Golden State Killer breakthrough: Ex-police officer arrested after decades

26 April, 2018, 12:42 | Author: Genevieve Gibbs
  • Joseph James De Angelo Jr was arrested in California Tuesday night on two murder charges. The now-72-year-old is suspected of being the Golden State Killer

People were concerned, and they had a right to be. This guy was terrorising the community.

"No one thinks they live next door to a serial killer", Tapia said.

The suspect was identified at a Sacramento news conference as Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, in a case officials said was finally solved by DNA evidence about two months after gaining renewed attention in the bestselling book, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark".

A press conference is reportedly happening at noon in Sacramento.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office notified the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit of the arrest just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the release.

He married a Citrus Heights woman seven years his junior in 1973, according to a marriage notice in the Auburn Journal.

DeAngelo spent the majority of his life living in suburban Sacramento but also had addresses in Southern California in the 1980s, records show.

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An attacker known as the Golden State Killer or East Area Rapist is accused of at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and dozens of burglaries across California. There's now evidence to suggest that the Visalia Ransacker is also the East Area Rapist, closing Winters and Komos's case.

A Bay Area woman whose family was torn apart by the Golden State Killer nearly four decades ago talked about the relief she felt from Wednesday's news of Joseph James DeAngelo's arrest and why she doesn't want him on death row.

Future killings would be much more meticulous, and spread from Sacramento to southern California.

She said DeAngelo had been identified through DNA technology but declined to provide any more details about what led to his arrest after all these years.

Authorities believe the suspect attacked people in San Jose, Concord, San Ramon, Walnut Creek and Danville, among many other cities.

Authorities chose to publicize the case again in 2016 in advance of the 40th anniversary of his first known assault in Sacramento County.

Since the rapes began in Sacramento in 1976, it seems to me like there's a pretty good chance he was employed to protect public safety while single-handedly imperiling it. "Even now, all this time later, as we talk to other people, we always get the stories about what was going on in peoples lives". "A number of them were couples. That's very terrorizing. That can only be described to me as somebody who's wanting to develop that terror and create that type of fear".

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Wardlow was one of many in the Sacramento County community, intrigued by the East Area Rapist's crime spree. The first rape occurred on June 18, 1976 with a female victim in the Rancho Cordova area of Sacramento. But by 1977, a year after Jane's attack, the list of victims had expanded to couples in their homes. Then the rapist would bind the woman and re-bind the man. Then, she was abruptly awoken. "When you start to think about it you're like, I could see him doing something like that but I would never suspect it". "He would just disappear".

Between 1976 and 1986, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, the attacker killed a dozen people and raped 45 people, attacking people who were as young as 13 and as old as 41.

"A longtime resident who wishes to remain anonymous said, "I saw them bringing out two bodies and I asked my neighbor what is going on and they said don't you know there have been murders, two murders, right here and this is just right down the street from me". "It was a scary time", she said. But it was a man wearing a ski mask over his face and carrying a knife.

When encountering a couple, he was known to tie up the man and pile dishes on his back.

Bank teller Manuela Witthuhn, 28, was home alone while her husband was hospitalized when she was raped and killed on February 5, 1981, police said. We got him! Today of all days #NationalDNADay #EastAreaRapist #goldenstatekiller #UNMASKEDatLAST. "Either he had some trauma or had something that caused that".

"I have just been overjoyed, ecstatic".

A five-part documentary about the case, "Unmasking a Killer", recently aired on HLN.

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The mystery went for decades without a suspect, but there was a renewed interest in the case with true crime writer Michelle McNamara's book I'll Be Gone in the Dark.

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