A 72-year-old former cop is in custody for the notorious “Golden State Killer” attacks after DNA evidence connected him to a stunning series of 45 rapes and 12 murders starting in the 1970s, authorities announced Wednesday.
The suspect — Joseph James DeAngelo — had eluded authorities for decades.
DeAngelo was listed in Sacramento County jail records as being booked early Wednesday on two counts of murder from a Ventura County Sheriff’s Department warrant.
“Everyone was afraid,” Special Agent Marcus Knutson, who was born and raised in Sacramento and led FBI’s portion of the investigation, said in one interview. “We had people sleeping with shotguns, we had people purchasing dogs. People were concerned, and they had a right to be. This guy was terrorizing the community. He did horrible things.”
The cold case also received renewed attention from the recent book, “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” and a five-part HLN documentary series, “Unmasking a Killer.”
A former Citrus Heights resident who was sexually assaulted at knifepoint in 1976 by a man believed to be the East Area Rapist told a South Carolina newspaper that she was contacted by detectives about the arrest.
“I just found out this morning,” Jane Carson-Sandler, who now lives in Sun City, S.C., told The Island Packet. “I’m overwhelmed with joy. I’ve been crying, sobbing.”