South Bay Strangler
Fictional Character
POD: Set in the future
Appearance(s): Eruption;
All Fall Down
Type of Appearance: Contemporary reference, unnamed
Occupation: Rapist, murderer

The South Bay Strangler was the name given to an unknown serial killer active in the South Bay area of Los Angeles from Hawthorne in the north to Rolling Hills Estates in the south. His victims were elderly women who lived alone which he would rape and then strangle. While plenty of DNA and other forensic evidence had been collected, none of it matched samples on file from those convicted of crimes.[1]

When Lt. Colin Ferguson went on vacation to Yellowstone National Park, the Strangler had been active for five years and killed an estimated 13 women. Ferguson thought that the lack of DNA matches indicated that the killer was otherwise viewed as a "pillar of the community" and above suspicion but none of the other police at the South Bay coordinating meetings were interested in listening to him.[2] Shortly after returning from his vacation, Ferguson investigated the murder of Mildred Szymanski[3], the Strangler's 15th victim.[4] About a year later, San Atanasio had the region's 19th victim, Maria Peterfalvy, who was the seventh in San Atanasio.[5]

The summer after the Yellowstone Supervolcano eruption, Ferguson investigated the murder of Eiko Ryan who was another victim of the Strangler[6] as was Mrs. Mandelbaum two and a half years after the eruption.[7]

In a shocking discovery, a chance DNA test proved that the serial murderer was Mike Pitcavage, chief of San Atanasio police. [8]


  1. Eruption, pg. 6, HC.
  2. Ibid.
  3. Ibid, pgs. 37-39.
  4. Ibid, pg. 45.
  5. Ibid, pgs. 76-85.
  6. All Fall Down, pgs. 54-58, HC.
  7. Ibid, pgs 248-254.
  8. Ibid, pgs. 399-400.