The month preceding Christmas 1978 brought sudden terror to Chicago's quiet northwest side, a neighborhood traditionally occupied by law-abiding citizens of old Germanic stock. Beginning in November, residents were haunted by the shadow of a gunman -- dubbed the "Sunshine Sniper" for his daring daylight raids -- who claimed his victims seemingly at random: showing no respect for sex or age. The first to die was 90-year-old Emmanuel Dahl, gunned down without motive in his vitamin shop, on November 11. Detectives found no evidence of robbery, and friends recalled no prior threats of any kind against the murdered man. Four weeks later, 65-year-old Sophie Schwartz was crossing Sunnyside Street, at Wells Park, when she collapsed on the pavement, crying out in pain. She died an hour later at emergency receiving, with doctors locating a bullet wound in her back moments after her death. Again, there was no evidence of robbery, no history of harassment or threats. On December 18, 35-year-old Diamond Menodinez was approaching his office, on foot, when a bullet slammed into his arm. A survivor, he could offer no description of the gunman who had fired from ambush, but police got lucky five days later, on their own. Arrested on December 23, 35-year-old Ronald Hoffman was carrying a .357 magnum revolver and 40 spare rounds of ammunition when two patrolmen slapped the cuffs on (earning themselves immediate promotion to the rank of inspector). Ballistics tests connected Hoffman's weapon with the random shootings and he was detained for trial, unable -- or unwilling -- to provide a motive for the crimes.