Sensing Murder Episode about Ms. Neufield a couple of weeks ago- I wondered if she was an early ONS victim, but I don't think there were any documented attacks by him during the daylight (not that she wasn't just a victim of opportunity).
    Do you know when Parker's preferred hours of operation were? She was located in the heart of his geographical preference.
    I always wondered/suspected that she might be a victim of EAR-ONS, too. I checked the EAR-ONS timeline at http://www.ear-ons.com/crimes.html to see if there were any known EAR-ONS crimes at the time that would have made it unlikely that he murdered Mrs. Neufeld. To my surprise there was an attack on a woman alone at 3:30 am on November 4, 1978 in San Jose, CA then on December 2, 1978 he attacked a couple in San Jose, CA at 4:30 am. There are no attacks listed on the timeline between those two. Where was EAR-ONS for most of November 1978? I noticed in the timeline that a few of EAR-ONS known attacks [in Northern California] took place later in the morning than I thought; for example, on Tuesday October 5, 1976, he assaulted a woman in Citrus Heights at 6:45 am and on Monday February 7, 1977 also at 6:45 am, he assaulted another woman in Citrus Heights.

    It is my understanding that Gerald Parker also attacked during the nighttime. According to the Casebook of the Bedroom Killer website https://sites.google.com/site/jjmcgr/bedroombasher, Gerald Parker’s MO is described as
    The Basher's MO was to invade a home or apartment where a single woman was sleeping. The BB blitz attacked the vicitm, bludgeoning her with a plywood plank, raping her, then finishing her off with the plank. In several cases, his victim survived.
    An LA Times article says this about Gerald Parker http://articles.latimes.com/1996-09-..._death-penalty
    Investigators said a new system of genetic testing linked him to attacks on young Orange County women who were raped and bashed in their ground-floor apartments during 1978 and 1979. Parker, who was in prison on a parole violation at the time of his arrest, confessed to attacking the women--usually with 2x4 boards. He told detectives he would cruise the county in a drunken stupor looking for open windows or unlocked doors, according to grand jury transcripts.
    I can’t really find anything that specifically identifies the times that Gerald Parker committed his crimes, but I will keep looking. I would have the tendency to assume that it was night because he usually attacked his victims when they were sleeping.

    Before Patricia Neufeld’s case was on the Garden Grove Police Department’s website, I spoke with a policeman from Garden Grove who was familiar with Mrs. Neufeld’s murder asking him to include her case on the Cold Case page. He told me that they (the GGPD) did not believe that Gerald Parker was her killer – the way that he said this (and some of the other things that he said during our conversation) lead me to believe that there was someone who they suspected but he wasn’t going to tell me who it was other than just it wasn’t Mr. Parker.

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    Hi,

    just jumping in on this:

    1.) Don't hang on the attack-time. Even if an SR/SK acts normally at night, there is always a possibility, he considers in one special case another time as better. ONS scouted and entered the places of his attacks sometimes weeks before. So if he found, prenoon was in this special case a good time because the majority of people in this area are off to work at this time, why not?

    2.) I haven't looked up Gerald Parker yet in detail, but it appears as if he had a similar signature?

    3.) The Neufeld-murder falls between the Maggiores, who were shot and the Offerman/Manning murders, who were bludgeoned to death. Over this time, the EAR rapes went on. So if the bludgeoning attacks ALL happened between the Maggiores and Offerman/Manning, this looks like the phase in which ONS developed to his final signature.

    So ... questions:

    1.) Was Parker's signature in the time of those bludegeoning attacks already fully developed?

    2.) Which timespan was covered by those bludgeoning attacks?

    3.) Where there in this time frame and in Orange Co. also stabbing, strangling or shooting attacks/murders of women, ages like 20-35?

    Can be, you have here a developing SK and then this developing phase would be, at least as far as the timeline goes, consistent with ONS.
    Sometimes, being a squirrel can be a real nutjob!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Brendt View Post
    Hi,

    just jumping in on this:

    1.) Don't hang on the attack-time. Even if an SR/SK acts normally at night, there is always a possibility, he considers in one special case another time as better. ONS scouted and entered the places of his attacks sometimes weeks before. So if he found, prenoon was in this special case a good time because the majority of people in this area are off to work at this time, why not?

