Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr., is a 72-year-old California man who is accused of being the notorious Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist. DeAngelo has been charged with two counts of murder. However, the infamous serial killer is said to have committed 12 homicides, 45 rapes and numerous home burglaries between 1976 and 1986, according to the co-author of the book I’ll Be Gone In The Dark. DeAngelo was arrested Wednesday morning at about 2:30 A.M for the murders of Lyman and Charlene Smith.
According to authorities, DNA-testing led to the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr. He has been arrested on two counts of capital murder relating to crimes stemming from 1980, specifically the murders of Lyman and Charlene Smith. They are just two of 12 suspected murder victims of the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer (who is also suspected of committing 51 rapes).
Who Is Joseph James DeAngelo Jr.?
Joseph James DeAngelo is a former Navy officer, Vietnam War veteran, as well as a former California policeman who lost his job after being arrested for shoplifting a hammer and a can of dog repellent at a Sacramento drug store, according to an archived article that was later posted on Twitter by Billy Jensen. DeAngelo had been a police officer from 1973 to 1979. During the time of the arrest, DeAngelo worked as an officer in Auburn, California.
According to a 1973 newspaper article from The Exeter Sun, a 27-year-old DeAngelo was hired as a police officer in Exeter in August ’73. The newspaper also states that he is a native of Bath New York as well as a veteran of the Vietnam War. Regarding his educational background, DeAngelo graduated from from Folsom Senior High School in June 1964. He then received his associates with honors in political science at Sierra College. He also attended California State University, where he received a degree in criminal justice, with specialization in criminal law.
Before setting off for the police department in Auburn, DeAngelo interned with the Roseville Police Department, and was stationed with in the patrol, identification and investigation divisions.
It isn’t publicly known when DeAngelo made the move from the Exeter to Auburn police departments. However, it is clear that DeAngelo lost his job as an officer following the shoplifting arrest, according to a 1979 newspaper report by the Auburn Journal.
“Auburn City Manager Jack Sausser said DeAngelo failed to answer any of the city’s investigations and did not request an administrative hearing so was dismissed Monday,” according to the Auburn Journal. Sausser said to reporters, “There was justifiable grounds to remove him from the public sector.” Auburn Police Chief Nick Willick said, “It is very important that the community have the utmost trust and faith in its officers’ integrity; when this trust and faith has been compromised, officers can no longer effectively function in the community.”
The shoplifting-related arrest occurred on July 21, 1979, at at the Pay N’Save Store off Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights. “Dog repellant. Hammer. And refuses a hearing after shoplifting charge. Just took his punishment and left the force so no one would look deeper,” said Billy Jensen on Twitter.
He was found guilty for shoplifting on October 31, 1979, and sentenced to six months probation and a $100 fine. He tried to appeal his firing, but later dropped the appeal as he was found guilty in criminal court.
More Important Info About Joesph James DeAngelo Jr.
According to a 1967 California newspaper archive, DeAngelo served in the U.S. Navy as a damage controlman 2nd class on the USS Canberra, who was “expected to dock at San Diego … following service on the gun line off North Vietnam.”
DeAngelo completed basic training in 1964. However, the navy has not confirmed any information regarding his service.
According to the F.B.I.’s Most Wanted Page, profilers for the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer believe that he had military experience. “He may have had an interest in the military, or had some military training, leaving him familiar and proficient with firearms,” according to the F.B.I.’s page.
Another archived newspaper article reveals that DeAngelo had been engaged to married in 1970, but did not end up marrying that woman. He ended up marrying a different woman in 1973. Public records also suggest that DeAngelo has a daughter who is in her 30s and has two children.