Local Filmmaker Gearou's Mission: Story of Janelle Lisa Cruz: Last East Area Rapist Victim | Arts & Culture
Todd Gearou, Sacramento based film producer, remembers well moving to Sacramento at age 15, with horror sweeping our communities as the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker continued his rampage of terror. Having committed 50+ rapes and 10 murders attributed to the East Area Rapist, he, if still alive or not imprisoned, is nightmarishly still at large. Says Gearou, “anyone who lived in the Sacramento area during the late 1970s will easily recall the overwhelming fear that California’s most prolific serial rapist and possibly future murderer had over this area.”
Gearou, like many others, including law enforcement, often wondered what happened to this night phantom some 26 years after his last murder in Irvine, Ca (1986).
Says Gearou, “About a year ago I struck up a conversation with former Sheriff Deputy Vicki Carey who was assigned to the Contra Costa E.A.R. Patrol Task Force and the memories all came flooding back. I just couldn’t believe there hadn’t been a film made on this subject yet.”
Gearou soon discovered that there was actually a film in pre-production called, Bird with a Broken Wing about the last known victim, Janelle Lisa Cruz, “and I couldn’t resist learning more.”
Gearou met with filmmaker, Cameron Cloutier, only to discover that Cloutier was in the pre-production phase of a film entitled, Bird with a Broken Wing. The last known victim of the East Area Rapist, beautiful Janelle Lisa Cruz, will not be silenced, as her family has openly shared Janelle’s life and the mysterious build-up to the moment when she and the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker confronted each other on that fateful night.
One of the most amazing aspects of this project is that Cloutier was brought into Janelle’s life by her family and friends to properly research this. “If I am going to tell her story, I want it to be real and truthful. I’m not interested in making some generic horror movie, but a film that lives and breathes and gives you a sense of what it must have been like to grow up during that time. I can’t thank Janelle’s family enough for this opportunity.”
The mission of Bird with a Broken Wing is two-fold:
To not let time distance us from the memories of those whose lives continue to suffer the horrific memories of the tragic event experienced at the hand of this nightmarish persona, or, least forget those whose lives were taken.
And, may this film which has been two years in the making, spur a memory from just one viewer who could bring to light a crucial piece of this puzzle, leading to the identification of this killer who held Sacramento emotionally hostage!
A special thank you to Grammy Award winner, Mary Youngblood, and “Friday the 13th” Composer, Harry Manfredini, both of whom are definitely on-board for music score.
If you would wish to contact Gearou or Cloutier ~ sharing information you may have:
Todd Gearou (Producer)
Cameron Cloutier (Writer/Director)
To contact Lisa O’Hara, Contributor - email@example.com
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