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Ex-Cop Arrested in Golden State Killer Cold Case: Updated
Ex-Cop Arrested in Golden State Killer Cold Case: Updated Ex-Cop Arrested in Golden State Killer Cold Case: Updated Ex-Cop Arrested in Golden State Killer Cold Case: Updated

Ex-Cop Arrested in Golden State Killer Cold Case: Updated

WNBC-TV
April 25, 2018


The FBI said the killer is responsible for approximately 45 rapes, 12 homicides, and multiple residential burglaries between 1976 and 1986 in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles area.

A man who was dubbed "The Golden State Killer" after he allegedly killed and raped multiple people across the state of California has been arrested, law enforcement sources tell NBC News on Wednesday.

A 72-year-old ex-police officer named Joseph James DeAngelo, who appears to fit the description of the elusive California killer, was arrested overnight on two murder charges by police in Sacramento.

DeAngelo was being held without bail in the Sacramento County Main Jail, according to records.

Authorities are expected to make the official "major announcement" at noon, according to the Sacramento District Attorney's Office.

Michelle Cruz, the sister of one of the killer's last victims, said "I'm so excited and overwhelmed. I'm feeling very blessed today and now I will be able to breathe again."

Janelle Cruz was 18-years-old when she was murdered in 1986 in Irvine.

NBC Affiliate KCRA said FBI agents and other law enforcement officials were outside a home in the Citrus Heights area of Sacramento County where property records showed DeAngelo lived for at least two decades.

The suspect, also known as the East Bay Rapist, was described as a white male and thought to be currently between the ages of 60 and 75 years old, and approximately 5'10" tall, according to the FBI.

The FBI said the killer is responsible for approximately 45 rapes, 12 homicides, and multiple residential burglaries between 1976 and 1986 in San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles area.

"It started on June 18, 1976, with the rape of a female in the Rancho Cordova-Carmichael area of Sacramento," FBI Special Agent Marcus Knutson, who was the case agent on the investigation, recalled.

"It's personal for me being a Sacramento native. This is my home. This is where I'm from. And the fact that he did his crimes here and committed his crimes here, I kind of take it personally," Knutson said.

In 2016, the FBI announced a $50,000 reward and a national campaign to identify the killer.

From the Daily Mail

A former cop has been identified as the notorious Golden State Killer after a breakthrough in DNA testing linked him to some of the 12 murders and 51 rapes it is believed the serial killer carried out throughout the 1970s and 80s.

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr was taken into custody by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday night on two murder charges for the 1978 deaths of Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, who are believed to be the Golden State Killer's first victims.

He was later also charged with the murders of Lyman and Charlene Smith of Ventura who were found dead in their home by their 12-year-old son. Police say DNA links him to both crime scenes.

They are now working to link the 72-year-old unequivocally to the rest of the crimes that profilers have attributed to the Golden State Killer through his modus operandi. It is unclear how many of the crime scenes produced DNA evidence.

Police said they waited outside DeAngelo's home for him to exit and then jumped on him as soon as he exited the front door.

In a mugshot released by police this afternoon DeAngelo's face is seen bloodied.

The former cop has been hit with a number of charges including capital murder for the brutal 1980 deaths of Lyman and Charlene Smith. The couple was killed on March 13 of that year in their home.

Investigators said DeAngelo has multiple adult children and previously worked as a police officer in Auburn, California before he was fired for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent from a Sacramento drug store. He was also a police officer in Exeter, California from about 1973 to 1976.

Investigators believe he was committing the crimes while he was an officer.

DeAngelo is currently being held at the Sacramento County Main jail and is ineligible for bail, according to jail records.

An old newspaper article states that DeAngelo was a police officer in Auburn, although it remains unclear what year he started working with the department.

He was eventually fired, according to the clipping, for shoplifting from a Sacramento drug store.

Auburn City Manager Jack Sausser said at the time that DeAngelo failed to answer any of the city's investigations and there 'was justifiable grounds to remove him from the public sector'.

Another old newspaper article said DeAngelo was in the Navy and served aboard the USS Canberra, a Baltimore-class cruiser. He left the navy in 1967.

Interest in the Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, was reawakened recently following the release of journalist and author Michelle McNamara's posthumous crime novel I'll Be Gone In The Dark.

McNamara spent much of her career researching and writing about the California rapist and killer, but died before the book was published.

Her husband, actor Patton Oswalt, and friend and fellow journalist Billy Jensen finished the book for McNamara and released it in February. The novel quickly climbed to the number one spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list.

Oswalt was among the first people tweeting about the possible arrest of the Golden State Killer.

'If they've really caught the #GoldenStateKiller I hope I get to visit him,' he posted. 'Not to gloat or gawk - to ask him the questions that (McNamara) wanted answered in her "Letter To An Old Man" at the end of #IllBeGoneInTheDark.'

Co-author Billy Jensen has also posted numerous tweets about the possible arrest of the serial killer.

'If you've been following the Golden State Killer case, stay tuned. We will be having a rather large announcement,' he teased, adding: 'Two hours of sleep but an airport chocolate banana smoothie is going to get me through what I hope will be an amazing day. #IllBeGoneInTheDark #GoldenStateKiller #intothelight.'

According to the FBI, the Golden State Killer terrorized southern California between 1976 and 1986. His crimes began in the summer of '76 with burglaries and rapes in Rancho Cordova and Carmichael.

Investigators said he gained access to the homes by prying open a window or door while the victims slept. He would then shine a light in the face of his victims and tie up the female victim. If a male victim was present, the Golden State Killer would tie him up as well before ransacking the home and raping the female victim.

Detectives said the killer often took small items during his burglaries such as coins, cash, ID cards and jewelry. Some victims told authorities that the killer called them after the crimes.

It's believed the first victims were killed in 1978. Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, were walking their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood on February 2, 1978 when they were chased down and murdered by the Golden State Killer, the FBI said.

After this crime, he committed rapes and murders in Stockton, Davis, Modesto and the East Bay. The FBI believe his last crime was committed in May 1986, with the murder of an 18-year-old girl in Irvine.

The Golden State Killer's fifth victim, Jane Carson-Sandler, survived an October 1976 attack. Carson-Sandler said her husband had just left for work when the masked man broke into her Citrus Heights home, bound and gagged her and her three-year-old son and then raped her.

Carson-Sandler, who wrote a book about surviving the attack, told the Island Packet on Wednesday that she received an email from two detectives informing her of the suspected killer's arrest.

'I'm overwhelmed with joy. I've been crying, sobbing,' she said. 'I just can't tell you how I feel. After 42 years - wow!'

Debbi Domingo was 15 years old when her mother, 35-year-old Cheri Domingo was brutally murdered by the Golden State Killer. Domingo said she had gotten into a spat with her mother and left the home to stay with a friend, a decision that may have ultimately saved her life.

Also killed that horrible July 27, 1981 night was Cheri's 27-year-old boyfriend, Gregory Sanchez.

In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Domingo said she had not yet commented on the suspected killer's arrest because she was 'digesting'.

'Everyone is wondering why I'm not shouting from the rooftops yet. Digesting,' she tweeted, adding the hashtag: 'UNMASKEDatLAST'.


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