Do we finally know the identity of the Golden State Killer who likely killed 12 people and raped 50?
Golden State Killer suspect arrested.
DNA and other forensic tools—as well as a working group of amazing crim justice personnel—are the heroes of the hour. (In recent days, we’ve also been blessed with news of a hero during the Waffle House killings and a heroine pilot who safely landed a Southwest Airlines plane that lost a passenger ‘cuz it lost an engine.)
The Sacramento County district attorney, the local sheriff’s department, the FBI, and others assembled today for a big announcement. At their news conference, they told of arresting a suspect yesterday in greater Sacramento whom they believe caused horrific misery for victims, survivors, and frustrated law enforcers for 42 years.
Golden State Killer -Joseph James DeAngelo?12 murders, 50 rapes?
Victims and Timeline of Golden State Killer.
Excerpted from today’s LA Times article:
“Authorities have arrested a former police officer who is suspected of being one of California’s most prolific serial killers and rapists — the Golden State killer.
According to law enforcement sources who were unauthorized to speak publicly about the case, a local and federal task force apprehended the suspect late Tuesday evening.
In the 40 years since the Original Night Stalker began his campaign of terror in Sacramento and moved south through Oakland, Santa Barbara and Orange counties, he had remained unidentified. The attacker was also dubbed the East Area rapist and the Golden State killer, and authorities say he is responsible for 12 killings, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries between 1976 and 1986.
A 72-year-old Citrus Heights resident, Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held without bail, according to Sacramento County jail records.
Local and federal authorities descended on DeAngelo’s beige, single-story home Tuesday evening and remained there Wednesday morning, when they removed two cars, a boat and a motorcycle from the garage.
The suspect was a police officer in Auburn during the 1970s, but fired after he was accused of shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent, according to a 1979 newspaper article. He is suspected of committing some crimes while he was still on the force, but his arrest is related to a 1980 double homicide of a Ventura County couple, according to law enforcement sources.
The FBI has created a website dedicated to the case where the public can view police sketches of the attacker and hear from witnesses and victims’ families.
The last known crime associated with the Original Night Stalker took place in 1986, but his notoriety persists. In 2004, California voters passed an initiative, bankrolled by the brother of one of his victims, that mandates collection of DNA samples from people convicted — or even arrested — in felony cases.
By 1978, the man had attacked victims in Oakland, Danville and Walnut Creek. In 1979, he killed two in Goleta, and two years later killed yet another couple in the Santa Barbara County town. Authorities in 2011 pinpointed DNA evidence from the killer in the 1981 slayings of Cheri Domingo, 35, and Gregory Sanchez, 27. And they matched that evidence with DNA from other crime scenes.
Sanchez was shot and bludgeoned. Domingo died of massive head injuries. Some of the grisly details matched those at other crime scenes associated with the Original Night Stalker: Sanchez and Domingo lived in an upscale neighborhood and were killed in bed. Domingo’s hands had been tied — as had the hands of victims at other scenes.
Authorities said that the killer would sometimes place cups or plates on his bound victims’ backs so he’d have an audible clue if they broke free when he was in another room. At the time of the crimes he was described as being about 5-foot-9 with blond or auburn hair. He appeared to have military or law enforcement training.
Before he became known as the Original Night Stalker — so named to distinguish him from Richard Ramirez, the serial killer dubbed the Night Stalker who terrorized the Los Angeles area in the mid-1980s — the killer was tied to no fewer than 52 sexual assaults in Sacramento County and the Bay Area.”