SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A man once sworn to protect the public from crime was accused Wednesday of living a double life terrorizing suburban neighborhoods at night, becoming one of California’s most feared serial killers and rapists in the 1970s and ’80s before leaving a cold trail that baffled investigators.
Former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested at his home Tuesday after DNA linked him to crimes attributed to the so-called Golden State Killer and he initially was charged with eight counts of murder and could face dozens more charges, authorities said.
The Evening Tribune in Hornell, along with the Associate Press, is reporting DeAngelo is a native of Bath in Steuben County, according to a 1973 story in an Exeter, Calif. newspaper.
DeAngelo was profiled on the front page of the Aug. 22, 1973 edition of The Execter Sun. The story headlined "Navy veteran serves Exeter as policeman" reports DeAngelo's background as a Navy veteran, a graduate of Folsom Senior High School and "a native of Bath, N.Y."
According to a police arrest report, DeAngelo was born on Nov. 8, 1945. FOX KTVU in San Francisco reported he was born in Bath, and is the son of Joseph James DeAngelo Sr. and Kathleen Bosano.
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.