Police confirmed Wednesday that Joseph James DeAngelo is the Golden State Killer and he has been arrested on multiple murder charges
The former police officer suspected of being the Golden State Killer once asked his brother-in-law what he thought about the serial murderer and rapist and what he would do if he confronted him, it has been reported.
James Huddle, the brother of Joseph James DeAngelo’s wife, told Oxygen.com that his in-law had been arrested as the main suspect in the decades-long cold case.
‘Oh my goodness,’ Huddle said. ‘Wow. I’ll have to process this.’
‘He actually asked me about it once,’ Huddle said.
‘He said: “What do you think of that East Area Rapist? What would you do, Jim?”‘
East Area Rapist was another nickname given to the Golden State Killer.
Huddle told DeAngelo that he would attack the rapist if he came face-to-face with him.
Huddle said his brother-in-law, a 72-year-old former police officer, was a ‘good father’ to his three daughters.
The rapes and murders were ‘a big deal at the time,’ Huddle said.
‘We were all concerned about our families.’
Huddle said he never noticed any suspicious behavior from DeAngelo that would indicate involvement in crimes.
He said his brother-in-law was into ‘normal’ hobbies like fishing and building model planes.
DeAngelo was also interested in ‘guns and reloading ammunition’ though this, too, is not considered out of the ordinary, according to Huddle.
Huddle said DeAngelo was a police officer for the Auburn, California Police Department.
DeAngelo was said to be a truck mechanic until he retired a year ago.
Joseph James DeAngelo Jr was arrested in California Tuesday night on two murder charges. The now-72-year-old is confirmed to be the Golden State Killer . Pictured on the left is an undated photo of DeAngelo when he was in the Navy, and on the right is a picture of DeAngelo during his sophomore year at Folsom High School
The identity of the Golden State Killer has finally been revealed. Pictured are combination images the FBI released of sketches of the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer before his capture
Police said they waited outside DeAngelo’s home for him to exit and then jumped on him as soon as he exited the front door
DeAngelo’s neighbors have described the 72-year-old as a recent retiree who liked biking and lived with his daughter and granddaughter – but was prone to outbursts of anger.
Residents of quiet, middle-class Canyon Oak Drive in Citrus Heights, California said he would often launch into swearing fits while working in his front yard.
Paul Sanchietti, who lives a quarter-block away, called DeAngelo ‘the odd neighbor’ and said the suspect would regularly lose his temper when working in his front yard, although he ‘calmed down a bit’ over the years.
‘He was aggravated or upset, his voice would carry, his swearing was alarming,’ he told the Sacramento Bee.
Next-door neighbor Cory Harvey watched as 30 FBI agents and other investigators combed through DeAngelo’s home on Wednesday morning and proclaimed, ‘I can’t even believe it, I can’t even believe it’.
He said the former cop suspected of murdering 12 people and raping 51 in the 1970s and 80s liked fishing and going on bike rides to stay in shape.
His arrest for allegedly being the notorious Golden State Killer was made possible by a breakthrough in DNA testing that linked him to some of the rapes and murders.
DeAngelo was taken into custody by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday night on two murder charges for the 1978 deaths of Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, who are believed to be the Golden State Killer’s first victims.
He was later also charged with the murders of Lyman and Charlene Smith of Ventura who were found dead in their home by their 12-year-old son.
Police say a DNA match in the past six days linked him to both crime scenes.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said they relied on a ‘discarded DNA sample’ but would not provide specifics.
They are now working to link the 72-year-old unequivocally to the rest of the crimes that profilers have attributed to the Golden State Killer through his modus operandi.
It is unclear how many of the crime scenes produced DNA evidence.
Police said they waited outside DeAngelo’s home for him to exit and then jumped on him as soon as he exited the front door.
In a mugshot released by police this afternoon DeAngelo’s face is seen bloodied.
The former cop has been hit with a number of charges including capital murder for the brutal 1980 deaths of Lyman and Charlene Smith.
The couple was killed on March 13 of that year in their home. Detectives said Charlene was raped before she was murdered.
Investigators said DeAngelo has three adult daughters.
An old wedding announcement says he married Sharon Marie Huddle in 1973, according to the Sacramento Bee.
They are now divorced.