    2.) I haven't looked up Gerald Parker yet in detail, but it appears as if he had a similar signature?

    3.) The Neufeld-murder falls between the Maggiores, who were shot and the Offerman/Manning murders, who were bludgeoned to death. Over this time, the EAR rapes went on. So if the bludgeoning attacks ALL happened between the Maggiores and Offerman/Manning, this looks like the phase in which ONS developed to his final signature.

    So ... questions:

    1.) Was Parker's signature in the time of those bludegeoning attacks already fully developed?

    2.) Which timespan was covered by those bludgeoning attacks?

    3.) Where there in this time frame and in Orange Co. also stabbing, strangling or shooting attacks/murders of women, ages like 20-35?

    Can be, you have here a developing SK and then this developing phase would be, at least as far as the timeline goes, consistent with ONS.
    Finding out information about Gerald Parker was more difficult than I thought it would be. He was convicted for murdering

    Sandra Kay Fry, 17, of Anaheim on December 2, 1978
    Kimberly Rawlins, 21, of Costa Mesa on April 1, 1979
    Marolyn Carleton, 31, of Costa Mesa, on September 14, 1979
    Chantel Marie Green, stillborn, of Tustin, on September 30, 1979
    Debora Jean Kennedy, 24, of Tustin, on October 7, 1979
    Debra Lynn Senior, 17, of Costa Mesa on October 21, 1979

    He would drive around, usually at night, intoxicated on drugs and alcohol and attack women who lived in first floor condominiums usually while they slept. He would hit them with a hammer or a 2 by 4 (I was unable to really tell if he carried the hammer or 2 by 4 with him or he found it at the scene. Gerald Parker would rape his victims before killing them. He confessed to LE the crimes that he was convicted of and has always denied killing Patricia Neufeld.

    During the late 1970s, there were multiple people attacking and killing women in Orange County. I don’t think that they have all been solved. Jane Bennington was thought to be a victim of Gerald Parker, but when DNA tests were run, the DNA was not his. Savannah Anderson was murdered on May 14, 1979 by Robert Sellers, but before it was solved, it was thought to be committed by the “Bedroom Basher” (Gerald Parker). I know that there were several other women murdered around that time, so I will keep looking for more information.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    Finding out information about Gerald Parker was more difficult than I thought it would be. He was convicted for murdering

    Sandra Kay Fry, 17, of Anaheim on December 2, 1978
    Kimberly Rawlins, 21, of Costa Mesa on April 1, 1979
    Marolyn Carleton, 31, of Costa Mesa, on September 14, 1979
    Chantel Marie Green, stillborn, of Tustin, on September 30, 1979
    Debora Jean Kennedy, 24, of Tustin, on October 7, 1979
    Debra Lynn Senior, 17, of Costa Mesa on October 21, 1979

    He would drive around, usually at night, intoxicated on drugs and alcohol and attack women who lived in first floor condominiums usually while they slept. He would hit them with a hammer or a 2 by 4 (I was unable to really tell if he carried the hammer or 2 by 4 with him or he found it at the scene. Gerald Parker would rape his victims before killing them. He confessed to LE the crimes that he was convicted of and has always denied killing Patricia Neufeld.

