Joseph DeAngelo, the man believed to be the Golden State Killer, appeared in court today as part of a preliminary hearing, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
DeAngelo was arrested in April after a relative of his submitted their DNA to a genealogy site. Police were able to trace that DNA to what they had on file from several crime scenes. After observing DeAngelo at his home in Citrus Grove for several weeks, police were able to find a discarded bit of trash with DeAngelo’s DNA on it and match him with the DNA on file. He was charged with eight murders in numerous counties around the state.
After his arrest, it was revealed that DeAngelo had been a former police officer in Exeter (close to Visalia) and Auburn (part of the Greater Sacramento Area). In 1979, he was terminated from the Auburn police department for stealing a hammer and dog repellent.
During a press conference after his arrest, Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert confirmed the theory that the same person known as the Golden State Killer was also the Visalia Ransacker.
The Golden State Killer committed a series of burglaries, rapes, and murders throughout California from 1974 through 1986. He targeted many different areas of the state. In Visalia, he was known as the Visalia Ransacker. While he targeted the greater Sacramento Area and the Bay Area, he was known as the East Area Rapist. While he preyed on Southern California, where most of his murders occurred, he was known as the Original Night Stalker. Because of the numerous locations, law enforcement did not connect the 51 rapes and over 12 murders to the same person until 2001. He then became known as “Ear/ONS” until writer Michelle McNamara began researching the case and dubbed him the Golden State Killer.
Jane Carson-Sadler, who had been DeAngelo’s fifth victim, and a number of other survivors and family members of the Golden State Killer’s victims spoke about her decision to face DeAngelo in court. “I was blocked partially, but I saw his presence and I’m so happy I was there because there is closure now,” she said. But she admits that seeing him in court has been difficult. “Now that I’m here, I’m getting those feelings of anger back again and I don’t like that.”
His hearing has been postponed to September 5 due to the discovery of additional evidence given to the Defense team.