He became a notorious figure, sometimes known as the Golden State Killer and at other times the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker. His planning was meticulous and he seemed to know the details of his victims' schedules. They described the gritty, angry whisper he used when he tormented her. He wore gloves and a mask and was a robber with quirks. When his victims were scared, he took a break with crackers after he raped her. He placed a teacup and saucer on the bodies of some of his victims and threatened them with murder when he heard the ceramic rattling.
In panic communities – at one point, its raids were on average two victims a month – the authorities hired a number of experts to help them break the case, including a special military officer and a clairvoyant.
Then, when the rape and killings seemed to end in 1986, the case became cold.
National interest rekindled this year with the publication of an exhaustive investigation into the serial killer's identity, "I'll Get Lost in the Dark," written by Michelle McNamara, a crime writer who died in April 2016. The book, published in February after her death, was written by a journalist and researcher recruited by her husband, comedian Patton Oswalt
[Read about Mr. Oswalt’s quest to finish Ms. McNamara’s book after her death.]
Mr. Oswalt spoke about the reported capture on Wednesday in a video on Instagram . "I think you have him, Michelle," he said. DeAngelo, of which the authorities suspected a total of 12 murders, was arrested by the investigators. He used some of the same methods the suspect used to persecute his victims-the police monitored his movements, studied his routines, and fell when he left his house. He was arrested on the basis of an arrest warrant for the murder of the couple in Ventura County, Southern California, but the authorities said further charges were underway. Orange County County Procuratorate announced four additional charges on Wednesday.
Residents of the neighborhoods who were persecuted by the killer said he had changed the way they lived their lives. A carefree Californian lifestyle of open doors and children riding a bike to school has been forever changed, with the knowledge that a rapist lurked.
"A person can cause a lot of fear," said Tony Rackauckas, Orange County District Attorney and one of the dozens of officials in Sacramento, to announce the arrest of Mr. DeAngelo. "It was like terrorism – not that it was done for the same reason – but it caused the same kind of fear."
The case had a profound impact not only on California's fear and public safety, but also on the way these rape cases were investigated and how rape victims were treated, said Carol Daly, a detective at the Sheriff's Office in Sacramento County.
Locks sold at hardware stores and over 6,000 weapons were sold, she said. Community security forums would be filled with hundreds of people.
Rape victims were seen and cared for faster, and pubic hair, scratches, and other evidence were examined and preserved, she said. Rapeseed kits were standardized. "Every victim has gone through the process," she said.
Bruce Harrington, whose brother Keith Harrington and his sister-in-law Patrice Harrington belonged to the murder victims, joined the police at the press conference. It was "time for the victims to heal," he said.
"Sleep better tonight, he will not come in through the window," he said. "He's in jail now, and he's history."
A victim, Jane Carson-Sandler, who was raped in 1976, said on Wednesday that she was overwhelmed with emotion. Carson-Sandler, 72, said she had always believed that her rapist was alive and that he would get caught. The hatred and anger she felt finally faded, she said, but she kept praying for two things each night: that he would be identified and that she would not dream of the rape.
She had never dreamed of it, she said, and on Wednesday morning she turned on her phone to find out that a suspect had been arrested.
"I just feel so blessed that God finally answered all our prayers that this monster would eventually be put behind bars," she said.
Mr. DeAngelo, who has adult children, has served twice as a police officer in two small California cities: Exeter in Central Valley from 1973 to 1976 and Auburn north of Sacramento from 1976 to 1979. Jones
Can dog repellent and stole a hammer from a shop in Sacramento County. The incident led to his release from the Auburn police. The arrest came under the rise of rape in the area.
One of the neighborhoods where the suspect repeatedly struck was Rancho Cordova, a suburb of ranch homes in San Sacramento, redwood and birch trees, manicured lawns, and rose bushes.
In an attack in 1978, Brian and Katie Maggiore, a couple living in the area, walked around their neighborhood with their dog at 9 pm After a "violent encounter" with the suspect, they tried to escape and landed in a private courtyard where they were fatally hit, the sheriff's department said in February and turned to the public for clues.
Diane Peterson, retired The teacher who lives in Rancho Cordova said Wednesday that theories about who was behind the rape and domestic break-ins had remained a topic of conversation in the neighborhood in the four decades since the attacks began.
"It's never completely silent," said Peterson. "People have their own suspicions of who it might be."
Jean McNeill, a retired employee of the State Board of Equalization who lives near one of the killings, said she was "excited" Wednesday morning when she heard that the suspect might have been arrested.
She remembered the terror the killer triggered in the neighborhood.
"I remember thinking, 'It's getting dark and no one's at my house – I have to be really careful & # 39 ;, she said.' That's what made it so scary. We did not know when he would strike next.
Following the assassinations of Maggiore, the assailant is said not to have slammed back into the Sacramento area.But in 2001, investigators linked to DNA evidence linked the crime to others in the Bay Area, and to murders in Southern California, said Sheriff's Department.
In June 2016, the FBI announced at a press conference to provide a reward of $ 50,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the "prolific serial rapist and assassin."
"We came together to comfort the victims, "Special Agent Sean Ragan in charge of the Sacramento Bureau for the FBI said Wednesday," but we know the pain and the fear have never subsided. "
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