Connect with us

National News

DNA from Tissue and Door Handle Leads to Arrest of the Golden State Killer

It took 40 years to finally get the evidence police needed to confirm who the Golden State Killer really is.



DNA from a tissue left in a trash can gave authorities the sample they needed to arrest a former police officer suspected of being the Golden State Killer that has managed to remain uncaught for over four decades, court documents revealed on Friday.

The DNA was collected on a car door handle when Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies followed suspect 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo to the Hobby Lobby parking lot in Roseville on April 18, the court documents say.

“A swab was collected from the door handle while DeAngelo was inside the store,” the affidavit from sheriff’s Det. Sgt. Ken Clark says. “This door swab was submitted to the Sacramento DA crime lab for DNA testing.”

Two days later, the swab was confirmed to match genetic material left behind at murder scenes in Southern California, officials said. As an extra step to confirm that DeAngelo is indeed the killer, investigators collected multiple samples of trash from the trash can outside DeAngelo’s home in Citrus Heights. A piece of tissue provided enough DNA to run a test, and again the DNA matched.

According to authorities, the evidence gave them the strongest link between DeAngelo and the string of crimes that occurred during the mid-1970s and 1980s. DeAngelo is suspected of committing at least a dozen murders and roughly 50 rapes in 10 counties in California.

Police had been investigating for over 40 years and began zeroing in on DeAngelo earlier this year by comparing data from genealogy sites to DNA samples collected at the double murder of Lyman and Charlene Smith in Ventura County. Investigators used the data to identify potential relatives of the Golden State Killer and eventually identified the suspect himself.

DeAngelo was a police officer in Exeter and Auburn in 1973. Six years later, he was fired for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said.

“Very possibly he was committing these crimes during the time he was employed as a peace officer,” Jones told CNN. “Obviously, we’ll be looking into whether it was actually on the job.”

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

Arianna is College Media Network's Weekend Editor and a student at Penn State University. She has written for various websites, including Thought Catalog and The Odyssey Online. Arianna also runs her own blog called Yoga With Mimosas in which she combines her passion for fitness and writing in hopes of inspiring and empowering others through her work.

Sign up for the Morning Scoop

and wake up with us each day.

CMN Reports

Business21 hours ago

Microsoft Co-Founder and Seattle Area Sports Owner Paul Allen Dead at 65 From Cancer

The technology giant passed away after his cancer returned.

by , The Catholic American University
In the Hot Seat1 day ago

Judge Tosses Stormy Daniels Defamation Lawsuit Against Donald Trump

This dismissal may not be the end, according to Daniels' attorney.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent
2018 Midterms1 week ago

Bernie Sanders Literally Saved Someone from a Possible Car Accident in Washington, D.C.

Bernie Sanders helps a young musician and law student from a possible car accident.

by , The Catholic American University
Government2 weeks ago

Analysis: the Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing

The Ford-Kavanaugh hearing was in full force with a tearful testimony from both parties.

by , Mercy College
Free Speech2 weeks ago

Amy Schumer and Emily Ratajkowski Amongst Many Arrested at Capitol Hill ‘No Kavanaugh’ Protest

The final vote on Kavanaugh could come as early as this weekend, and these women are not backing down.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent
National News2 weeks ago

Confusion At Skatepark Leads to Arrests

Distrust with Law Enforcement creates a worse situation

by , Fisher College
Academics2 weeks ago

The Catholic University of America Suspends a Dean Over a Tweet

The university's administration suspended a dean that tweeted out a controversial comment about one Kavanaugh's alleged accusers.

by , The Catholic American University
National News3 weeks ago

FBI Reports Body of Missing Six Year Old Boy With Autism has Been Found

Maddox was last seen at Rankin Lake Park on Saturday with his father.

by , CMN Senior Correspondent

Top Reads