American law enforcement have reportedly reached out to police in Australia to determine if California’s still-uncaught Golden State Killer may have moved abroad, becoming the infamous “Mr. Cruel.”
The Golden State Killer — sometimes known as the East Area Rapist or the Original Night Stalker — murdered at least 12 people and raped, at minimum, 45 women between 1976-86. There were victims in Alameda, Contra Costa, Santa Clara, Sacramento, Yolo, Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties. After a prolific spree, he disappeared in 1986.
Thanks in part to investigating done by true crime writer Michelle McNamara, the California cold case has become increasingly warm. And now Australian newspapers are reporting U.S. law enforcement have spoken to their counterparts in Victoria.
The Australian wrote Tuesday that Los Angeles investigators had a suspect in the California slayings who they learned moved to Australia. The year after the Golden State Killer murders ended, Mr. Cruel emerged in Australia.
Mr. Cruel, who was also never caught, raped three girls under the age of 14 from 1987-91. The crimes stopped after the murder of a fourth, 13-year-old Karmein Chan, in a suburb of Melbourne.
Mr. Cruel and the Golden State Killers shared similarities: They broke into homes wearing a mask and claimed they were there to rob the victims, they had long hair, and they’d sometimes pause during attacks to eat food they found in the victim’s kitchen. They were also pathologically meticulous, putting entire neighborhoods under surveillance for weeks while they planned their attacks.
They had significant differences, too. Mr. Cruel abducted three of his victims, something the Golden State Killer never did. And Mr. Cruel was fixated on young girls; the Golden State Killer generally targeted single women or couples, although his youngest victim was 13.
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Australian law enforcement, for one, isn’t convinced the California killer emerged in their backyard.
“Victoria Police is aware of the matter regarding the Golden State Killer in the U.S.,” police wrote in a statement to the Australian.
“This was reviewed in relation to the outstanding Mr. Cruel investigations in Victoria and any connection has been ruled out.”
If Mr. Cruel or the Golden State Killer are still alive, they would likely be close to 70 years old.
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