“New” San Ramon (8/8/79)


This composite was posted to the proboards by user speakelofengrish (SOE). He was Michelle McNamara’s researcher and continued working on her book until it was completed. This composite was included among LE files loaned to Michelle and SOE.

The context section is my summary of information provided by posts from SOE and Winters.

Context: This sighting of a suspicious man occurred one month after EAR’s failed Danville attack on July 5, 1979.

On August 8, 1979, a teenage girl was home alone. Checking on some noise at the home’s rear sliding glass door, she saw a man who was holding a knife, attempting to get in through the sliding door. She turned on a patio light, and he backed away, running to and climbing over a fence that bordered a Christmas tree farm.

From SOE’s post: “The subject was described as a white male adult, 30 to 35 years old, 5’9” with a slender build (and heavy legs), clean-shaven with a very light complexion, and straight, light brown hair that was collar-length. He was wearing a black zippered nylon jacket and faded blue Levis.

The girl was later placed under hypnosis and aided sketch artist Tom Macris in crafting the above composite of the subject.”

From Winters: “Tennis shoe prints were found near the fence. They were a size nine or ten.”

Also noted by Winters is the fact that the police responded quickly and thoroughly, with a strong and noticeable police presence (a helicopter and bloodhounds were involved). As Winters observes, “Even though the suspect wasn’t located, such an impressive show of force by the police department probably chased him out of that immediate area for good.”

Validity: Nearly every composite is of a suspicious person, not a direct, confirmed sighting of EAR.

However, SOE and Winters point out compelling features of this sighting.

I will quote SOE at length:
  • The Christmas tree farm into which the subject fled was the *same* Christmas tree farm the EAR used before and after attack #40. That victim’s home was on the other side of the farm (which is essentially just a narrow greenbelt). Additional, a TRAP surveillance unit had observed activity in the same Christmas tree farm on the night of Jan 26, 1979 (and two separate prowler incidents occurred in the area over the course of that night).
  • The would-be victim’s description of the individual is consistent with most descriptions of the EAR.
  • The composite closely resembles — eerily so, in fact — the subject chosen by victim #15 (the only victim with whom the EAR wore an open-faced mask, revealing his features), from the array of yearbooks detectives asked her to browse, as closely resembling her attacker.
Because of these details, SOE is “certain the subject observed attempting B&E in San Ramon on 8/8/79 was the EAR, and therefore the composite that resulted is the closest likeness of the EAR that exists among the rather noisy assortment of composite sketches floating about.”

Winters added this note: “What makes this incident interesting is the fact that happened about a couple thousand feet from both Attack #39 AND the Thunderbird Place incident where rope was found under the couch cushion.”

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