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Golden State Killer: 'Answer Has Always Been in Sacramento'

One of his victims says detectives emailed her this morning
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2018 12:35 PM CDT
Updated Apr 25, 2018 2:39 PM CDT
Police Have Made an Arrest in Golden State Killer Case
In this June 15, 2016, file photo, law enforcement drawings of a suspected serial killer believed to have committed at least 12 murders across California in the 1970s and 1980s are displayed at a news conference.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

(Newser) – "The answer has always been in Sacramento," said District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert in a Wednesday press conference announcing an arrest has been made in one of America's most persistent serial killer mysteries. Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was on Tuesday arrested on two murder charges, and authorities say he is the suspected Golden State Killer. Schubert said "it is fitting today is National DNA Day," because DNA provided the break in the case. She suggested that happened within just the last six days. DeAngelo has been charged in connection with the Feb. 2, 1978, murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore, who died while walking their dog in Rancho Cordova. But he wasn't just charged in Sacramento County, reports the AP. Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten said his office charged DeAngelo in connection with the 1980 killings of a couple. He says they will seek the death penalty. More:

  • Originally called the East Area Rapist (after his Northern California start) and the Original Night Stalker (after crimes in Southern California), the so-called Golden State Killer struck in California over a roughly 10-year span beginning in 1976. His believed toll: 12 murders, 45 rapes, and more than 120 burglaries; victims ranged in age from 13 to 41.

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  • A woman who numbers among those rape victims—the Island Packet reports she was the East Area Rapist's 5th victim and now lives in South Carolina—says detectives emailed her Wednesday morning to say an arrest had been made. "I'm overwhelmed with joy. I've been crying, sobbing," she said, adding that she was shown the man's picture but did not recognize him.
  • The FBI had previously said that it believed the killer to be between 60 and 75 years old currently, white, nearly 6 feet tall, and to possibly have some experience with firearms. NBC News reports DeAngelo is a former cop. Per public records obtained by the Sacramento Bee, DeAngelo has lived at a home in Citrus Heights for at least 20 years.
  • The AP has details on how the killer behaved when breaking into the home of a couple: Armed and masked, he would bind the man, stack dishes on his back, and rape the woman. He'd tell them he'd murder them both if the dishes fell.
  • The Bee explains why the killer had so many names in this article. "Golden State Killer" was coined only recently, in 2013, by Michelle McNamara, the late wife of Patton Oswalt. Her book on the killer, I'll Be Gone in the Dark, was published posthumously in 2018.
  • Oswalt tweeted Tuesday, "If they’ve really caught the #GoldenStateKiller I hope I get to visit him. Not to gloat or gawk — to ask him the questions that @TrueCrimeDiary wanted answered in her 'Letter To An Old Man' at the end of #IllBeGoneInTheDark." The Bee notes that Oswalt also tweeted that McNamara's papers are being reviewed to see if DeAngelo's name appears in them.
(Read more Golden State Killer stories.)

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