California authorities announced an arrest Wednesday in the decades-old East Area Rapist/Original Nightstalker/Golden State Killer case.
According to Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and Sheriff Scott Jones, DNA in two 1978 killings in Sacramento led to the arrest of a man suspected of being a serial killer tied to dozens of slayings and sexual assaults in the 1970s and '80s.
The suspected California serial killer was identified as 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer during a press conference Wednesday.
Golden State Killer arrest announced by Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and Sheriff Scott Jones:
Law enforcement leaders, the FBI and elected District Attorneys from several other California counties were also present for the announcement and took turns speaking about their agencies' roles in the investigation.
The East Area Rapist is suspected of raping 45 women, killing at least 12, and burglarizing 120 homes in California during the 1970s and '80s. At the time, the FBI described the suspect as a white male standing 5'8 to 6 feet tall with and average to thin build.
Armed with a gun, the masked rapist would break into homes while single women or couples were sleeping. He would tie up the man and pile dishes on his back, then rape the woman while threatening to kill them both if the dishes tumbled.
He often took souvenirs, notably coins and jewelry, from his victims, who ranged in age from 13 to 41.
The suspect was profiled in the New York Times Best Selling book "I'll Be Gone in the Dark," which was written by the late Michelle McNamara, the wife of comedian Patton Oswalt. McNamara died before she could finish the book, through Billy Jensen finished it.
The comedian tweeted early Wednesday morning, that if the suspect was arrested, he hopes to one day visit to ask questions.
If they’ve really caught the #GoldenStateKiller I hope I get to visit him. Not to gloat or gawk — to ask him the questions that @TrueCrimeDiary wanted answered in her “Letter To An Old Man” at the end of #IllBeGoneInTheDark. pic.twitter.com/32EHSzBct5— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 25, 2018
Authorities decided to again publicize the case in 2016 in advance of the 40th anniversary of his first known assault in Sacramento County. FBI and California officials last year renewed their search for the suspect dubbed the East Area Rapist and announced a $50,000 reward for his arrest and conviction. He's linked to more than 175 crimes in all between 1976 and 1986.
Jane Carson-Sandler, who was sexually assaulted in California in 1976 by a man believed to be the so-called "East Area Rapist," said she received an email Wednesday from a retired detective who worked on the case telling her they have identified the rapist and he's in custody.
"I have just been overjoyed, ecstatic. It's an emotional roller-coaster right now," Carson-Sandler, who now lives near Hilton Head, South Carolina, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "I feel like I'm in the middle of a dream and I'm going to wake up and it's not going to be true. It's just so nice to have closure and to know he's in jail."
Bruce Harrington, whose brother and sister-in-law were killed in 1980 in Orange County, speaks about the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo:
Sheriff Jones says they started surveillance of 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo a few days ago outside his Citrus Heights home. They were able to find some discarded DNA which led them to confirm he was the #EastAreaRapist.— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) April 25, 2018
HAPPENING NOW: Heavy law enforcement presence at a home in Citrus Heights. @sacsheriff, @FBI, and several detectives out here. We know a man in his 70s was booked into Sacramento County Jail for suspicion of double homicide. More info to come. @ABC10 pic.twitter.com/GBq9japBah— Daniela Pardo (@danielapardotv) April 25, 2018
FBI, police and investigators at the possible suspect’s home known as the Golden State killer the East Area rapist, original night stalker and diamond knot killer in Citrus Heights. The East Area rapist responsible for raping at least 45 killing 12. @CBSSacramento pic.twitter.com/Ph6hnYeRhf— Kelly Ryan (@kellyinmedia) April 25, 2018
In this June 15, 2016, file photo, law enforcement drawings of a suspected serial killer believed to have committed at least 12 murders across California in the 1970's and 1980's. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)
Sprouts Farmers Market will hold a National Hiring Day Tuesday, July 24 at its more than 300 U.S. stores.
West Nile virus made its first appearance of the summer in San Diego County this week when a batch of mosquitoes trapped in Santee tested positive for the viral infection.
The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office is asking for the public’s help to identify a woman, possibly in her late teens, killed by a hit-and-run driver as she walked along state Route 94 earlier this month.
Major traffic is expected to start Wednesday evening as Comic-Con kicks off with preview night in Downtown San Diego. MTS officials are encouraging attendees to use public transportation and got into the SDCC spirit with an homage to the "Stranger Things."
A person was struck and killed Wednesday by an SUV on Interstate 805 in the Lincoln Park area, necessitating the closure of multiple freeway lanes during the morning commute.
A 28-year-old man died Wednesday after he was found shot in a car in San Diego's University Heights neighborhood, police said.
Calling all aspiring entomologists! You're invited to San Diego Botanic Garden’s Insect Festival this weekend!
Comic-Con International, again expected to draw a wide array of fans of the popular arts, will conduct its annual preview night at the San Diego Convention Center Wednesday night.
A 25-year-old man suffered a fractured femur today when he was shot in the right leg by a man in San Diego's Chollas View neighborhood, police said.