*Would it be safe assume this news does not help the already poor trust issues that the public harbors for police officers?
A man who was hunted down in the 70’s as a serial killer; yet managed to avoid being captured, has turned out to be a former police officer who found on Tuesday by a K-9 officer, via discarded DNA.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested at his home on Tuesday. Suspected of at least 12 slayings and 50 rapes in 10 counties from Northern to Southern California in the 1970s, he was the Golden State Killer, a name coined by true crime writer Michelle McNamara.
Despite an outpouring of thousands of tips over the years, DeAngelo’s name had not been on the radar of law enforcement before last week, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.
“We knew we were looking for a needle in a haystack, but we also knew that needle was there,” she said. “It was right here in Sacramento.”
A break in the case and the arrest came together in “light speed” during the past six days, Schubert said, though authorities refused to reveal what led to DeAngelo.
DeAngelo, who police say may have been committing the crimes before he was fired from his second police dept. in 1979, still lives in the Sacramento area, where many of his crimes were committed. Initially he was charged with eight counts of murder, but he could face dozens more charges, authorities said.
His modus operandi was being armed and masked. He would then sneak through windows at night and surprise sleeping victims who ranged in age from 13 to 41.
When he came upon a couple, he was known to tie the man up and pile dishes on his back. He’d threaten to kill both victims if he heard plates crash to the floor while he raped the woman. Then he would ransack and rob the house before fleeing on foot or bicycle.
Watch the video below to hear how investigators finally caught this piece of you-know-what.