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Golden State Killer suspect facing additional murder charges

26 April 2018

By then, his spree was long over - the last victim being 18-year-old Janelle Cruz, bludgeoned to death in Irvine in 1986 - and the trail had gone cold.

The Golden State Killer was the subject of "I'll Be Gone in the Dark", a best-selling book published earlier this year by true crime writer Michelle McNamara.

"This is insane", Oswalt said in another Instagram video when he first learned of the arrest.

Starting in the summer of 1976, the authorities say the Golden State Killer was responsible for several rapes and burglaries in the Sacramento suburbs of Rancho Cordova and Carmichael.

McNamara died in her sleep at 46 in April 2016. It became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller.

The suspect was identified as 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, of Citrus Heights, who worked as a police officer in Auburn and other cities in the late 1970s.

Wednesday a man suspected of being the Golden State Serial Killer is behind bars.

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Neighbor Barbara Wammer, 73, said DeAngelo built model airplanes that can be flown by remote control in the home he owned since 1983.

"Now it feels like this thing that she wanted so badly is done", he said.

A neighbor, Kevin Tapia, 36, who grew up next door to DeAngelo, told the Associated Press he used to hear DeAngelo cursing to himself in his backyard, and that he was "a weird guy" who kept to himself.

The "Golden State Killer" accused of murdering 12 people and committing 45 rapes across California in the 1970s and '80s has been identified as a former police officer. Now that officials have arrested a suspect, he says he's going to spend this weekend celebrating.

DeAngelo is a former Auburn, California, police officer who was sacked in 1979 for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.

When was he a police officer?

DeAngelo, who attended Folsom High School from 1961-63 and served in the Navy, was a police officer in Exeter, in the San Joaquin Valley, from 1973-76, at a time a burglar known as the Visalia Ransacker was active, Jones said. That serial criminal was tied to burglaries and one killing.

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His "reign of terror", Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Wednesday, spanned from the Sacramento area in Northern California down to Orange County in Southern California. His family, including adult children, is cooperating with authorities, police said.

"When news broke Wednesday of DeAngelo's arrest, Oswalt expressed shock about the "surreal" turn of events but also wrote: "(Michelle) would be beyond excited about this. At the time he was 31 years old when his 29-year-old wife was assaulted on September 16, 1977. He was also charged with the capital murders of a couple killed in March 1980 in Ventura County, California. The then-unidentified thug was branded the Original Night Stalker and East Area Rapist at the time, before becoming known as the Golden State Killer.

Totten said he plans to seek the death penalty.

Federal Bureau of Investigation sketches of the East Area Rapist, also known as the Golden State Killer.

McNamara's research brought her to Contra Costa County in 2013 and on a tour of crime scenes with Paul Holes, a former criminalist with the Contra Costa County Sheriff's crime lab who recently retired as a Contra Costa D.A'.s investigator.

"We all knew as part of this team that we were looking for a needle in a haystack, but we also all knew that the needle was there", Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said at a news conference with Sheriff Scott Jones and other law enforcement officials.

"The answer was and always was going to be in the DNA", Schubert said.

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That first rape sparked the hunt for the man who authorities say went on to commit rapes and killings in California over the next decade.

Golden State Killer suspect facing additional murder charges