SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- The infamous "Golden State Killer" to be behind serial rapes and murders throughout California in the 1970s and also 1980s -- however decades passed before a doubt was identified.

You are watching: How was joseph james deangelo caught

In 2018, Joseph DeAngelo was arrested. This summer, the 74-year-old previous police officer pleaded guilty come 13 counts the first-degree murder. And in August, he was challenged by his victims and their household members in court.

Joseph James DeAngelo,who came to be known as the golden State Killer, told victims Friday he was "truly sorry" before he to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

Here"s a look back at the case:


From 1973 come 1976, DeAngelo to be a police officer in Exeter, California, public representative said.


On Sept. 11, 1975, DeAngelo, while serving as a police officer, shot and killed professor Claude Snelling in prior of his daughter at his Visalia, California, home, according to prosecutors.DeAngelo kicked the daughter 3 times in the face and also then fled, prosecutors said.Visalia is 10 miles away from Exeter.


Sanchez was shot and also then beaten to death, bludgeoned in the head two dozen times, prosecutors said.DeAngelo then bound Domingo, raped her and also beat her in the head an ext than 10 times, prosecutors said.


No crimes to be attributed to the "Golden State Killer" indigenous July 1981 until may 1986, once 18-year-old Janelle Cruz was killed. Cruz to be bound, raped and also bludgeoned in the face and head at her home, prosecutors said.That was his last recognized crime.


The situation went cold for decades.DeAngelo"s name come up for the first time in the examination in 2018, Sacramento district Attorney ann Marie Schubert said.DeAngelo came to be the very first public arrest obtained through genetic genealogy, a new method that take away the DNA of one unknown suspect left behind in ~ a crime scene and also identifies that or she by tracing a household tree through his or her family members members, who voluntarily submit your DNA to public ancestry databases.To identify DeAngelo, investigators small the family tree search based upon age, location and other characteristics.Once authorities zeroed in top top DeAngelo, castle surveilled him and accumulated his DNA indigenous a tissue left in a trash.
Investigators plugged his discarded DNA earlier into the genealogy database and found a match, linking DeAngelo"s DNA to DNA found at crime scenes, prosecutors said.He to be arrested in April 2018 in Sacramento County.

A brand-new update is supposed Tuesday morning in the instance of Joseph DeAngelo, the man accused of being the golden State Killer.

After DeAngelo to be taken into custody, he said to himself in an interview room, "I did every those things. I destroyed all those lives," prosecutors stated in court during the guilty plea.Since DeAngelo"s arrest, over 150 suspects have actually been determined through hereditary genealogy.


On June 29, 2020, DeAngelo pleaded guilty come 13 counts that first-degree murder. The plea deal additionally required DeAngelo to recognize to many uncharged acts, including rapes, i m sorry were described in horrific detail by prosecutors.The fatality penalty to be taken off the table and also he will certainly serve life without parole, prosecutors said.From Aug. 18, 2020, come Aug. 20, 2020, DeAngelo was faced in court through rape survivors, your relatives, and the relatives of those he had actually killed.Survivor after ~ survivor told stories of fear, grief and resilience.

Joseph James DeAngelo, center, charged with being the gold State Killer, stands in a courtroom in Sacramento, Calif. Monday June 29, 2020.

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Jane Carson-Sandler, that was raped in 1976 while residence with she son, said the court, "I to be frozen in fear past description. ... My fist was not on the rape, but fully on whereby did you placed my son once you removed him native the bed? where did you put him and also what to be you going to carry out to him?"Carson-Sandler claimed that now, decades later, scars from her assault remain. Seeing a ski mask or hearing who yell "shut up" will "forever cause me anxiety," she said."My lull at those times is remembering that you are ultimately going come prison and will continue to be there until you die," she said.On Aug. 21, 2020, DeAngelo was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

See more: How To Get High On Nutmeg ? Can You Really Get High Off Nutmeg

Joseph James DeAngelo,who came to be known as the gold State Killer, told victim Friday he to be "truly sorry" prior to he to be sentenced to life imprisonment.

DeAngelo, who had sat in a wheelchair and also was spanned by a white face mask together victims and also family members provided statements, climbed out of the wheelchair and spoke free of the face covering."I"ve listened to all her statements. Each among them," DeAngelo said in court. "And I"m truly sorry to anyone I have actually hurt. Say thanks to you, your honor."