DeAngelo previously worked as a police officer in Auburn, California before he was fired for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent from a Sacramento drug store.
He was also a police officer in Exeter, California from about 1973 to 1976.
Investigators believe he was committing the crimes while he was an officer.
FBI and other law enforcement are seen outside DeAngelo’s Citrus Heights, California home on Wednesday
The FBI team are seen searching the back of DeAngelo’s home in Citrus Heights, California
A sheriff’ officer is seen removing items from DeAngelo’s home. The 72-year-old was arrested Tuesday night by officers who were waiting outside his house to capture them
DeAngelo is currently being held at the Sacramento County Main jail and is ineligible for bail, according to jail records.
‘We knew we were looking for a needle in a haystack, but we also knew that needle was there,’ Schubert said. ‘We found the needle in the haystack and it was right here in Sacramento.’
‘The answer was always going to be in the DNA,’ she said.
Orange County DA Tony Rackauckas said they were going to make sure DeAngelo never gets out of jail.
‘This defendant has been able to live here in a nice suburb in Sacramento,’ he said during Wednesday’s press conference.
Bruce Harrington, whose brother Keith Harrington and sister-in-law Patrice Harrington were allegedly killed by the Golden State Killer in 1980, appeared at the news briefing to offer a few words to victims.
‘For the 51 ladies who were brutally raped: Sleep better tonight,’ he said. ‘He isn’t coming through the window. He is now in jail and he is history.’
An old newspaper article states that DeAngelo was a police officer in Auburn, and was eventually fired in 1979 for shoplifting from a Sacramento drug store.
Auburn City Manager Jack Sausser said at the time that DeAngelo failed to answer any of the city’s investigations and there ‘was justifiable grounds to remove him from the public sector’.
Another old newspaper article said DeAngelo was in the Navy and served aboard the USS Canberra, a Baltimore-class cruiser. He left the navy in 1967.
Interest in the Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, was reawakened recently following the release of journalist and author Michelle McNamara’s posthumous crime book I’ll Be Gone In The Dark.
McNamara spent much of her career researching and writing about the California rapist and killer, but died before the book was published.
Her husband, actor Patton Oswalt, and friend and fellow journalist Billy Jensen finished the book for McNamara and released it in February. The book quickly climbed to the number one spot on the New York Times Best Sellers list.
Patton Oswalt’s wife, journalist Michelle McNamara (left), spent much of her career researching the Golden State Killer. She turned her findings into a crime book titled I’ll Be Gone In The Dark
Patton Oswalt tweeted Wednesday that he wanted to visit the Golden State Killer so he could ask questions his late wife wanted answered
Crime journalist Billy Jensen, who helped co-author I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, has also tweeted about the suspected killer’s arrest, writing in another post that it was an exciting day
Jensen also shared a picture of the faces he and Oswalt made the moment they found out the suspected Golden State Killer was arrested
Oswalt was among the first people tweeting about the possible arrest of the Golden State Killer.
‘If they’ve really caught the #GoldenStateKiller I hope I get to visit him,’ he posted. ‘Not to gloat or gawk — to ask him the questions that (McNamara) wanted answered in her ‘Letter To An Old Man’ at the end of #IllBeGoneInTheDark.’
Co-author Billy Jensen has also posted numerous tweets about the possible arrest of the serial killer.
‘If you’ve been following the Golden State Killer case, stay tuned. We will be having a rather large announcement,’ he teased, adding: ‘Two hours of sleep but an airport chocolate banana smoothie is going to get me through what I hope will be an amazing day. #IllBeGoneInTheDark #GoldenStateKiller #intothelight.’
According to the FBI, the Golden State Killer terrorized southern California between 1976 and 1986. His crimes began in the summer of ’76 with burglaries and rapes in Rancho Cordova and Carmichael.
Investigators said he gained access to the homes by prying open a window or door while the victims slept. He would then shine a light in the face of his victims and tie up the female victim. If a male victim was present, the Golden State Killer would tie him up as well before ransacking the home and raping the female victim.
Detectives said the killer often took small items during his burglaries such as coins, cash, ID cards and jewelry. Some victims told authorities that the killer called them after the crimes.
It’s believed the first victims were killed in 1978. Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, were walking their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood on February 2, 1978 when they were chased down and murdered by the Golden State Killer, the FBI said.
