Arrested: Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr

Grid shows Joseph James DeAngelo. Jr now, in 1962, and in a police sketch as published by the FBI.

Grid shows Joseph James DeAngelo. Jr now, in 1962, and in a police sketch as published by the FBI.

Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr was arrested yesterday (April 25, 2018) in the early morning hours. It was a fitting ending to his reign of terror to be arrested on National DNA Day. DeAngelo, Jr was brought down by a tip from the public and by DNA.

Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr is known as the Golden State Killer, the Original Night Stalker, the East Area Rapist, the Diamond Knot Killer, and more. Since yesterday we add a new name: defendant.

Instead of repeating here what is already online, I am going to skip the many crimes DeAngelo, Jr committed and refer you to this website instead for details. From there you can search online and find many more pages and articles. I listed some below to get you started.

Yesterday, I watched the press conference officially announcing the arrest. The buzz had already been going on for hours on Twitter where people were watching the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department booking page for details.

A lot more information will come out in the coming days when the authorities file their charges and streamline proceedings. This is a collaborative effort of various counties including the FBI. I tried to keep up with the news but it was simply too much. After digesting some information from the press conference April 25, 2018, I wish to list this:

  1. the correct name from this defendant is Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr. Do not forget the ‘junior’ addition.
  2. this man was not on any radar until six days ago. Before that, he was not named in any file, report, etc. So everything is fresh and new and needs processing.
  3. a tip from the public was followed up by police with surveillance, personality profiling (e.g. activities, routines, places he visits, how would he react if confronted, etc), gathering discarded samples and testing them for DNA, comparing that to the DNA on file from the many victims, and after a positive match, plan the arrest, and flawlessly execute that arrest.
  4. UPDATE April 27, 2018: Sacramento police found Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr through genealogical websites that had genetic information from a relative, the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office confirmed Thursday, April 26. They used DNA from an original crime scene and compared it to genetic profiles online from various databases. They checked family trees, filtered people (not the right gender, race, age, etc.), and were left with a smaller pool of possibilities. Then they checked those people to see if they could be suspects. Read more here.
  5. DeAngelo, Jr seemed surprised to be arrested when he came out of his house. From the press conference I learned he looked as if he was quickly contemplating what to do next. He was arrested without incidents.
  6. the charges will be capital murder charges.
  7. he was indeed a police officer and it will be interesting to see timelines to match his work shifts with the many crimes committed. I wonder about this. If some crimes were committed during his shift did dispatch never had issues contacting him? Any complaints about him? Where did he leave his squad car during those times?
  8. it isn’t clear to me whether DeAngelo, Jr is the same man seen scanning areas, seen on streets watching people, if he is the cyclist who tried to chase a woman in the Rancho Cordova area where a string of crimes took place, if he was indeed working alone in all aspects of the crimes, etc.
  9. UPDATE April 26, 2018: the suspect is most likely also the Visalia Ransacker. More here.
  10. UPDATE April 26, 2018: After his police career was over, he worked for a Save Mart grocery store distribution center in Roseville for the last 27 years until retiring last year, the Sacramento Bee reported.

Some wondered if DeAngelo, Jr might have killed in other countries as well. From SF Gate: “The year after the Golden State Killer murders ended, Mr. Cruel emerged in Australia. DeAngelo appears to have one link to Australia. According to a 1967 article in the Auburn Journal, DeAngelo was serving aboard the USS Canberra during a tour of duty in North Vietnam. The Canberra returned to California via Australia.

Mr. Cruel, who was also never caught, raped three girls under the age of 14 from 1987-91. The crimes stopped after the murder of a fourth, 13-year-old Karmein Chan, in a suburb of Melbourne.

Mr. Cruel and the Golden State Killers shared similarities: They broke into homes wearing a mask and claimed they were there to rob the victims, they had long hair, and they’d sometimes pause during attacks to eat food they found in the victim’s kitchen. They were also pathologically meticulous, putting entire neighborhoods under surveillance for weeks while they planned their attacks.”

Note that many news agencies write that a tip from the public was part of the last six-day sprint in this investigation (links below) but that on this page, that is denied. I hope we will learn more about the last parts of the entire investigation soon.

April 27, 2018: I will try to keep up with the news but so much will come out that I just may leave this post as is.

I understand that DeAngelo, Jr lived with one of his daughters and her family of at least two girls. His family was interviewed by police. They are in shock but cooperating. And this is where I wish to pause.

At age 72, DeAngelo, Jr made new victims: his own family. Imagine the horror they now face learning what their loved one did to so many men and women in California. My thoughts are of course with all the victims and their families. But we should add DeAngelo, Jr’s family here as well.

Some links to get you started:

SF Gate


Washington Post



  1. […] Checking people’s family trees based on characteristics from the DNA sample on file has given us a string of cases where a suspect has now been identified. The media started to pick up on these investigations with the arrest of the Golden State Killer. […]

  2. […] it up, tested it for DNA, and found a match. This is a strategy similar to the one they used with Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr a.k.a the Golden State […]

  3. […] Johnny Rush Bowman was stabbed 45 times. He was unarmed but he fought with either the suspect or suspects. They fled on foot but left items behind that will one day lead us to their identity: sunglasses, a wig, and a construction hard hat. This means that we have touch DNA and with genealogy databases we can zoom in on people with similar characteristics. This is the same approach that gave us the identity of the Golden State Killer. […]

  4. […] is how the authorities caught Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr. He is known as the Golden State Killer, the Original Night Stalker, the East Area Rapist, the […]

  5. […] obszar działania. To raczej nieśmiała, oparta na domniemaniach hipoteza niż podejrzenie – od 1987 do 1991 roku podobne zbrodnie miały miejsce daleko poza Kalifornią – w Australii. Popełnił je nigdy […]

  6. […] remains to be seen if they will use familial DNA. We have seen results with that in the case of the Golden State Killer. Until all results are back, the detectives are talking to family, friends and old witnesses in […]