VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - After more than four decades of unsolved murders and rapes throughout Northern, Central and Southern California, authorities say they finally have their killer in custody.
72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, a former disgraced police officer from the Sacramento suburb of Auburn and accused rapist and killer known as the "Original Nightstalker," "East Area Rapist," and "Golden State Killer," was arrested on April 24, 2018.
Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert and Sheriff Scott Jones, along with other law enforcement leaders, including Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten, held a press conference in Sacramento Wednesday afternoon to discuss the case. In it, Totten said he has charged DeAngelo with two counts of murder stemming from the 1980 killing of Lyman and Charlene Smith in their Ventura home.
Watch the press conference below.
"We will hold this man accountable for his crimes," said Totten during the press conference.
DeAngelo is also accused of four murders in unincorporated Santa Barbara County near Goleta, and approximately 51 rapes and several other murders throughout California. The Original Night Stalker’s Crime spree in Santa Barbara County is believed to have started in October of 1979.
Schubert hailed the tireless work and efforts of law enforcement since 2016 when the task force was created specifically to help solve this crime using the latest technology available, and with more dedicated resources. She said many answers to the case came in the last six days.
Schubert did not go too deep into specifics but said information the crime lab received in the last week led to an arrest warrant issued for DeAngelo in connection with two murders out of Sacramento. Authorities say investigators matched discarded DNA evidence with genetic evidence from the crimes.
No decisions have been yet made on where and when DeAngelo will be brought to trial.