Wednesday a man suspected of being the Golden State Serial Killer is behind bars. Police said he terrorized the state of California for a decade, killing 12 people and sexually assaulting almost 50 others from 1976 through 1986.
72 year old former Exeter Police officer who served in Tulare county from 1973 to 1976, Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested Tuesday after authorities said they matched discarded DNA evidence from his Sacramento home to genetic evidence from the crimes.
After a more than 40 year search the Sacramento District Attorney's Office is confident that crime lab results are connecting the right individual to the crime. “We found the needle in the hay stack," Sacramento District Attorney Anne Schubert said.
The so called, "Golden State Killer" was also known by many at home in other areas as something else, “The East Side Rapist, he's been called the Visalia Ransacker the Original Night Stalker," one official said at a press conference Wednesday.
Authorities said the iconic killer is responsible for 12 murders, and almost 50 rapes across California, some cases happening in areas as close as Stockton and Visalia.
When crime lab employees and DNA analysts made the connection to DeAngelo in their lab findings over the last 6 days, Sacramento authorities then moved forward with surveillance over DeAngelo.
“We were able to get some discarded DNA and we were able to confirm what we thought that we already knew, that we had our man," Sacramento Sheriff Scott James said.
Early Tuesday jail records show that detectives arrested DeAngelo at his home in the Citrus Heights suburb of Sacramento where he was charged with the deaths of four people back in the 70's and 80's, however, officials believe he is connected to other cases spanning across at least ten different counties in California. Officials said Kern County is not one of them.
"This case deeply affected this entire state," District Attorney Schubert said.
Detectives said the "Golden State Killer," is also responsible for 120 home burglaries where many times he would tie up couples in the middle of the night and that this is just the beginning of a journey toward justice, "We will God willing hold this man accountable for his crimes."
According to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department website, DeAngelo is expected in court on Friday.