On June 18, 1976, the East Area Rapist's first attack occurred at 4:00am on Paseo Drive in Rancho Cordova, CA. Within 6 months, 7 additional attacks were committed by the same man. As rumors of the rapes spread through the affected communities, the Sacramento Sheriff's Department asked the news media not to report on the rapes and give them time to catch the rapist. 33 years later, the EAR and now the ONS remains unidentified.

By November of 1976, the East Area Rapist struck twice in one day in neighborhoods near each other but on opposite sides of the American River. One rape occurred in the affluent section of Del Dayo reportedly near the home of a newspaper editor. The Sacramento Sheriff's Department held neighborhood meetings in part to inform worried citizens of the threat and in part to dispel rumors that were running rampant and contributing to the climate of fear.

By April of 1977, over 15 attacks by the ski masked rapist occurred and the Sacramento Sheriff's Department was no closer to catching him. The news reports always made mention of the rapists m.o. of attacking women while they were alone. That all changed on April 2, 1977. The East Area Rapist attacked his first couple.

On May 17, 1977, the EAR pushed Sacramento County into a state of panic, bordering on hysteria. After raping his 23rd victim, the EAR threatened to kill his next two victims. The EAR now verbalized a propensity for violence that law enforcement always suspected was there. The Sacramento Sheriff's Department in response to overwhelming pressure from the public, held a news conference and released an "artist's conception" of the East Area Rapist and a criminal psychological profile.