Golden State Killer Transfixes Cold Case Junkies

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The man who authorities said Wednesday is among the worst serial killers and rapists in USA history is a 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran, former police officer and grandfather who lived in a tidy, suburban California home with a neatly kept green lawn. DeAngelo was taken into custody without incident.

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.

"I can't even believe, I can't even believe it", said resident Corey Harvey of DeAngelo's alleged past.

When Ms. McNamara died, the book was half finished. "It kept interest in tips coming in".

Keith Komos runs Cold Case EARONS, a website exclusively dedicated to investigating the "Golden State Killer" case.

DeAngelo has grown children who are cooperating with investigators, he added. "He did terrible things", Knutson said.

DeAngelo faces sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, lying in wait and murder during the commission of rape, robbery, burglary and sodomy, according to the DA's office.

The mysterious killer is thought to have killed at least 12 people, committed 45 rapes and burglarized 120 homes spanning from Concord, Walnut Creek, Danville and San Jose in the Bay Area, to Sacramento and Davis in Northern California and Citrus Heights in Southern California. He was a former police officer in the city of Auburn.

Jones said DeAngelo was an officer in two small-town California police departments during the 1970s - Exeter and Auburn. That serial criminal was tied to burglaries and one killing.

The assailant would break into homes during the night and tie up and rape his female victims, investigators said. "And he is history", said Bruce Harrington, the brother of Keith Harrington who along with his wife Patrice was killed in their home back in 1980.

Police arrested DeAngelo when he stepped out of his house in Sacramento on Wednesday, the same area where he allegedly began his crime spree in the 1970s. At the time he was 31 years old when his 29-year-old wife was assaulted on September 16, 1977.

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72, was arrested Wednesday morning, April 25, on warrants charging him with two counts of murder, the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's website shows. 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.

Authorities believe he raped 37 people in the Sacramento area and Central Valley and killed two between 1976 and 1978.

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. She also wrote about why and how the Golden State Killer case became her obsession later in life.

Although it's unusual for serial killers to stop, Jones said they have no reason to think DeAngelo continued to commit crimes after 1986, when the last rape and killing occurred in Orange County.

"This case is a great example as to how fortunate we are to have DNA technology advancements, which can help solve crimes even as long as 40 years later".

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

Between 1976 and 1986, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said, the attacker killed a dozen people and raped 45 people, attacking people who were as young as 13 and as old as 41.

Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento's district attorney, said at an afternoon news conference that DNA evidence had led the authorities to DeAngelo.

The official confirmed the identity on condition of anonymity before an official news conference planned for noon Wednesday.

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Office notified the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Cold Case Unit of the arrest just after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, according to the release. His victims ranged in age from 13 to 41 and included women home alone, women at home with their children, and husbands and wives, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Ransacked drawers after an attack by the "Golden State Killer".

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