Golden State Killer: Ex-Policeman Charged with Decades-Old Serial Killings

(From AP News)

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 culprit also known as the East Area Rapist, among other names, is suspected of at least 12 slayings and 50 rapes in 10 counties from Northern to Southern California. The armed and masked prowler sneaked in through windows at night and surprised sleeping victims who ranged in age from 13 to 41.

DeAngelo was arrested on suspicion of committing double-killings in Sacramento and Ventura counties and later charged with four counts of murder in Orange County, officials said.

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