Former police officer named as serial killer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A suspected California serial killer who committed at least 12 homicides and 45 rapes throughout the state in the 1970s and '80s was identified today as a former police officer, an official said.
A law enforcement official identified Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, who was fired from the Auburn Police Department, as the Golden State Killer.
The official confirmed the identity on condition of anonymity before an official news conference today.
Armed with a gun, the masked attacker terrorized communities by breaking into homes while single women or couples were sleeping. He sometimes tied up the man and piled dishes on his back, then raped 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
DeAngelo was fired from the Auburn Police Department in 1979 after he was arrested for stealing a can of dog repellant and a hammer from a drug store, according to Auburn Journal articles from the time.
The FBI says it has a team gathering evidence at a Sacramento- area home linked to DeAngelo.
Sacramento County jail records show DeAngelo was arrested overnight on suspicion of two counts of murder cited in a Ventura County warrant.