Authorities Believe They’ve Final Captured the Golden State Killer
Authorities have apprehended a suspect in the decades-old California-based “Golden State Killer” case. The crimes this elusive perpetrator committed years ago included killing at least 12 people, raping at least 45 people and committing multiple home burglaries. The crime spree occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, and these cases long remained unsolved until, potentially, now.
The Golden State Killer began offending by committing burglaries and rapes in the Sacramento area in summer 1976. The crimes initially centered on the then unincorporated areas of Citrus Heights, Carmichael, and Rancho Cordova. The perpetrator would break into his victims’ homes by prying open a window or door. Then, he would blind them by shining a flashlight into their eyes, tie them up, tear the house apart looking for valuables, and rape female victims.
Always known to be a male, the individual would take jewelry, driver’s licenses, cash, and coins, among other items from his victims’ homes. Some survivors said the suspect even had the nerve to call them after the crimes, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
In 1978, the Golden State killer was tied to a shooting of a couple walking their dog in the Sacramento area. This tragedy was followed by several rapes in the Northern California area, including Stockton, Modesto, Davis, and the East Bay. Then, between 1979 and 1981, the killer was again said to be responsible for additional rapes and murders in Southern California. Authorities reported the victims were tied up in the same way and had their homes ransacked in the same way as those in the Sacramento area. The final crime occurred May 1986 when an 18-year-old woman from Irvine, in Southern California, was raped and murdered.
During the slew of crimes, in December 1977, letters were sent to the editor of The Sacramento Bee, the Sacramento mayor’s office, and the KVIE 6 TV station. They included a poem entitled “Excitement’s Crave” penned by an individual claiming to be the East Area Rapist. The letters were sent at the same time that a masked man eluded pursuit by multiple law enforcement officers after he had alerted authorities by phone he would strike on Watt Avenue the night of December 11. The author of the poem has never been pinpointed, but it has long been believed the man’s successful evasion of the police inspired him to write it.
Several potential suspects were cleared by investigators over the years through multiple methods, including DNA analysis. Then, on June 15, 2016, the FBI and local law enforcement agencies in California held a highly visible news conference to announce a nationwide effort and $50,000 reward for the capture of this menace, ready to get him off the streets once and for all.
Nearly two years later, the Sacramento police have arrested 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo on two counts of first-degree murder. DeAngelo is a former police officer and Vietnam War Veteran. Whether he is indeed the infamous Golden State Killer is yet to be confirmed. The suspect is currently on suicide watch and is still completing the process of being booked into jail.