Roy Charles Waller, dubbed the NorCal Rapist, was convicted on November 18 of 46 counts of rape, sodomy, and kidnapping involving nine women over the span of 15 years from 1991 to 2006 in Northern California, according to news station KCRA.
Up until 2018, the serial rapist had managed to get away with breaking into women’s homes in the middle of the night, tying them up, and repeatedly raping them, sometimes for hours, according to Courthouse News. The NorCal rapist would also “ransack” women’s homes and on occasion take them to ATM’s and make them take money out of their accounts.
But Waller didn’t just take. He also left something behind — his DNA.
There was semen, and even blood in one case in which a woman stabbed her attacker with a pair of scissors, according to the Sacramento Bee. And while the technology wasn’t there during Waller’s years of eluding law enforcement, it is now.
Police were able to track Waller by plugging his DNA into GEDmatch, DNA matching software developed by a genealogist in Florida that has been crediting with cracking several cold cases, including that of the recently convicted Golden State Killer.
In the end, it came down to a drinking straw. Once police had traced DNA to the point where they thought Waller was their man, they took a straw from his trash to match his DNA against the DNA found at the crime scenes, the Sacramento Bee reported.
Waller was arrested on September 21, 2018, and initially charged with 12 counts of varying crimes related to the attacks.
Waller Denied His Guilt & Said He Didn’t Know How His DNA Ended Up at 6 of the Crime Scenes
According to NBC Bay Area’s reporting, Waller took the stand in his trial, saying he couldn’t explain how his DNA ended up at several of the crime scenes.
He said all he knew was, “It’s not me.”
According to NBC Bay Area, “during searches of a storage locker rented by Waller, investigators found a bag containing ropes, duct tape, handcuffs, zip ties, and women’s undergarments. Waller claimed the items were used in consensual relations with a former girlfriend and her friends.”
Other circumstantial evidence was uncovered when investigators found pornography on his computer of bound Asian women — which is significant because most of the NorCal rapist’s victims were of Asian descent.
Still, he said in court of the findings of the police, “none of this pertains to me,” NBC Bay Area reported.
Yet, according to the Sacramento Bee, Waller stalked his victims and kept computer files on them which he still had when he was arrested 12 years after his last known attack.
According to KCRA, the rapist’s modus operandi involved similarities, including “the manner in which the victims were attacked, carried, bound and raped…his alleged tone of voice during the crimes, phrases he used in the various incidents and the demands he made for money or ATM cards and PINs.”
Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig said in a 2018 press conference after Waller was arrested, “The suspect in this case was a real-life boogie man who crept into victim’s homes in the cover of darkness and attacked them when they were most vulnerable. His days of inflicting such terror are over.”
Waller Is Facing Life in Prison
Waller, who is now 60, is facing possible life in prison when he is sentenced on December 18.
According to CNN, in California, the use of weapons, and/or tying and bounding victims makes the crime punishable by life in prison. There is also no statute of limitations for any crime that can be punishable by life in prison.
Waller’s first known victim who was attacked in her home in 1991, Nicole Earnest-Payte, told reporters outside the courthouse after the verdict that she felt “amazing,” acknowledging how grateful she was for everyone who worked hard to bring her rapist to justice after all this time, according to the Sacramento Bee.
“A lot of work went into solving this case,” Earnest-Payte said. “It’s a good day.”