In the 10-year span between 1976 and 1986, a serial murderer — known as the Golden State Killer — committed a string of violent crimes throughout California. And now, after decades of eluding police and the FBI, an arrest has been made. Concerning this stunning development in the case, you may want to watch the press conference on the Golden State Killer, which is scheduled for noon Pacific time.
The Golden State Killer is believed to be responsible for 12 murders and 45 rapes, but managed to escape arrest for over 40 years. The cold case received much renewed attention following the posthumous publication of Michelle McNamara's book I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. McNamara was the wife of comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, and her sudden, unexpected death was the center of his recent Netflix stand-up show Annihilation.
Oswalt has been a relentless cheerleader for McNamara's persistent work in trying to uncover who was behind the unsolved murders. And with the help of his massive platform, McNamara's book earned attention from HBO, which has announced plans to adapt the story into a documentary series.
So any development in the case is now guaranteed even more media attention, and that will likely be the case with Wednesday's press conference as well. The focus will be on the suspected killer's arrest, and interested parties can watch live at 12 p.m. PST on the Sacramento Sheriff Department's Facebook page and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Facebook page as well.
The many heinous crimes of the Golden State Killer recently received some television attention, with an Investigation Discovery special entitled The Golden State Killer: It's Not Over Yet. According to Good Housekeeping, the special involved a team of "citizen sleuths" working with forensics expert Paul Holes to utilize new technologies — such as DNA evidence and analysis of audio recordings — to hopefully open new leads.
Victims of the Golden State Killer spanned from the ages of 12 to 41, and his crimes followed a usual routine. He would break into homes in the middle of the night, blind his victims with a flashlight, rape the women, ransack the house, and steal small items of personal value. Olivia Messer reported at The Daily Beast these mementos included family photos, or sometimes wedding rings.
Billy Jensen, a crime investigative journalist who worked with McNamara on her book, sent out a tweet Wednesday noting the suspect had briefly served on nearby Auburn's police force. He was effectively fired after failing to fight charges he had shoplifted dog repellant and a hammer. A few months later, according to Messer, the Golden State Killer (also known as the East Area Rapist) stabbed to death a dog while "prowling along a neighborhood."
The FBI's suspect profile of the Golden State Killer also stated that he "may have had an interest in the military, or had some military training, leaving him familiar and proficient with firearms." A former career with a police force isn't too far off that description.
Jane Carson-Sandler, one of the Golden State Killer's victims, told The Island Packet of her reaction upon learning the news of DeAngelo's arrest. "I’m overwhelmed with joy. I've been crying, sobbing,” she said.
It's a reaction likely to be shared by the dozens of survivors who have waited decades for justice in the case of the Golden State Killer.