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Home / US / The victims of the "Golden State Killer" included murdered couples in their house, a crime scene that helped resolve the case

The victims of the "Golden State Killer" included murdered couples in their house, a crime scene that helped resolve the case



The alleged "Golden State Killer", believed to have committed 12 murders, at least 50 rapes, and several apartment burglaries in the 1970s and 1980s, is now behind bars. And the DNA that led to his capture came from the scene where two victims were killed – Southern California couple Lyman and Charlene Smith, said district attorney's office Ventura County.

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Lyman Smith, 43, and his wife Charlene, 33, were killed in 1

980 in their Ventura County, California. Charlene Smith was handcuffed and sexually assaulted, the Ventura County Star reported.

"They were beaten to death by a tree trunk from a pile of firewood in front of their house," Lyman Smith's daughter Jennifer Carole told the KGO ABC station in San Francisco.

Charlene Smith was an interior designer and Lyman Smith was on the shortlist for an appointment as Superior Court Bank, the Ventura County Star reported.

The DNA derived from this case was made available to the Task Force, which was organized by the District Attorney of the District of Sacramento, the prosecution said.

  PHOTO: A Room of Evidence from the Golden State Killer Investigation Courtesy FBI
A room of evidence from the "Golden State Killer" investigation

Authorities compared the DNA from the Smith double murder with what is available on genealogy websites to find a pedigree for the suspect, sources said.

Officers then worked their way down the pedigree until they found Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer.

"I never expected to see [an arrest] in my life," Carole said to KGO.

  PHOTO: Joseph James Deangelo, known as the Golden State Killer, appears in this police booking photo on April 25, 2018, after he was arrested. Sacramento Police Department
Joseph James Deangelo, known as "The Golden State Killer," appears in this police booking photo on April 25, 2018, after he was arrested.

The sudden arrest of DeAngelo, the alleged "Golden State Killer," shocked some of his victims and family members this week and brought their decade-long emotions to the surface.

DeAngelo was arrested Tuesday at his home in Sacramento County, the same district where his alleged crime trend began in 1976. The crimes continued throughout 1986 throughout the state.

ABC News
In the timeline of the crime of the "Golden State Killer"

Bruce Harrington, whose brother and sister-in-law were victims of the "Golden State Killer" in 1980, said in a press conference on Wednesday: "[To the] Women who were brutally raped at these crime scenes sleep better tonight, he does not come in through the window, he's in jail now and he's history. "

Here's a closer look at some of the other victims.

In 1976, Jane Carson-Sandler cuddled with her 3-year-old son in Citrus Heights, California, when a man with a butcher broke into her home and tied her up.

She said the man had loosened her ankles and raped her, according to The Associated Press.

Carson-Sandler was in the Air Force Reserves at the time and also worked on a nursing career, the AP said.

Now 72, said she wants to face her assailant personally. She said she wanted to know how long the attacker had been watching her, the AP said.

  PHOTO: Rape survivor Jane Carson-Sandler of Sun City Hilton Head, S.C. poses for a photo with a copy of her book about the experience called "Frozen in Fear." Jay Karr / AP
Rape survivor Jane Carson-Sandler of Sun City Hilton Head, S.C. poses for a photo with a copy of her book about the experience called "Frozen in Fear".

In 1977, 13-year-old Margaret Wardlow became the youngest victim of the "Golden State Killer" when she was handcuffed and raped at her home in Sacramento, according to ABC's subsidiary KGTV in San Diego.

The attacker has tied Wardlow's mother and put plates on her so he hears her move, KGTV said.

Wardlow, who had read articles about the "Golden State Killer", believed that he would thrive because his victims were powerless, KGTV said. When he said to her, "Do you want to die, do you want me to kill your mother?" Wardlow said she answered, "I do not care," what she thinks saved her life, KGTV reported.

"Sure I'm a victim, I was 13 years old, a man came to my house, tied my mother and raped me, but that's not me," Wardlow told KGTV. "I can choose if I have it or not and I do not have it."

Wardlow said she would appear in court for the alleged "Golden State Killer" and said she wanted to look him in the eye and ask, "Why?"

  In this June 15, 2016, a press conference in Sacramento, California will show photos of a suspected serial killer law enforcement agency that has committed at least 12 California killings in the 1970s and 1980s. Rich Pedroncelli / AP, FILE
In this June 15, 2016, a press conference in Sacramento, California will present photos of a suspected serial killer prosecutor who committed at least 12 California killings in the 1970s and 1980s.

Later, the crimes escalated to murder.

Brian and Katie Maggiore were the first murder victims of the Golden State Killer. In February 1978, they were shot dead while walking with their dog in Sacramento.

  PHOTO: Murder Victims Katie Maggiore and her husband Brian Maggiore were traveling with their dog in Rancho Cordova that evening when they were chased down and murdered, February 2, 1978, Rancho Cordova, California. FBI via AP, FILE [19659010] Murder victim Katie Maggiore and her husband Brian Maggiore were traveling with their dog in Rancho Cordova that evening when they were murdered and murdered, February 2, 1978, Rancho Cordova, California [19659011] Brian Maggiore was a 21-year-old sergeant in the Air Force and his wife, Katie Maggiore, was 20, according to The Mercury News.

Her death was also the last attack of the "Golden State Killer" under the jurisdiction of the Sacramento County Sheriff Department, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Janelle Cruz, 18, believed to be the last victim of the Golden State Killer, was raped and murdered in 1986 in Irvine, California.

  PHOTO: Janelle Cruz, 18, believed to be the last victim of the Golden State killer, was raped and murdered in Irvine, California in 1986 Cruz Family
Janelle Cruz, 18, believed to be the last victim The "Golden State Killer" was raped and murdered in 1986 in Irvine, California.

Janelle Cruz was a "free spirit" with a "big heart," her sister Michelle Cruz said about "Good Morning America."

"She was the kind of person who would stand up for you," Michelle Cruz said. "It was somehow my backbone."

But after she died, the Irvine family left and never returned, Michelle Cruz told ABC News on Wednesday.

The murder of her sister "has completely changed my world, my life, my identity," said Michelle Cruz.

  PHOTO: Michelle Cruz, a sister of victim Janelle Cruz, who was killed in 1986 in Irvine, California, appears on Good Morning America on April 26, 2018. ABC News
Michelle Cruz, a sister of victim Janelle Cruz, who was killed in 1986 in Irvine, California, appears on "Good Morning America," April 26, 2018.

"I lived in a sense in a bubble "for the first 20 years, said Michelle Cruz. "I never really talked about the case."

But she started talking about her sister's death about eight years ago, she said, "hoping to spread awareness and resolve the case."

Always worried about her own safety, she never stayed home alone barricading her windows and doors.

"I will not have to investigate this case for hours every day and miss my children and my family," she said. "I can finally breathe again."


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