Golden State Killer Caught


Courtney Costain

The Golden State Killer is an infamous serial killer, rapist, and burglar who operated from 1976 to 1986 throughout Northern and Southern California. The case went cold when the murders, rapes, and bugalaries came to a sudden stop in 1986 after the crimes the killer left behind had minimal evidence with no leads or suspects. The Golden State Killer began as a serial rapist throughout Northern California. He would attack women when home alone, but leave them alive. The killer was suspected to be following himself in the news; an article came out in the paper that noted how the killer only attacked women in their homes alone, without a man present. This challenged his masculinity and in his sixteenth attack, a man was present in the attack. After an attempted attack didn’t go as planned and a male victim confronted the rapist, the Golden State Killer fled to Southern California where he progressed to murder. Before the case went cold, The Golden State Killer had twelve murders, fifty rapes, and an estimate of around 100 home burglaries to his name. After years of no new evidence and still no suspects, technological advances in DNA testing allowed the case to be revisited. One of the most gruesome crimes the Golden State Killer committed is perhaps the one that got him caught, the serial rapist first crime that turned him into a murderer. He broke into the home of Charlene Smith, raping her and bludgeoning her and her husband. From the scene, they were able to complete two rape kits. From this they tracked relatives from relating DNA and were able to finally make an arrest after over forty years since the rapes began. Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., a former cop, was arrested in April on suspicion of being the sadistic serial killer and rapist that terrorized California with over fifty rapes and a dozen bludgeonings. The now 72 year old DeAngelo is serving more than forty years in prison.