California police arrested a man suspected of being the infamous Golden State Killer, who committed 12 homicides, between 45 and 51 rapes, and numerous home burglaries between 1973 and 1986. 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. has been charged with two counts of capital murder after DNA evidence linked him to the murders of Lyman and Charlene Smith, both of whom are two victims connected to a string of 12 murders committed by the Golden State Killer.
DeAngelo was taken into police custody the morning of Wednesday, April 25, 2018. According to the Sacramento County Sherriff’s Office, he was arrested on warrants charging him with two counts of capital murder. He was arrested at 2:30 A.M. and is currently ineligible to post bail. The F.B.I. initially described the Golden State Killer/East River Rapist as being 5’10” and between the ages of 60 and 75. DeAngelo stands at 5’11” and weighs 205 pounds. DeAngelo had been under surveillance by police and was taken into custody after DNA evidence linked him to crimes committed by the Golden State Killer.
Here’s A Rundown About The Golden State Killer’s Victims
Although, DeAngelo has been charged with eight counts of murder, the Golden State Killer is suspected of being the culprit of 13 murders. His initial killing spee is thought to have began in 1975 with the murder of journalism professor Claude Snelling. Snelling died by gunshot wound in the early hours of September 11, 1975, as he attempted to prevent the killer from abducting his daughter. Authorities dubbed the suspect the “Visalia Ransacker” who was known for sexually-motivated burglaries ranging all the way back to 1973.
In 1978, The Golden State Killer struck again with the murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore who were both shot dead outside their homes while walking their dog. Investigators believe that the victims recognized and surprised the murderer who was prowling through the neighbor near Sacramento.
It would take authorities almost 37 years to link the murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore to the Golden State Killer. The Air Force Office of Special Investigations was the first to make the connection between the young couple’s murders and the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer.
The Golden State Killer struck again on December 30, 1979. On that date, the killer murdered Dr. Robert Offerman and Dr. Alexandria Manning at Avenida Pequena Avenue in Goleta, California. The couple was close to divorce before they were both murdered.
Dr. Manning was discovered by authorities in the nude, lying face-down, with her hands tied behind her back, and a bullet wound in the back of her head. Her husband, Dr. Offerman, was found kneeling on the ground, dead, with one bullet wound visible on his upper chest and three in his back. White twine was wrapped around Offerman’s wrists. The serial killer murdered Manning and Offerman with a .38 revolver. Neither victim was sexually assaulted.
On March 13, 1980, the killing spree continued with the murders of Charlene and Lyman Smith. Charlene was raped and killed, while Lyman was also murdered. The crime took place in their home on High Point Drive in Ventura County.
Authorities discovered the bodies of the couple in their bed with a blanket covering their heads. Lyman Smith’s hands and feet were both tied with a nylon cord. He was found naked lying face-down. His wife, Charlene Smith, was raped. She was found only wearing a t-shirt. Her hands, wrists, and ankles, were all tied behind her back. Detectives reported that the couple was viciously beaten to death.
On August 19, 1980, the Golden State Killer’s killing spree resumed with murder of Keith Harrington, and the rape and killing of Patrice Harrington. The crime Cockleshell Drive in Dana Point.
The murdered couple was discovered with their hand’s bound with macrame cord. They had been bludgeoned to death in bed. Bed sheets covered their heads.
On February 5, 1981, police believe that the Golden State Killer struck again. This time, he’s suspected of raping and murdering Manuela Witthuhn in Irvine, California.
On July 27, 1981, the Golden State Killer is suspected of murdering another couple. The serial killer’s bloody string of crimes is suspected to have continued with the murders of Gregory Sanchez and Cheri Domingo on Toltec Way, Goleta.
Sanchez was murdered via blunt-force trauma to the head. He was found naked, lying face-down on the floor with a gunshot wound on his chest. Part of his body was lying in the closet. His wife, Domingo, was also found in the nude. She was discovered dead, lying in bed, with sheets and blankets on top of her. A single blow to the head resulted in Domingo’s death. She was murdered with the same weapon that killed her husband.
Almost five years later, the killer is said to have struck again. This time, he allegedly raped and murdered 18-year-old Janelle Lisa Cruz in Irvine, who he is his youngest known victim.
Ms. Cruz was killed by being struck in the head and face with a pipe wrench. She was found by authorities with her bra pushed down to her waist. The pipe that killed her was believed to have been taken from her backyard.
Who are the suspected murder victims of the Golden State Killer?
Below is a list of the 12 victims of the Golden State Killer.
- Brian Maggiore
- Katie Maggiore
- Alexandria Manning
- Dr. Robert Offerman
- Charlene Smith
- Lyman Smith
- Patrice Harrington
- Keith Harrington
- Manuela Witthuhn
- Cheri Domingo
- Gregory Sanchez
- Janelle Cruz
- Claude Snelling