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Voice for a Victim

ae2 graveLocal filmmaker looks to produce feature about final victim of prolific serial killer

Filmmaker Cameron Cloutier’s still-unfinished journey with his film, Bird with a Broken Wing, began four years ago when he heard a story that was stranger than fiction. While chatting with a couple of friends, one of them asked Cloutier if he had ever heard of the East Area Rapist. He hadn’t, so his friends started telling him the story, which they had both heard about in the news a few years prior. Cloutier couldn’t quite believe what he was hearing. “What are you talking about?” he remembers thinking. “Everything they said was out of control.”

As with Cloutier’s initial encounter with the story, a condensed history lesson is necessary here. From 1976 to 1979, a suspect known as the East Area Rapist committed a series of crimes in Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto and Walnut Creek. Then from 1979 to 1981, his crime spree migrated to the cities of Goleta, Ventura, Laguna Niguel and Irvine. (It wasn’t until the late 1990s—when he would be dubbed the Original Night Stalker—that his DNA connected him to this latter series of crimes.)

Then in 1986, after a five-year crime gap, an 18-year-old woman named Janelle Lisa Cruz was murdered in Irvine, a mile-and-a-half from the last murder. She remains the last known victim of the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker. Responsible for more than 50 rapes and 10 murders, he is the most prolific serial killer and sex offender in California history, and still remains uncaught, despite the fact that law enforcement authorities have his DNA, fingerprints and blood type.

ae2 movieposterIt’s a story that Cloutier has been looking to turn into a film for four years, and now, having done extensive research and with script in hand, he is seeking a way to finance the production. “The film will use Janelle’s story as a basis,” Cloutier says. “Her life was so interesting, and it explains why he probably came out of hiding for her, and then while it tells her story, it also flashes back to several of the other crimes so that we can understand the methodology of his crimes.”

Having received the support of Cruz’s family, the police, and the FBI, the most significant remaining hurdle for Cloutier’s film is the arduous process of fundraising. With that in mind, Cloutier is holding a fundraiser for the film in Sacramento—with Mayor Kevin Johnson tentatively scheduled to attend—on May 4, which happens to be the date of Cruz’s death in 1986.

For those who are unable to attend the fundraiser, there is still time to contribute to the Indiegogo fundraising campaign, which ends May 11. In addition, Cloutier says that “like”-ing the film’s Facebook page will aid in raising awareness. He is also accepting private funding for the production via the Facebook page or through the email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

According to Cloutier, every cent matters. “I’ve been on this project now for four years, but when I first started, there was nothing about these crimes out there except for a little website and a Wikipedia page, and that was it,” he says. “Since I started working on this, it’s kind of gotten bigger, but it hasn’t crossed over into the mainstream yet, so my original intent—which still is my intent—was to bring awareness to the crimes.”

Though the film will discuss the crimes of the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker, Cloutier plans for it to center around Janelle Lisa Cruz and her life, struggles, accomplishments, and finally about what happened the night the two met.

“If you know Janelle’s story, then you know that even though she died, her story is a positive one, and that’s what the film explores,” says Cloutier. “I did not know—until I started talking with her family—how complex her life was. She wasn’t just this girl who was killed; the things that happened in her life made it possible for this guy to come into it. It seemed less and less like she was just a random victim, and more like he had to silence her.” 

For more information about ‘Bird with a Broken Wing’ and how to help make it a reality, visit indiegogo.com/projects/bird-with-a-broken-wing-needs-you—8, the film’s Facebook page, or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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