By January of 1975, a total of 14 victims whose bodies had been found discarded across four separate counties within the previous three years had been linked to the same killer. All the victims had been Caucasian males with similar physical characteristics. On January 24, homicide investigators from several jurisdictions in southern California convened in Orange County to discuss progress in the hunt for the unknown killer. An FBI profile of the killer was read to investigators, describing the individual as a methodical, organized lust killer of above average intelligence who exhibited an indifference to the "interests and welfare of society." Some investigators believed the murders to be the work of more than one individual, one or more of whom had a military background: Two victims' bodies had tissue residue on their noses; this was known to be a military procedure to prevent bodies from purging after death. The placing of socks inside the victims' rectums was also theorized to be a method used by the killer to prevent purging as the body was driven to the disposal location.
At this stage, investigators had no solid suspects.