Ex-Cop Arrested in Golden State Killer Case
It was a rash of sadistic rapes and murders that spread terror throughout California, long before the term was commonly used. The scores of attacks in the 1970s and 1980s went unsolved for more than three decades. But on Wednesday, law enforcement officials said they had finally arrested the notorious Golden State Killer in a tidy suburb of Sacramento.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, who was taken into custody outside his home on Tuesday and charged with six counts of murder, had been living undisturbed a half-hour drive from where the 12-year rampage began. He was described as a former police officer, and his time in uniform partly ，
In the 40 years since the Original Night Stalker began his campaign of terror in Sacramento and moved south through the Bay Area and Santa Barbara and Orange counties, he had remained unidentified. Authorities say the attacker, also dubbed the East Area rapist and the Golden State killer, is responsible for 12 killings, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries from 1976 to 1986.
A 72-year-old Citrus Heights resident, Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., has been charged by prosecutors in Sacramento, Ventura and Orange counties with eight counts of murder. He is being held without bail, according to jail records.
Local and federal authorities descended on DeAngelo’s beige, single-story home Tuesday evening and remained there Wednesday morning, when they removed two cars, a boat and a motorcycle from the garage.
The suspect was a police officer in Auburn during the 1970s but was fired after he was accused of shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent, according to a 1979 newspaper article. He is suspected of committing some crimes while he was still on the force.
Tuesday’s arrest stemmed from the slaying of two married couples — Brian and Kate Maggiore, who were killed in Sacramento County in 1978; and Lyman and Charlene Smith, who were killed in Ventura County in 1980.
On Wednesday, the Orange County district attorney’s office added four other murder charges against DeAngelo for a series of slayings there in the 1980s.
The FBI has created a website dedicated to the case where the public can view police sketches of the attacker and hear from witnesses and victims’ families.
The last known crime associated with the Original Night Stalker took place in 1986, but his notoriety persists. In 2004, California voters passed an initiative, bankrolled by the brother of one of his victims, that mandates collection of DNA samples from people convicted — or even arrested — in felony cases.
By 1978, the man had attacked victims in Oakland, Danville and Walnut Creek. In 1979, he killed two in Goleta, and two years later killed yet another couple in the Santa Barbara County town. Authorities in 2011 pinpointed DNA evidence from the killer in the 1981 slayings of Cheri Domingo, 35, and Gregory Sanchez, 27. And they matched that evidence with DNA from other crime scenes.