James DeAngelo dubbed “The Golden State Killer”

The Story of A Murderer and Rapist


James DeAngelo

12 deaths and 50 rapes. In over 10 counties, a police officer dubbed “The Golden State Killer” committed numerous acts of murder and rape in California. Over the course of 10 years beginning in the 1970s and ending in the 1980s, James DeAngelo, now age 72, committed these acts. He went into hiding when the police were looking for information and clues as to who committed these horrendous deeds. DeAngelo was caught with discarded DNA according to the radio and CNN. However it is unknown how the police came to find his DNA.

In 1973, DeAngelo was fired from being a police officer in Exeter and Auburn for stealing from a drugstore. Many believe it was possible that he committed some of these crimes during the time that he was a police officer. His next job was as a mechanic in Roseville, Sacramento, but retired in 2017 after almost 30 years.

On April 27, DeAngelo will be arraigned after being held without bail. He will be facing capital murder charges for the murder of Katie and Brian Maggiore in 1978. Other counties have explained that they are also accusing him of other murders.

Neighbors came forth and said that they would have never suspected that DeAngelo could have committed the crimes that were being talked about across the state. They deemed him as a creepy person and yelled at those who got too close to his house. A Jane Carson-Sandler spoke up about how he tied up her and her 3 year old son and then raped her. Carson-Sandler was named the first rape victim on June 18, 1976. Because of this, a man hunt was conducted to find the man that was expected to continue harming women. Another woman, Tapia, came forth and claimed that DeAngelo had at least three daughters that were grown and not living with him.

In addition to being named “The Golden State Killer,” DeAngelo was also titled “East Area Rapist” and “the Original Night Stalker”. DeAngelo’s motive shifted during the course of his attacks and murders. He began targeting women alone or with children but after a couple of  years, he directed his focus to couples.

“I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer,” written by Michelle McNamara, was written to unveil the characteristics of James DeAngelo and the harm he caused to women. McNamara, a true crime journalist, suddenly died on April 21, 2016, but dedicated her time to finding the perpetrator. She joined online communities and interviewed victims to gather more information. After two years, her work will come to light and her dedication to the case will have paid off. McNamara’s husband, Patton Oswald says, “(McNamara’s) book and the article that led to the book really amped up interest in the case and put a lot of focus on this,” he explained. “Not to discredit the work the police and the lab technicians did but it was her dream. She always said, ‘I don’t care about credit. I want to know that he’s in jail.’ And now he’s caught. The bracelets are on and it feels like this thing that she wanted so badly is now done” (usatoday.com).

Michelle McNamara