The "Golden State Killer" has been very meticulous at its crime scenes over a decade and in several cities, leaving little evidence for the police. There were no fingerprints. Few saw his face. And what he left behind-his DNA-was not useful to the police at the time.
Four decades later, with far better DNA technology and widespread use, this genetic material became critical to solving one of the worst serial killer problems in US history. The authorities said they could link their suspect to the series of crimes by using a genealogy service to examine the genetic material for a man they believe killed at least a dozen people: Joseph James DeAngelo
Investigators tracked down the 72 years The former police officer and retired mechanic, who compares DNA at numerous crime scenes with information submitted to an online genealogy service, said Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Steve Grippi on Thursday of the Sacramento Bee and the New York Times. While the details of how the search unfolded were not immediately clear, Grippi told the news organizations that a genetic profile of DeAngelo's distant relatives led investigators to him.
Once they had limited their search ̵
Grippi did not identify the company or companies involved, but such services are increasingly being used by people who submit their own genetic information to learn more about their lineage and pedigree. Grippi's office upheld the Sacramento Bee report, but declined to provide additional information.
"It's an ongoing investigation," Grippi said in a statement to the Washington Post. "We provided you with as much information as possible at this time and no further information is available on this topic."
California authorities have begun to raid numerous cases against DeAngelo and the Navy veterans with killings and rape which stretched over years and stretched California. Officials suggested on Thursday that more cases will follow in dozens of casualties that were attacked in the 1970s and 1980s.
DeAngelo's arrest was sudden and overwhelming, coming more than three decades after the terrible attacks of the 1970s and the 1980s ended abruptly, the elusive attacker apparently disappearing and later suspected of being arrested or killed under other charges.
The Suburb Grandfather, who says police are responsible, remains largely a mystery even after his arrest. The investigators are now living their lives during and after the violence, and they are investigating whether his law enforcement background has played a role, how the crimes have been committed, how long they have remained unresolved, and how their suspects could live nearby. Unseen, for decades.
Officials said that between 1976 and 1986 the Golden State Murderer – also known as the "East Area Rapist" and the "Original Night Stalker" – carried out a campaign of shocking brutality, a dozen killings and rape 45.
DeAngelo, who the police said had been arrested without incident at his home in Citrus Heights, California, is scheduled to make his first appearance on Friday. It was not clear if he had a lawyer.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, in a booking photo provided by the Sheriff's Department of Sacramento County. (Reuters)
Small details about DeAngelo's life take shape and neighbors painted him as an angry and disturbing man, noting that it was terrible that he decided to live in and around the communities that he allegedly terrorized.
DeAngelo had worked as a police officer in two California cities for much of the 1970s. He worked for the police department in Exeter between 1973 and 1976. A newspaper article announcing his appointment at the time described him as a New Yorker who joined the Navy and served in Vietnam. During these years, a series of home invasions – in conjunction with a then-unknown assassin called "Visalia Ransacker" – took place about 10 miles from the headquarters of the police department.
Authorities said De Angelo left the Exeter Force and worked for the Auburn Police Department between 1976 and 1979, when that department said his employment was terminated. News from that time indicates that he was fired after he was caught dragging a hammer and dog catcher into the counter. What DeAngelo did between being released by Auburn police and being hired by Save Mart a decade later remained unclear. Attacks in this area began during those years, police said.
According to court records, DeAngelo sees at least eight assassinations filed by prosecutors in three districts. The Sacramento County District Attorney's Office sued him in 1978 for two killings, while the District Attorney of Ventura County incriminated him with two more homicides in 1980.
The Orange County District Attorney has charged DeAngelo with killing four people between August 1980 and May 1986. Among these is an indictment for the death of Janelle Cruz, an 18-year-old raped and killed in Irvine, California, who last known victim authorities attributed to the Golden State killer.
Joyce E Dudley, Santa Barbara County District Attorney, found that among the victims of the Golden State Murder, four people were murdered in the city of Goleta, which is within their jurisdiction.
"Given the current state of the investigation, I'll be mine," Dudley said in a statement.
Since about 1990, DeAngelo worked for Save Mart, the food chain, according to a company spokeswoman. De Angelo, a mechanic who retired last year after working for 27 years at the Save Mart distribution center in Roseville, California, said
"None of his workplace actions would have suggested that there were any links to crime to him, "the spokeswoman said in a statement. "We are working with the district attorney for the district of Sacramento on their investigation."
Decades passed, but Sacramento Sheriff's former detective Richard Shelby said he had always believed that the Golden State killer was being captured. Shelby, 79, was one of the first detectives on the way, and he consulted and worked on the case, even after he retired.
"I felt as if I had just taken a shower and wiped off scum for 40 years," Shelby said in an interview after the arrest. "It felt good to see him caught, and all the people whose lives he has destroyed can sit back and feel good, they can now sleep at night."
Shelby was initially assigned to the rape of Jane Carson In the Sacramento area in October 1976 at their home. He said he quickly suspected that it was the work of a serial hunter.  "It seemed well organized, the timing was perfect," Shelby said about the rape. "This guy knew exactly when her husband went to work, and several neighborhood houses had broken in. They got harassing phone calls that stopped a week before the attack."
Joseph James DeAngelo's home in Citrus Heights, California (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
Shelby said De Angelo had never been on the detective's radar screen as a potential suspect in the 1970s. The suspect was careful not to leave fingerprints on crime scenes, Shelby said, but sometimes left the DNA behind. Shelby said that the oversight – which eventually led to the arrest of De Angelo – was probably due to the fact that DNA testing had not been developed at that time. Shelby said he doubted that the suspect would have left such evidence at crime scenes if he operated on today.
"There is so much information about the case," Shelby said. "There are so many people out there who are interested in it, I knew that someone knew something about it somewhere."
DeAngelo's relatives – who the authorities claim to be cooperating – could not be reached for comment. At Citrus Heights, where De Angelo lived, neighbors reminded him of a curious presence. One said he found the older man on his property a few years ago and fled the bicycle when he was confronted. Others described DeAngelo as full of rage.
"This guy just had this trouble that just came out of him," said Grant Gorman of [Sacramento Bee] . "He just shouted nothing in the backyard and walked up and down the circle."
Gorman's mother, Sonja, told the newspaper, De Angelo, "Be the kind of person you do not want to drive crazy."
Cyndee Reed, who said her husband survived an attack by the Golden State killer, joined Citrus Heights following the arrest of De Angelo. Reed said her husband and first wife were tied up in their house, found naked and physically assassinated.
"I had to see where this monster lived while our family suffered for years," said Reed. "I know the trauma my husband went through."
Julie Tate of Washington and Sawsan Morrar of Citrus Heights, California contributed to this report.