The Golden State Killer is suspected of committing dozens and dozens of crimes in Sacramento County in the late 1970s. Pictured is crime scene evidence from one of the attacks
Police have linked more than 12 homicides to the Golden State Killer. Pictured are fingerprints police lifted from one of the crime scenes
The serial killer and rapist is also suspected of committing nearly 50 rapes in southern California over the span of a decade. The above photo shows a home that was ransacked by the Golden State Killer
The killer is also suspected of committing 120 home burglaries across Sacramento County. Police believe they found ski masks worn by the Golden State Killer in this undated photo
Detectives said the killer often took small items during his burglaries such as coins, cash, ID cards and jewelry. Some victims told authorities that the killer called them after the crimes
An old newspaper clipping said DeAngelo, who is believed to be the Golden State Killer, was an Auburn police officer but was fired for shoplifting
His first victims are believed to have been Katie Maggiore (left) and her husband Brian. The couple was out walking their dog on February 2, 1978 when they were chased down and murdered by the Golden State Killer, the FBI said
This shoelace was marked as evidence. It was found at the site of Brian and Katie Maggiore’s murder
Survivor Jane Carson-Sandler (left) survived when the Golden State Killer broke into her home in October 1976. Debbi Domingo’s (right) mother was killed in July 1981
GOLDEN STATE KILLER’S TWELVE VICTIMS
Brian and Katie Maggiore
February 2, 1978
Brian Maggiore, 21, and his wife Katie, 20, were walking their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood, just outside Sacramento, on February 2, 1978.
The FBI said the couple were chased down before being shot and killed by the Golden State Killer.
Brian and Katie Maggiore: February 2, 1978
Dr Robert Offerman and Alexandria Manning: December 30, 1979
Dr Robert Offerman and Alexandria Manning
December 30, 1979
Dr Robert Offerman, 44, and Alexandria Manning, 35, were killed at a home in Goleta near Santa Barbara.
Offerman, an osteopathic surgeon, and Manning, a clinical psychologist, had their hands bound with twine.
Lyman and Charlene Smith
March 13, 1980
Lyman Smith, 43, and his wife Charlene, 33, were bludgeoned to death with a fireplace log in their Ventura County home.
Smith was an attorney who was just days from being appointed a judge. His wife worked as a court clerk.
Lyman and Charlene Smith (left) and Patrice and Keith Harrington (right)
Patrice and Keith Harrington
August 19, 1980
Patrice Harrington, 28, and her husband Keith, 25, were killed in their home at Dana Point. Police said they were beaten with a blunt instrument.
Patrice was a pediatric nurse and her husband was a medical student at UC Irvine.
February 5, 1981
Manuela Witthuhn, 28, was raped and beaten to death in her home in Irvine.
She was home alone at the time because her husband was in the hospital recovering from an illness.
Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez
Manuela Witthuhn (left) and Janelle Lisa Cruz (right)
Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez
July 27, 1981
Cheri Domingo, 35, and Gregory Sanchez, 27, were house sitting in Goleta when they were murdered in bed.
Domingo was found with her hands tied and suffering massive head injuries. Sanchez was shot and bludgeoned.
Janelle Lisa Cruz
May 4, 1986
Janelle Cruz, 18, was bludgeoned to death in her family’s home in Irvine. She was home alone at the time and police found her lying across her bed.
A real estate agent who was selling the family’s home was the first to discover the teen’s body. Blood was found spattered throughout the home and police believe she was beaten with a pipe wrench.
After this crime, he committed rapes and murders in Stockton, Davis, Modesto and the East Bay. The FBI believe his last crime was committed in May 1986, with the murder of an 18-year-old girl in Irvine.
The Golden State Killer’s fifth victim, Jane Carson-Sandler, survived an October 1976 attack. Carson-Sandler said her husband had just left for work when the masked man broke into her Citrus Heights home, bound and gagged her and her three-year-old son and then raped her.
Carson-Sandler, who wrote a book about surviving the attack,said on Wednesday that she received an email from two detectives informing her of the killer’s arrest.
‘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. ‘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.’
