‘Golden state killer’ suspect charged in 4 additional homicides, bringing count to 12 fox23 gas station near me open

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The man accused of being the notorious Golden State Killer has been charged with first-degree murder in the last four of the dozen homicides officially attributed to the serial rapist and killer who tormented communities throughout California in the 1970s and 1980s.

“Violent cold cases never grow cold for victims or their loved ones. They never do,” Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Thursday during a news conference to announce the charges against Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 72, of Citrus Heights.

The families appeared one step closer to justice Thursday as Dudley’s office filed charges against DeAngelo in the Dec. 30, 1979, double slaying of Dr. Robert Offerman, 44, and his girlfriend, Dr. Debra Alexandria Manning, 35, inside Offerman’s condominium in Goleta. The couple’s killer broke in through a sliding glass door, tied them up and shot them to death.

Santa Barbara County prosecutors have also filed charges against DeAngelo in the July 27, 1981, double slaying of Greg Sanchez, 27, and Cheri Domingo, 35, who were killed in Domingo’s home just blocks from where the Offerman-Manning homicides took place nearly two years before. Sanchez was shot and beaten to death, while Domingo was raped before she was bludgeoned.

DeAngelo faces sentencing enhancements in all four homicides due to them being multiple slayings, according to the felony complaint. The crimes were also committed during the commission of other crimes, such as burglary and rape, and the perpetrator used a firearm during the crimes.

DeAngelo, a Vietnam veteran and former police officer in northern California, was arrested April 24 in Sacramento County after a DNA match to evidence in the Golden State Killer case linked him to several of the crime scenes. The Golden State Killer, alternatively known as the Original Night Stalker, the East Area Rapist and the Visalia Ransacker, was suspected of at least 12 homicides, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, who authorities suspect is the so-called Golden State Killer responsible for at least a dozen murders and 50 rapes in the 1970s and 80s, makes his first appearance, in Sacramento County Superior Court in Sacramento, Calif. AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Cold case investigators narrowed down their suspect list after Paul Holes, a now-retired Contra Costa County investigator, uploaded the Golden State Killer’s DNA profile onto an open source ancestry website, where he found a similar profile belonging to the alleged killer’s distant relative.

DeAngelo, who was arrested outside his home while he worked on a woodworking project, was initially charged with two counts of murder in the 1978 shooting deaths of Brian and Kate Maggiore. The Rancho Cordova couple were walking their dog the night of Feb. 2 when they were accosted by a man in a ski mask burglarizing a home.

DeAngelo has also been charged with six additional homicides in Ventura and Orange counties. His DNA was reportedly matched to a profile found at the scene of the March 1980 slayings of Lyman and Charlene Smith, who were found dead in their Ventura home.

In Orange County, DeAngelo has been charged with murder in the August 1980 killings of Keith and Patrice Harrington, who were beaten to death in their Dana Point home. He is also charged there with raping and murdering Manuela Witthuhn and Janelle Cruz, both of Irvine.

Dudley on Thursday credited Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert for her “true show of great leadership” by establishing a task force two years ago aimed at renewing the search for the Golden State Killer. Schubert teamed up with prosecutors and investigators from all the jurisdictions in which the prolific serial offender was believed to have struck.

Dudley said that Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office detectives began investigating DeAngelo the day he was arrested in Sacramento County and that, as a result of the evidence and interviews in the case, she decided to file the charges against him.

Despite facing multiple murder charges in multiple jurisdictions, DeAngelo remains in the Sacramento County Jail. Schubert told the Bee that the entire case could be moved to Southern California, since most of the slayings of which he is accused took place there.

Though the rapes committed during the killer’s time as the East Area Rapist will likely not be prosecuted due to the expiration on the statute of limitations, it remains to be seen if DeAngelo will be tied to a homicide committed by the Visalia Ransacker.

The Ransacker is suspected in the September 1975 killing of College of the Sequoias journalism professor Claude Snelling, who was shot to death outside his home after a man woke his 16-year-old daughter and forced her at gunpoint to leave their home.