On May 6, 1986, Michelle Cruz got a call while working on a ski mountain from a family friend who told her she had better sit down.
“You’re sister got murdered,” said the friend.
“My sister got married?” replied Michelle.
Michelle’s sister, Janelle Cruz, is the last-known victim of the serial rapist and murderer known as both the Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist, who has never been caught despite raping at least 45 women and murdering 12 people across California from 1979 to 1986.
“He bound her, raped her, and bludgeoned her beyond recognition,” said Michelle of her sister, who was 18 years old when she was murdered in her family’s home. “It’s a vision that has haunted me for 30 years.”
Michelle came to CrimeCon 2017 as part of her mission to keep the Golden State Killer case alive in hopes that California's most infamous and prolific violent serial offender will be caught. With his DNA on file, she works with authorities as well as armchair detectives on the internet to identify possible suspects. She also has a YouTube channel dedicated to finding her sister’s killer. Most people who have been involved with the case believe he's still alive, and he'd be between 60 and 75 years old today.
“Our family unit had been shattered,” explained Michelle about the aftermath of the murder. “We never went back to that house. We sold it.”
The FBI is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist. Individuals with information are urged to call 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
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