California

‘Golden State Killer’ Suspect Charged With 4 More Murders, for a Total of 12

Investigators have said they zeroed in on DeAngelo after scouring dozens of family trees on genealogy websites for possible DNA and profile matches

The man suspected of being the so-called "Golden State Killer" has been charged with more counts of first-degree murder, these for crimes committed in southern California in the late 1970s and early 1980s. 

That brings to 12 the number of slayings with which Joseph Deangelo has been charged.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Thursday that Deangelo, the 72-year-old former police officer suspected of more than a dozen murders and nearly 50 rapes throughout the state in the '70s and '80s, will remain in custody in Sacramento, where he was arrested on two murder counts late last month.

Tracy Thomas was just 12-years-old in the August of 1976 when she saw a man try to take off the screen of her bedroom window.

"Violent cold cases never grow cold for their victims or loved ones," Dudley said at a news conference to announce the charges.

Santa Barbara authorities believe Deangelo killed Robert Offerman and Alexandria Manning in December 1979 and Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez in July 1981, Dudley said.

DeAngelo was arrested April 24 at his home in the Citrus Heights suburb of Sacramento, as NBC Bay Area reported. He has been charged with four killings in Orange County and two in Ventura County, along with the two in Sacramento County, and he is scheduled to appear in court in Sacramento on Monday.

Each of the four new counts carries the possibility of life without parole or the death penalty, Dudley said. She did not release more details about the investigation, but said that law enforcement and prosecutors from four counties — Santa Barbara, Sacramento, Orange and Ventura — had been working together to identify the suspect believed to be the serial killer and rapist who terrorized neighborhoods throughout the state decades ago.

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The killings appeared to stop during the 1980s, but in 2016, the FBI offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the killer's arrest.

The February publication of "I'll Be Gone in the Dark," a book about the case written by Michelle McNamara, the late wife of the comedian and actor Patton Oswalt, brought renewed urgency to the investigation. Oswalt helped to finish the manuscript after McNamara died in 2016.

Investigators have said they zeroed in on DeAngelo after scouring dozens of family trees on genealogy websites for possible DNA and profile matches, NBC News reported. Critics of law enforcement's accessing genetic information through genealogical databases argue that it could jeopardize privacy rights.

DeAngelo's attorney, Diane Howard, did not immediately respond to an email from the Associated Press seeking comment Thursday.

Read the complaint filed against Deangelo Thursday in Santa Barbara County:

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