    During the late 1970s, there were multiple people attacking and killing women in Orange County. I don’t think that they have all been solved. Jane Bennington was thought to be a victim of Gerald Parker, but when DNA tests were run, the DNA was not his. Savannah Anderson was murdered on May 14, 1979 by Robert Sellers, but before it was solved, it was thought to be committed by the “Bedroom Basher” (Gerald Parker). I know that there were several other women murdered around that time, so I will keep looking for more information.
    What I can't find, is information actually giving details about the Neufeld-murder. Admittedly, I'm currently a bit challenged with my time for research, but nowhere is actually mentioned, how the unsub entered the house, the exact nature of the injuries (as in hit in the back of the head or on top of it, or whatever it was, number of blows). How much time did the the unsub spend in the house, and so on.
    What I try is to get some idea about this guy on the behavioral side to see, if it would be consistent with ONS or someone else who roamed Cali in those years. But admittedly, with what I see yet, I can't get a picture of him. But what I see (further research can still change that), is at least one difference to Parker. Parker was basically low organized, he acted relative spontaneously and he preferred the women alone. But this one went into a house with a woman and two children. So he had at least to be sure, the kids were not old enough to cause him trouble. When kids panic, they tend either to hide or to run and several of them in several directions, drawing unwanted attention. So in a way, he had to control the kids or had to know, there was no need. Means, he had to watch the family or know them from other forms of contact. That makes him either someone from the nearer circle around Patricia Neufeld or medium if not higher organized.
    Sometimes, being a squirrel can be a real nutjob!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Brendt View Post
    What I can't find, is information actually giving details about the Neufeld-murder. Admittedly, I'm currently a bit challenged with my time for research, but nowhere is actually mentioned, how the unsub entered the house, the exact nature of the injuries (as in hit in the back of the head or on top of it, or whatever it was, number of blows). How much time did the the unsub spend in the house, and so on.
    What I try is to get some idea about this guy on the behavioral side to see, if it would be consistent with ONS or someone else who roamed Cali in those years. But admittedly, with what I see yet, I can't get a picture of him. But what I see (further research can still change that), is at least one difference to Parker. Parker was basically low organized, he acted relative spontaneously and he preferred the women alone. But this one went into a house with a woman and two children. So he had at least to be sure, the kids were not old enough to cause him trouble. When kids panic, they tend either to hide or to run and several of them in several directions, drawing unwanted attention. So in a way, he had to control the kids or had to know, there was no need. Means, he had to watch the family or know them from other forms of contact. That makes him either someone from the nearer circle around Patricia Neufeld or medium if not higher organized.
    I have been trying to research this information. I am beginning to wonder if LE is withholding some of it in case a suspect does ever surface there will be information that was not released to the public that only someone involved would know. I can't find the specifics of what part of the head she was hit on with the blunt object (bowling pin). So far, all of the newspaper articles at the time say things like
    Patricia Ann Neufeld, 6231 Richmond Ave , died from blows to the head caused by a blunt instrument according to Garden Grove police officer Dennis Stanfield.
    that was from the Orange County Register on November 23, 1978.

    I think in the tv show on Investigation Discovery, they said that the killer got into the house from an unsecured sliding glass door at the back of the house, but I don't know if that was really what happened or the psychics "impressions." I tried to go back and see if I could confirm which it was, but so far, I haven't been able to.

    While searching for more information, I found an article from the Los Angeles Times, 14 March 1979, pg. OC A6 http://earbk.proboards.com/index.cgi...read=28&page=1 about Patricia Neufeld's murder being compared to the bludgeon murder of a 28-year-old Fountain Valley housewife, Joan Virginia Anderson. Both were committed before Gerald Parker's known murders and, eventually, William Lee Evins was eventually tried and convicted of Joan Anderson's murder.

    In another article available at the above link, a number of murders of Orange County women, including Mrs. Neufeld are discussed (The Bludgeon Slayer Takes the Weekend Off: Relief in Cities, By Gary Jarlson, Los Angeles Times, 29 October 1979, pg. OC A1.) --
    Since 1976, there have been 11 murders and attacks on another five women. They are not all the work of one person, maybe only a few are, but there have been some striking similarities. Most of the women, who ranged in age from 17 to 34 years old, were alone when they were attacked late at night. All but one of the victims were beaten in the head with a blunt instrument and many of them were raped. Police say they have no idea what sort of weapon was used. The majority of the attacks have taken place from midnight Thursday until the very early hours of Monday, and the investigations have shown no signs of forced entry. The assailant got in through unlocked doors or windows.
    The women discussed in the article are Rosalind Foster of Costa Mesa (April 30, 1976), Robyn Cox of Costa Mesa (January 12, 1977), Jane Bennington of Corona del Mar (1977), Patricia Neufeld, Joan Anderson of Fountain Valley (March 3, 1979), Kimberley Rawlins of Costa Mesa (April 1, 1979), Savannah Anderson of Irvine (May 14, 1979), Kim Whitecotton of Santa Ana Heights (May 24, 1979), Jane Pettengill of Costa Mesa (July 19, 1979), Marolyn Carleton of Costa Mesa (September 14, 1979), Debra Kennedy of Tustin (October 7, 1979), and Debra Senior of Costa Mesa.

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    I came across an article from the December 3, 1978 Orange County Register after my last post. It has some interesting quotes from Patricia Neufeld's neighbors. http://newspaperarchive.com/santa-an...&psb=relavance
    A woman who lived two doors down from Mrs. Neufeld said this about her attack --
    The thought that someone "can sneak up on you and split your skull" terrifies her, she said
    Another of her neighbors said this --
    A retired couple across the street said they were told that the postman
    left a package at the door of the Neufeld home at about 9:45 a.m. He rang the doorbell, but no one answered.

    "I have heard that he found the front door open and television set on, but no one answered the door," the wife said.
    If this is actually the case, the killer either entered though or left through the front door.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    I came across an article from the December 3, 1978 Orange County Register after my last post. It has some interesting quotes from Patricia Neufeld's neighbors. http://newspaperarchive.com/santa-an...&psb=relavance
    A woman who lived two doors down from Mrs. Neufeld said this about her attack --


    Another of her neighbors said this --

    If this is actually the case, the killer either entered though or left through the front door.
    Nice work!

    I can't be 100% sure, but something about 80-90% says, this is not ONS. For the following reasons:

    - ONS used as weapon what he found in the house, for example a piece of wood from the fireplace. There is rarely doubt about the weapon. On the other hand, this one brought his weapon and took it with him when he left.

    - Like ONS, he came from the backside of the house and like ONS, he scouted the target out. But ONS with all the experience of the EAR rapes would never leave through the front door, leave it ajar or leave the TV on. On a hunch, I would see, ONS and this one were watching different TV shows (just kidding). But seriously, ONS kept his victims quiet. He used for example the thing with a saucer and a cup on the male victim's back to force them not to move and make no noise. This one on the other hand used the TV to drown out noise, his victims maybe would make.

    Soooo, question is, Parker, Evans or was there maybe another unsub on the road back in the days? I haven't done too much on Parker yet, but this looks a little bit too organized for Parker. Anything good about this Evans guy?
    Sometimes, being a squirrel can be a real nutjob!

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    In 11/79, ONS was still active in Northern California; he had not yet been known to kill. He is only known to attack at night and appears to have deliberately avoided homes with young children. He was actually a relatively "non-violent" rapist who only later began killing victims, (after a rape attempt went bad). After that, he killed his victims with either with a gun he brought or a blunt object he found at the crime scene. I appear that rape was the primary motive and the murders were just cleaning up loose ends.

    The pattern here is completely different. Apparently Patricia Neufeld was violently beaten with a weapon the prep brought to the crime scene but was not raped. When a prep bring a specific "blunt trauma" type weapon (a bowling pin in this case) to the crime scene and does a horrific beating but no rape, it is very possible that the beating was the sexual fantasy he was acting out.

    There were quite a few sexual homicides in Orange county during that time; most of them solved. This one really can't be tied to any of them. A certain number of these will be "one shot" crimes where the perp never kills again (sometimes because he is caught quickly, other times he just doesn’t do it again). Because there is no DNA, it will probably not be solved.

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    I was never sure if the bowling pin belonged to one of her sons or came from somewhere else.

    That being said, after learning about the front door being open and the tv being on, I don’t think she was murdered by EAR-ONS. The murderer must have been [IMO] very confident that no one would walk in and interrupt them. Possibly, if someone were to see them either enter or exit the front door, they must have been confident that they would be above suspicion or at least confident no one would be home to see them?

