Los Angeles: California authorities, after a 40-year manhunt, on Wednesday announced the arrest of a 72-year-old former police officer on suspicion of being the notorious “Golden State Killer,” a serial rapist and murderer who terrorised the state in the 1970s and 1980s.
Joseph James DeAngelo, of Citrus Heights, California, was arrested without incident on Tuesday, officials said at a press conference in the state capital Sacramento.
Also known as the “East Area Rapist” and the “Original Nightstalker,” the Golden State Killer has been linked to at least 12 murders, 51 rapes and 120 home burglaries in California between 1976 and 1986.
Armed with a handgun, the masked assailant would break into homes during the night and tie up and rape his female victims, who ranged in age from 13 to 41.
Sacramento County district attorney Anne Marie Schubert said DeAngelo had been charged with two counts of murder with further charges to come.
“They just haven’t been charged yet,” Schubert told reporters. “This has happened at lightning speed.”
She said DeAngelo had been identified through DNA technology but declined to provide any more details about what led to his arrest after all these years.
“The answer was and always was going to be in the DNA,” Schubert said. “We found the needle in the haystack and it was right here in Sacramento.”
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said DeAngelo was arrested outside of his home in Citrus Heights, a city near Sacramento.
“When he came out of his residence we had a team in place,” the sheriff said. — AFP