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Manhunter: One woman's quest to catch the elusive Golden State Killer

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Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara

Michelle McNamara

The East Area Rapist - or the EAR - first struck on June 18, 1976, in Rancho Cordova, a city in Sacramento County, California. His face beneath a ski mask, he attacked a 23-year-old woman in her own bedroom. The EAR would terrorise the Sacramento area for three years.

On December 30, 1979, six months after the EAR attacks stopped, the Original Night Stalker - the ONS - murders began. He killed his first victims in Goleta, Santa Barbara, around 400 miles south of Sacramento. It wasn't until 2001 that DNA testing proved the attackers were the same man, now dubbed EAR/ONS by investigators and true crime obsessives. He committed 50 rapes and 13 murders.

In 2013, Michelle McNamara, online sleuth and writer of the trend-setting True Crime Diary blog, dubbed him "The Golden State Killer". Though relatively unknown to the wider public by that time, the name rightly raised his profile as one of America's most disturbing and prolific serial attackers. He was more active than the snappily-named 'Zodiac', 'Son of Sam' David Berkowitz, and the 'Night Stalker' Richard Ramirez.