The so-called “Golden State Killer” has been identified as a former police officer living in the Sacramento area, WCMH-TV (Columbus) is reporting.
Seventy-seven-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo has not been officially named a suspect, as of this writing, although an official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed on Wednesday that DeAngelo has been arrested in connection with the case.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, DeAngelo has, as of this writing, been charged with two murders. According to Yahoo News, DNA evidence tied DeAngelo to two Sacramento murders in 1978. Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said that connecting the murders to DeAngelo was a major stroke of luck.
“We found the needle in the haystack.”
According to CNN, “discarded evidence” found in DeAngelo’s home matched his DNA to evidence related to the Sacramento murders.
Authorities suspect him of dozens of other heinous crimes.
Specifically, the “Golden State Killer” is believed to have committed 12 homicides, 45 rapes, and over a hundred burglaries in the 1970s and 1980s.
His crime spree is believed to have begun in Sacramento in 1976, beginning with two burglaries and two rapes. Over the next 10 or so years, the suspect is believed to have committed at least 24 sexual assaults in Sacramento County alone.
Authorities and victims say he would pry open windows while couples were sleeping, tie them up, and sexually assault the women. In some cases, he would allegedly place a stack of dishes on the tied-up man’s back, and while sexually assaulting the woman, threaten to kill her if he moved. He would then allegedly take cash, jewelry, and other mementos from his victims.
In some cases, he continued to taunt his victims after his crimes.
A testament to what one woman can do when she sets her mind to it. So in awe of @truecrimediary, her legacy and @pattonoswalt‘s commitment to seeing her work through. #ithinkyougothimmichelle https://t.co/U0etkkzmkP
— Carol Hartsell (@carolrhartsell) April 25, 2018
Between 1976 and 1979, the killer is believed to have committed multiple rapes, homicides, and burglaries across the north/central California communities of Stockton, Modesto, Davis, and the East Bay. Then, after 1979, his crime spree moved to Southern California.
The last crime tied to the Golden State Killer occurred in 1986, with the rape and murder of an 18-year-old woman.
A former cop was arrested and charged with 4 murders attributed to the #GoldenStateKiller, a serial killer accused of 12 murders and at least 45 rapes in the 1970s and 80s.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was identified using DNA evidence. pic.twitter.com/lNLP7eCYKd
— AJ+ (@ajplus) April 25, 2018
As for DeAngelo himself, as of this writing, not much is known about him. He had been a police officer with the Auburn Police Department, in suburban Sacramento, but was fired in 1979 after having stolen dog repellant and a hammer from a hardware store.
What DeAngelo has been doing since then remains unclear.
Meanwhile, teams of law enforcement officials continue to carry out operations at a Sacramento home tied to DeAngelo.
This is a developing story. More information about the Golden State Killer will be provided as it becomes available.