You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

News: Homepage News Stripe

Who is suspected East Area Rapist, Joseph DeAngelo?

KCRA Sacramento logo KCRA Sacramento 4/26/2018

a close up of text on a white background © Provided by Hearst Television, Inc. Joseph James DeAngelo, the man arrested on charges relating to the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer -- who allegedly terrorized residents up and down the state for years in the late 1970s and 1980s -- was living in plain sight in a Citrus Heights home while working for a grocery store chain in Roseville.

DeAngelo, 72, was arrested late Tuesday night at his home on Canyon Oak Court after Sacramento County sheriff's detectives conducted surveillance of his home and whereabouts for about six days, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said.

Investigators got a feel for DeAngelo's activities while watching him at his home and developed a plan to wait for him to come out of his home, instead of confronting him in the home or while he was out and about, Jones said.

Discarded DNA was the key piece of evidence that helped detectives confirm they "got their man," Jones added.

++Interactive Map: Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist's attack locations

Here's what we know so far about the man suspected of killing at least 12 people and raping upwards of 50 women, starting in Sacramento County:


What we know so far about DeAngelo's early life is that he graduated from Folsom High School in 1964 before joining the U.S. Navy.

A local newspaper in 1967 reported that DeAngelo served aboard the cruiser USS Canberra as a repairman off the coast of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

After returning home, he enrolled in a nearby community college and then transferred to California State University, Sacramento, where he graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice, school spokeswoman Anita Fitzhugh said.

DeAngelo married a Citrus Heights woman seven years his junior in 1973, according to a marriage notice in the Auburn Journal.

Joseph James DeAngelo © Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Joseph James DeAngelo DEANGELO'S WORK HISTORY

Soon after graduating from Sacramento State, DeAngelo landed a job as a police officer in the small Central Valley city of Exeter, 45 miles south of Fresno, where he served from 1973 to 1976, "around the time of the Visalia Ransacker cases," another name affiliated with the same attacker, Jones said.

In 1976, DeAngelo took a job with the Auburn Police Department.

The Auburn Journal published a photo in June 1979 of DeAngelo in uniform, preparing for the annual "Fuzz Ball" fundraising baseball game.

That same year, DeAngelo was fired from the department after he was caught shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent from a Pay N' Sac storee in 1979.

MORE: Suspected East Area Rapist went undetected working as a cop

"Very often serial killers are very interested in police work, they tend to have an obsession with it and they tend to study it," said Scott Bonn, a criminologist and author of "Why We Love Serial Killers" and other similar books.

DeAngelo had one other minor brush with the law that Jones wouldn't reveal in addition to the shoplifting incident.

MORE: Paralyzed by fear: A look back at Sacramento during the East Area Rapist's reign

For 27 years, he worked in a cavernous Save Mart Supermarkets distribution warehouse in Roseville, as a big rig mechanic, before retiring last year, company spokeswoman Victoria Castro said.

"None of his actions in the workplace would have lead us to suspect any connection to crimes being attributed to him," Castro said in a statement to KCRA 3. "We are working with the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office on their investigation."


Neighbors who lived in the Citrus Heights neighborhood said DeAngelo has lived in the well-kept home on Canyon Oak Court for 30 years.

"I can't believe he's been that close for that long," one woman said. "This has always been a calm and quiet family area."

Another neighbor, Natalia Bedes-Correnti, said DeAngelo appeared to be a "nice old grandpa" but he cursed loudly and often over misplaced car keys and the like.

"He liked the F-word a lot," Bedes-Correnti said.

MORE: Suspect in serial killings lived suburban life in Citrus Heights

She said one of DeAngelo's adult daughters and a granddaughter lived with him in the neighborhood where children ride their bikes home from school.

Other neighbors said DeAngelo mostly kept to himself, but was quick to anger and could often be heard loudly cussing in frustration over a landscaping issue or other minor annoyance.

"You can tell he's a very meticulous person," said neighbor Kevin Tapia. "His house is always perfectly painted. His grass is always cut. He gets down around all the rocks on his lawn and is cutting to make sure it's just perfect."

DeAngelo's history also shows a seemingly ordinary life for the man investigators are linking to violent crimes

Two cars, a Volvo and a Toyota, were towed away Wednesday, along with a fishing boat DeAngelo kept in his three-car garage. Neighbors also said he owned a motorcycle.

Neighbor Barbara Wammer, 73, said in his home, DeAngelo lived in the home he owned since 1983. She described him as a typical neighbor who was often outside working on his lawn.

"There was no reason to be suspicious," Wammer said.

DeAngelo built remote-controlled model airplanes and took meticulous care of his house and manicured lawn, neighbors said.

Deputies took DeAngelo by surprise Tuesday afternoon as he walked outside, Jones said.

As he was being arrested, he told officers he had a roast in the oven. They said they would take care of it.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.



++Complete coverage: Arrest made in East Area Rapist case

++What we know, what we don't know about the East Area Rapist case

++All of the crimes tied to the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer

++Here's what we know about the man suspected of being the East Area Rapist

++DA: East Area Rapist was ex-police officer living in Citrus Heights

++Here's how authorities arrested the East Are Rapist suspect



KCRA Sacramento
KCRA Sacramento
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon