Police have reportedly made an arrest in the decades-old “Golden State Killer” case, a terrifying crime spree in the 1970s and 1980s that resulted in 12 murders, 45, rapes, and 120 home burglaries.
In a shocking development, the suspect is 72-year-old former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo. A law enforcement source reportedly told NBC News that DeAngelo fits the description of the Golden State Killer.
DeAngelo was arrested on two murder charges by Sacramento police. He is being held without bail in the Sacramento County Main Jail.
The suspect was once a police officer in Auburn, California. He was reportedly fired after being accused of shoplifting a can of dog repellant and a hammer at a local drug store.
— Billy Jensen (@Billyjensen) April 25, 2018
The Daily Beast has more details on the cold case:
The Golden State Killer’s attacks began in 1976 in the East Bay Area region of California near Sacramento, which led to the suspect’s original name, The East Area Rapist. Years later, the same person began attacking 400 miles south, in Orange County, law-enforcement officials said. The attacks ended in 1986 and were linked through DNA evidence.
Jail records show that DeAngelo fits the FBI profile of the killer: 5’11” and now between the ages of 60 and 75 years old.
The Golden State Killer was, according to the FBI, thought to have an “interest in the military, or had some military training, leaving him familiar and proficient with firearms.”
Contra Costa County cold case investigator Paul Holes previously told NBC’s Megyn Kelly that the Golden State Killer was very clever about covering his tracks to prevent police from catching him. However, he also left behind plenty of DNA evidence that he likely didn’t think would ever be able to be used.
“He covered his trail very well. What he didn’t account for was DNA technology.” Holes said.