“I didn’t hear him come in, I didn’t hear anything. And all of a sudden, there was someone standing in my door, the bedroom door.”
It’s been more than 40 years since a masked man wielding a knife snuck into the home of a 23-year-old woman in Rancho Cordova, Sacramento, in the early hours of June 18, 1976.
She woke to a tapping sound, and initially thought the man standing at her door was her dad. But when he turned the light on, she saw a man tapping a knife against the frame of her bedroom door, wearing a dark-coloured t-shirt, a ski mask and gloves. He was naked from the waist down.
Terrified, she threw her sheets over her face, but the man ripped them off and held a knife to her temple.
He demanded she take her clothes off, and paced the room while he waited. He then tied her hands behind her back, and raped her.
Leaving the room briefly, he returned with the electrical cord of her hairdryer, and tied it around her ankles. He used her clothing to gag her, before taking money out of her purse, and some of her jewellery. At one point, she heard the man’s voice say, “I told you to shut up!” to what she assumed was another person in her home. Then there was silence.
Lying on her bed, the woman was frozen - terrified to move in case the man was still in her home. She hadn't heard the front door close. But she eventually made her way to her father's bedroom, and called the police.
After the attack, the woman told police she believed she had been stalked for a month beforehand. She had started to notice a familiar vehicle driving near her house, and when she looked at the driver, he turned away. She'd also received a number of hang-up phone calls. Then, the night the man broke into her home, her father had been out of state on a work trip.