Inside NorCal Rapist’s Halloween Attack & How Police Finally Cracked The 22-Year-Old Cold Case

Investigators had few leads — until another prolific criminal, the Golden State Killer, got caught.

October 29, 2018

Roy Charles Waller [Sacramento Police Department]

Roy Charles Waller [Sacramento Police Department]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

MARTINEZ, CA — The infamous NorCal rapist spent 15 years terrorizing women across Northern California, but he gained access to one victim’s home using an especially chilling tactic on Halloween in 1996.

Late that night, a woman in Martinez was lying on her couch when the doorbell rang. Assuming there were some trick-or-treating stragglers outside, she opened the door. Instead of costumed children, however, she was greeted by a man wearing a skeleton mask.

He tackled the woman and handcuffed her. He then brought her upstairs and raped her multiple times.

Paul Holes, the former Contra Costa County crime lab chief, told the East Bay Times that the perpetrator cleaned or destroyed potential clues during the assault and was “very evidence conscious.” In fact, the man once took bedding and fled from another rape scene after he bloodied some sheets.

Weeks after the Halloween rape, cops believe the man called the victim while she was at her dental office job and said he was sorry.

Following his instincts, Holes compared DNA from the Martinez attack with two others and determined they were related. “We knew then we had a serial rapist,” he said.

But the NorCal rapist suddenly ceased sexually assaulting women in 2006. Detectives unsuccessfully searched for him through the years, but it was a major break in an unrelated crime spree that helped them finally crack the cold case.

From 1974 through 1986, Joseph DeAngelo raped over 50 women, committed at least 100 burglaries and killed as many as 13 people, earning him the macabre nicknames East Area Rapist, Original Night Stalker and the Golden State Killer, among others. Like the NorCal rapist, DeAngelo suddenly retired from crime and went quiet. Then, last spring, detectives utilized a new type of genetic genealogy technology to unmask DeAngelo, who had been hiding in plain sight in Citrus Heights, California.

As a result, “the NorCal Rapist [case] was brought up as the No. 1 priority” to solve next with the groundbreaking method, said Holes.

Investigators sprung into action.

A team used the same techniques employed in the DeAngelo case and uploaded DNA from one of the NorCal rapist’s crime scenes to the public website GEDmatch. The results led them to a close relative of the still-mystery rapist and they were able to narrow down the pool of possible suspects based, in part, on when and where the attacks occurred. Detectives next plucked a straw from a person of interest's garbage and confirmed that they could finally close the cases they had spent decades working.

On September 20, police took UC Berkeley employee Roy Charles Waller, 58, into custody when he arrived to work, accusing him of raping at least 10 women in six California counties.

Waller, who lived in Benicia, had been employed as a safety specialist at the university’s Office of Environment, Health & Safety since 1992, a year after he began his rape spree.

According to NBC Bay Area, Waller spent days studying his victims before their assaults, including learning their names and addresses. When he attacked the women in their homes, his modus operandi was to bind their hands and ankles and use duct tape to cover their eyes and mouths.

“The suspect was a real life boogeyman,” said Jeff Reisig, the district attorney of Yolo County, where at least four women were raped.

“Last time, he got to see my face when I was in fear,” Maki Anderson, one of Waller’s victims, said after he appeared in court. “This time, I got to see his face when he was in fear … I want him to know that he did not break me.”

Waller, who was married at the time of his arrest, was charged with multiple counts of forcible sexual assault and is currently being held at the Sacramento County Jail without bail.

Next Up

Corey Feldman Defends Michael Jackson, Calls 'Leaving Neverland' Doc 'One-Sided'

Feldman also said the accusers “must be heard,” however, and blasted parents for leaving their kids with Jackson.

Husband Hired Homeless Drug Addict To Rape His Wife For $200

Russell Higgins told his wife to let the rape continue or it would be “very bad” for her, their children, and their grandchildren.

Florida Man Allegedly Told Underage Battery Victim He Was 'Instagram Famous'

Richard Brown, 25, also reportedly lured the girl from Texas and paid for her $822 Uber ride to Florida.

Accused Rapist & Murderer Fathers Children With Woman & Her Daughter; Now On The Run

Tomas Magallon Gonzalez is described as a master manipulator of people, especially children. He’s accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's nine-year-old daughter for years and eventually fathering two children with her before killing her.

Judge: Teen Who Showed Sex Tape To Friends Must Register As Sex Offender For 25 Years

Jeremiah Horton, 18, was reportedly also sentenced to six months in a rehab facility for nonviolent felony offenders.

Raymond Dean Holley, Wanted For Alleged Easter Sunday Child Sex Abuse, Captured

He's accused of molesting two little girls in his care on Easter Sunday 2018.

Florida Man Puts On Dog Costume, Has Sex With Dog, Posts Video Online, Cops Say

Suspect allegedly admits to recording sex act with a Siberian husky — while he was dressed as a Siberian husky.

Man Who Allegedly Raped Underage Teen Cites Kansas Abortion Law To Argue His Innocence

Jordon Ross insists the state’s decision that life begins at conception technically made the girl older than the age of consent.

Gamer Arrested After Online Opponent Overhears Him Raping Teen

According to an affidavit, the gamer heard the teen tell Daniel Enrique Fabian “no” and to stop four times, but he ignored the girl's pleas and allegedly had forced sexual intercourse with her before returning to the Grand Theft Auto game 15 minutes later.

Homeless Man Admits To Necrophilia; Gets 15 Years In Prison

Domonique Smith broke into a funeral home, stole a bike, and raped a corpse.