A man who prosecutors say was one of California's most elusive serial killers was charged Thursday with four additional counts of murder, leaving him now facing a dozen murder charges across the state. Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old ex-cop, was charged in connection with four slayings in 1979 and 1981 in Santa Barbara County, District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Thursday. Authorities suspect DeAngelo killed Greg Sanchez and his girlfriend Cheri Domingo on July 27, 1981 inside a home near Goleta where Domingo had been house-sitting, the AP reports. Investigators said DNA from that crime scene was linked to other crimes they believe were committed by the so-called Golden State Killer.
DeAngelo has also been charged with killing Robert Offerman, an orthopedic surgeon and Alexandria Manning, a psychologist, in their condominium in December 1979. DeAngelo now faces four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances in Santa Barbara, though it was unclear when he might appear in court there. He already has been charged with eight other murder counts in Sacramento, Ventura, and Orange counties. "Violent cold cases never grow cold for victims or their loved ones," Dudley said. "In fact, most of them spend their lives feverishly seeking answers and desperately hoping for justice." (DeAngelo, who was arrested last month and remains jailed in Sacramento County, is fighting efforts to collect more of his DNA.)