Debbi Domingo was 15 years old when her mother, 35-year-old Cheri Domingo was brutally murdered by the Golden State Killer. Domingo said she had gotten into a spat with her mother and left the home to stay with a friend, a decision that may have ultimately saved her life.
Also killed that horrible July 27, 1981 night was Cheri’s 27-year-old boyfriend, Gregory Sanchez.
In a tweet Wednesday afternoon, Domingo said she had not yet commented on the killer’s arrest because she was ‘digesting’.
‘Everyone is wondering why I’m not shouting from the rooftops yet. Digesting,’ she tweeted, adding the hashtag: ‘UNMASKEDatLAST’.
Neighbors in DeAngelo’s quiet Citrus Heights Sacramento suburb said they were stunned over his arrest. Others said he is known to be angry and shout obscenities while he was outside doing yard work. One neighbor told the Sacramento Bee that DeAngelo had ‘anger pouring out of him’.
‘It’s terrifying to think this man could have hopped the fence and come into my backyard. I have children,’ said another neighbor named Beth Walsh, who lives behind DeAngelo on an adjacent street. ‘I’m glad to know they caught this guy.’
Another neighbor, Cory Harvey, told the outlet that ‘Joe’ – as she calls him – lived in the home with his daughter and granddaughter and is divorced.
DeAngelo had told her that he retired two weeks ago and planned to do a lot of fishing.
Harvey described him as a good neighbor saying he helped pay for a fence her husband put up to separate their yards. She said he was a regular guy, ‘except for that quirkiness of getting mad’.
Natalia Bedes-Correnti, who lives a few houses down, said people in the neighborhood used to call DeAngelo ‘freak’.
‘He used to have these temper tantrums, not at anybody, just (expressing) his self frustration…usually because he couldn’t find his keys,’ she told the Sacramento Bee.
Another neighbor, Eddie Verdon, said he caught DeAngelo prowling on his property.
‘I had the creeps about this guy for a long time,’ he said.
Grant Gorman, who grew up in the house behind DeAngelo, told the outlet that he was so scared of DeAngelo that he avoided playing with his daughter when they were younger.
‘I felt sorry for her,’ he said about the daughter, adding: ‘This guy just had this anger that was just pouring out of him. He’d just be yelling at nothing in the backyard, pacing in circles.’
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: Everything you need to know about Michelle McNamara’s crime book
Patton Oswalt’s late wife, Michelle McNamara, spent much of her career researching the Golden State Killer for her book I’ll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer.
The crime book was released on February 27 and hit No. 1 on the New York Times Best Sellers list in March.
McNamara died suddenly in her sleep in April 2016 before the book could be published as a result of an undiagnosed heart condition combined with prescription pills she had been taking. Se was 46.
Patton Oswalt, McNamara’s friend and fellow journalist Billy Jensen and researcher Paul Haynes helped finished writing the book.
The book was inspired by an article McNamara wrote for Los Angeles magazine called In The Footsteps of a Killer, in which she described her hunt to identify the Golden State Killer, a name she had given to the killer.
The case of the Golden State Killer first captured McNamara’s attention in 2011, when DNA testing confirmed that a 1981 double murder in Goleta, California was the work of the unidentified serial killer.
The Golden State Killer is suspected of committing 12 homicides, nearly 50 rapes and 120 burglaries in southern California between 1976 and 1986.
The title of McNamara’s book are the chilling words the serial murderer and rapist told one of his victims, a friend revealed.
Another friend said McNamara regularly spokes to survivors or family members of victims as she worked on her book.
During a visit to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to peruse files, McNamara was entrusted with 40 boxes of files containing notes, evidence and victims’ belongings. She had gone through a quarter of the boxes by the time she died.
McNamara writes in her book that her obsession with true crime started when she was 14, when her neighbor was murdered during an evening jog. The killer was never found and spawned her interest in unsolved murders.
McNamara says in the book that the case always seemed solvable to her because police had the suspect’s DNA.
I’ll Be Gone In The Dark led HBO to develop a docuseries, executive produced by Patton Oswalt, about the Golden State Killer.
The book has received a tremendous amount of praise from celebrities and authors including actor Rob Lowe who tweeted: ‘Congratulations @pattonoswalt Michelle did it. And, possibly, also proved Heaven is real. #GoldenStateKiller’.