    William Lee Evins, the man who plead the murder of 28 year old housewife Joan Virginia Anderson from Fountain Valley, CA, was 25 years old at the time of the murder and from Pasadena, TX. I was unable to find out when William Evins arrived in California from Texas; that is something I would like to know.

    Joan Anderson was strangled and beaten with a hammer at her Fountain Valley home on the morning of March 8, 1979. The press release from the OCDA’s office only mentions the beating with a hammer and not the strangulation. William Evins was working as part of a construction crew on an addition to Mrs. Anderson’s home. At the time of her murder, Joan Anderson was home with two of her three children (6-month-old daughter and 3-year-old son). Her husband was out of town on a business trip. William Evins raped her prior to killing her.

    According to a news release from the Orange County District Attorney’s Office --
    Evins was arrested 17 months later [after Mrs. Anderson’s murder] when his friends reported to police that he had been acting strange and was jumpy and hyper-sensitive since the murder, and had repeatedly expressed his desires to rape and kill women with hostility. He also asked one friend to provide him with an alibi for the day of the murder.
    http://www.orangecountyda.com/home/i...6sl_month%3D12

    People who were in jail with Mr. Evins, after he was arrested, said that he confessed to them. The articles so far do not make mention of any other crimes he confessed to or past criminal history prior to the murder in Fountain Valley (the Orange County press release makes mention of drug use, but that is all).

    Personally, I don’t really think Mr. Evins is responsible for Patricia Neufeld’s murder. Other than there being young children present, the time of day it occurred, and the bludgeoning/beating as cause of death, it seems there are too many discrepancies between the two. If he had murdered someone prior to Joan Anderson, would he have confessed that as well to the people he was in jail with?

    http://articles.latimes.com/1985-06-...ountain-valley

    http://articles.latimes.com/1985-08-...-pleads-guilty

    http://www.ocregister.com/articles/e...er-parole.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by kemo View Post
    The pattern here is completely different. Apparently Patricia Neufeld was violently beaten with a weapon the prep brought to the crime scene but was not raped. When a prep bring a specific "blunt trauma" type weapon (a bowling pin in this case) to the crime scene and does a horrific beating but no rape, it is very possible that the beating was the sexual fantasy he was acting out.
    I am starting to wonder, if because of the situation you described, if the perpetrator could have been a woman?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ambercat View Post
    I am starting to wonder, if because of the situation you described, if the perpetrator could have been a woman?
    Beating someone to death is normally a power-gain-fantasy in a lot of SKs. So, there is a little chance, this one also uses alternating strangulation in murders. The most infamous example was Bundy, used both methods. When thinks in his normal life were confusing or he hit snags, his victims were beaten to death, when his regular life went well, killing method was strangulation (even he beat his victims up before, but not lethal).
    So, this tells us a little about this killer. In his normal life, he wouldn't appear strong or self-certain. Rather a little shy. But if he repeated crimes like the Neufeld murder, people around him would notice an increasing self-esteem.
    And the killer is male. Repeated hits over the head, that is a male signature. Wouldn't be sure, if it would have been only one precise hit, but as it is ... male.
    Sometimes, being a squirrel can be a real nutjob!

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  49. #25
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    I was reading Sudden Terror by Larry Crompton and, while I no longer convinced that EAR-ONS murdered Mrs. Neufeld, I am not 100% sure that he did not. There were two things that I noticed which made me think of Patricia Neufeld -- towards about the last quarter of the book, an attack on a victim referred to as "Marie Salinas" is detailed. He did not, for whatever reason rape Ms. Salinas, but he did beat her quite badly and, like Patricia Neufeld, the front door to her house was left open when he left. Like Patricia Neufeld, Marie Salinas had two children with her at the time of the attack but her children were considerably older than the young children in Garden Grove. Also, according to the Detective Crompton, EAR-ONS did turn on the tv in some of the victims houses (true without the volume).

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