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Published On: Wed, Apr 25th, 2018

Golden State Killer identified as Joseph DeAngelo, arrested decades after his crimes

On Wednesday, authorities in Sacramento announced that they had arrested a former police officer after matching “discarded DNA evidence from his Sacramento area home with genetic evidence” from the crimes committed by the Golden State Killer, aka the East Area rapist, aka the Original Night Stalker.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested after investigators a DNA sample from his home to evidence collected at some of the crimes, according to law enforcement officials at a news conference outside the crime lab where the key break in the case was uncovered.

Joseph James DeAngelo

“We all knew that we were looking for a needle in a haystack,” Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said. “It is fitting that today is National DNA Day. We found the needle in the haystack and it was right here in Sacramento.”

The citizens of California were rampaged between 1976 and 1986, committing at least 45 rapes, 12 murders, and more than one hundred burglaries.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said: “Over the last few days, as information started to point toward this individual, we started some surveillance. We were able to get some discarded DNA, and we were able to confirm what we thought we already knew — that we had our man.”

“When he came out of his residence, we had a team in place that was able to take him into custody. He was very surprised by that,” Jones explained.
“All too often we forget to talk about the victims and today we at least brought the first step towards closure for those victims of these horrendous crimes,” Jones said.

The suspect is a former Auburn, California, police officer who was fired in 1979 for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore, according to Jones. He worked as a police officer in Exeter and Auburn between 1973 and 1979.

“Very possibly he was committing these crimes during the time he was employed as a peace officer and obviously we’ll be looking into whether it was actually on the job,” Jones said.

Exeter Police Chief John Hall said, “It is absolutely shocking that someone can commit such heinous crimes, and finding out someone in a position of trust could betray that is absolutely unbelievable.”

About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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  1. […] former Exeter Police officer and accused Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo was back in a Sacramento County courtroom […]

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