After several decades searching for a serial killer and rapist, Sacramento, California, law enforcement officials today announced a DNA match had led them to a 72-year-old man who only became a suspect less than a week ago.
Joseph James DeAngelo was arrested in a quiet Sacramento-area neighborhood where he’d lived for more than 30 years.
Authorities aren’t saying what prompted them to focus only recently on DeAngelo in connection with a terrifying series of violent crimes that included at least a dozen murders and 45 rapes that occurred mostly in the 1970s and 1980s.
Over the years, police had several names for the serial attacker, including the Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist. Most of the murders and rapes occurred in the Sacramento and Bay Area. At least two killings happened in Southern California.
The suspect is a former police officer who was fired for shoplifting in 1979.
As the investigation continues, DeAngelo is being held in Sacramento County on four murder charges.
At a news conference announcing the big break in one of the most highest-profile investigations in California history, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said, “It is fitting that today is National DNA Day. We found the needle in the haystack, and it was right here in Sacramento.”
Authorities confirmed a discarded DNA sample was key to the break in this case. ABC7 News has confirmed that DNA from ancestry websites led to the arrest of the suspected “Golden State Killer,” Joseph James DeAngelo.
A best-selling book called “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” recently focused the spotlight on the murders and rapes. It was published in 2018, two years after its author, Michelle McNamara, died in her sleep.
Our FindJodi.com team will continue to closely watch this case, wondering if a similar break might lead to finding Jodi Huisentruit’s abductor — perhaps not far from where she disappeared in Mason City, Iowa, and perhaps involving someone like a Joseph DeAngelo who hadn’t even been on investigators’ radar in the past.
Most likely someone who knew something provided information that helped lead law enforcement to DeAngelo and a huge break in the California cases.
Family, friends and the community continue to wait for someone to come forward and provide answers in Jodi’s disappearance. It will be 23 years on June 27th since she was abducted from her apartment complex on her way to anchor the morning news at KIMT-TV.