Golden State Killer suspect to appear in court on murder charges

Golden State Killer suspect to appear in court on murder charges

Armed with DNA that the killer left behind at various crime scenes, investigators used a shot-in-the-dark method to track him down: They painstakingly searched through numerous genetic profiles on popular genealogy websites to see if they could find DNA that matched that of the murderer's - and they just about did, according to the Sacramento Bee.

Without a second thought, true crime blogger Michelle McNamara dove headfirst into what would become a years-long obsession with the perpetrator she would dub the Golden State Killer, a man responsible for 45 rapes, 12 murders, and possibly more than 100 burglaries.

Authorities tracked down a suspect by comparing genetic profiles from genealogy websites to crime scene DNA, according to the Sacramento District Attorney's office.

DeAngelo, a former police officer, probably would have known about the new method, experts said. It was confirmed as a match.

Because the crimes spanned 10 counties the culprit was later dubbed the Golden State Killer.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones credited the book with helping to generate new tips but said no information was "extracted from that book that directly led to the apprehension". "The reason [the 'Golden State Killer] takes things that are personal, like engraved wedding bands or antique cuff-links that would have personal meaning to the victim, is that he can relive the assault and the murder by looking at those items".

He has been charged with eight counts of murder for the California killing spree in the late '70s and early '80s.

DeAngelo's sister, Becky Thompson, who still lives in Exeter, sobbed on the phone Thursday during an interview with the Los Angeles Times as she tried to comes to terms with the arrest of her brother for such horrendous acts. They also took two samples of "discarded DNA" from DeAngelo, apparently from a used straw or cup, to positively identify him as the likely Golden State Killer.

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Bruce Harrington constantly pushed California officials to use DNA testing, hoping it would help catch the man who killed his brother and sister-in-law almost 40 years ago. So isn't it fair to say that at least a few more people know about the case than ever did before?

SANTA CRUZ Jennifer Carole had just graduated high school when her dad and stepmother were murdered inside their Ventura home in March, 1980.

"Finally, after all these years, the haunting question of who committed these awful crimes has been put to rest", Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said.

Comedian Patton Oswalt has praised his late wife Michelle McNamara for her role in the apprehension of a former police officer suspected of a string of United States murders, rapes and burglaries. "Her book and the article that led to the book really amped up all the interest in the case and really put a lot of focus on this", said Oswalt.

DeAngelo - the man accused of being the Golden State Killer - is a former police officer, a Vietnam veteran and a mechanic.

Later, DeAngelo joined the Auburn Police Department outside of Sacramento but was sacked in 1979 after he was caught shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent.

McNamara, who also was the late wife of comedian Patton Oswalt, was working on her book about the case when she died suddenly in 2016. "We wanted her to be there... so we could be happy with her".

Authorities gather outside the home of suspect Joseph James DeAngelo on Wednesday.