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 murder 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 a DNA match in the past six days linked him to both crime scenes.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said they relied on a ‘discarded DNA sample’ but would not provide specifics.
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. Detectives said Charlene was raped before she was murdered.
Investigators said DeAngelo has three adult daughters. An old wedding announcement says he married Sharon Marie Huddle in 1973, according to the Sacramento Bee. They are now divorced.
DeAngelo previously worked as a police officer in Auburn, California before he was fired in 1979 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.
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Source: Daily Mail