The Sketch is an FBI Public Domain sketch rendered from the original case.
by Ian D Scofield
Unless you haven’t turned on the news or gone to a news website in the last few days, you would have already heard of the former police officer who was arrested in relation to the Golden State Killer case. Even though the arrest has already made the news, it is big enough that we are going to talk about it here too. The potential of solving the case will bring comfort to people who were victims. It was also a major case, that until now has gone with much of a lead.
In the 1970’s and 80’s a prolific set of cases arose where a subject committed over 57 crimes on a spree. During his spree, the subject committed at least 12 murders, 45 counts of rape, and numerous break-ins in the California area. While the number of murders he committed doesn’t rival some of the most notorious serial murders in the world, the combination of crimes earns him a legend. The fact that he went uncaught for so long only adds to the mystery.
The Golden State Killer would break into people’s houses and rape them. Sometimes he would kill or assault them. In some of the cases he would tie up the husband and put plates on the husband’s back. While he raped the wife he told the husband if any of the plates fell that he would murder them both.
Like with many serial rapists/serial killers, The Golden State Killer started off with lesser crimes. For years he burgled houses, then went on to sexual assault, before starting to murder.
For years in California, people were worried about encountering this criminal. They didn’t want to be the next victim. Stories of his crimes earned him a number of names:
While some of the names were just different nicknames, others came from where the crimes were committed. The Golden State Killer committed crimes in various cities and counties in the California area, putting a large number of communities on alert. People didn’t want to leave their homes and kids were not allowed to be alone.
Until now, the one thing that we didn’t know, was his real name. With the arrest this week, authorities believe that we now know his name. James Joseph DeAngelo was arrested this week in California as a suspect in the case of The Golden State Killer.
DeAngelo was a police officer for 6 years. During his service, he worked for both the Exeter Police Department and Auburn Police Department. In 1979, DeAngelo was fired from his department for shoplifting. Investigators are now wondering if the items he shoplifted were related to his crimes.
Police Officials used the stored DNA from past cases related to the Golden State Killer to run in a genealogy database. From their, they used distant relatives to track down DeAngelo. Considering DeAngelo as a suspect led law enforcement to stake out his house and collect a sample of DNA to compare to the Golden State Killer cases.
It was a match.
At the moment, DeAngelo is only being charged with one of the cases. The murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore. Despite the crime happening in 1978, a DNA match was still achieved.
Officials from two other counties are accusing DeAngelo of committing crimes in their jurisdiction.
From news reports, DeAngelo’s neighbors never thought of him as a creepy person but over the years he has been quick to yell. That includes yelling at neighbors over trivial issues such as mowing the lawn too early.
What do you think of this case? No matter how you view the case, if DeAngelo is the Golden State Killer, it is nice to see justice being served. More and more cases are being solved with modern technology. New DNA methods, crowdsourcing, and similar techniques have helped to put some cold (but not forgotten) cases to rest.
Stay safe out there.
About The Author:
Ian is a staff writer at APTI and hospital security officer at a major medical center who has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a Specialization in Administration of Justice. He has held multiple positions in the security industry from patrol supervisor to auxiliary public safety officer. At APTI he brings his writing skills to help further the careers of others and provide quality content. Feel free to visit his freelancing site or his creative writing site.
Did you just get a job as a law enforcement officer or are you trying to get one?
Law enforcement is a very rewarding career, one that can enhance your life and benefit you greatly. Preparing for a job in law enforcement shares some similarities to other careers. At the same time it has unique challenges to overcome.
Let’s take a moment to examine how you can prepare for a job as a law enforcement officer.