In November of 1958, Thomas Pendergast was driving to El Cajon, California when he picked up a sixteen-year-old hitchhiker named Carl Alfred Eder. He felt sorry for the youth and let him stay with his family. On December 12, 1958, Thomas left for work, and during the day, Carl murdered his entire family.
He claimed that he accidentally hurt four-year-old Diane because she was making a lot of noise. Thomas’ wife Lois told him to call the doctor. Instead, he grabbed a pistol and shot Lois. He then slashed the throats of Diane and two-year-old Allen. When six-year-old Thomas Jr. and nine-year-old David came home from school, they were also stabbed and slashed to death by Carl.
He was arrested two days later, convicted of first-degree murder, and was sentenced to two life terms. Then, in 1974, he walked out of a minimum security prison in California and vanished. He was last seen in 1976 in the Calistoga and St. Helena areas, where he had been linked to anti-government groups like the Venceremos Brigade and the Symbionese Liberation Army. He was also known to have ties to the Berkeley and San Francisco areas, New York, Kansas, and possibly Latin America or Canada.
Eder would now be about seventy-five-years-old. He is described as 6 feet 2 inches tall, 175 pounds, with blond or gray hair, blue eyes, scars on his left hand and abdomen, and a mole under his left eye.
Carl Eder was featured on America’s Most Wanted with the first airing on February 8, 1989 and was reaired since then, with the most recent airing on October 12, 2012
If you have any information regarding the whereabouts of Carl Alfred Eder you’re asked to please contact: The Cold Homicide Unit of the El Cajon Police Department by calling 619-441-5530 or leave an online tip by emailing: [email protected]