Joseph James DeAngelo, aged 72, is in police custody as of April 25, 2018

Many of you have seen the news and my god was this a doozy! The Golden State Killer, aka the East Area Rapist, Original Night Stalker, and other monikers, was actually identified, arrested, and brought into police custody yesterday! Now, I don’t want to pretend I’ve heavily studied this case, because I haven’t. That said, I have been aware of it for a while now and you may have been too. Michelle McNamara, a crime journalist and late widow of comedian Patton Oswalt, dedicated years investigating this prolific predator. Unfortunately, she passed unexpectedly in her sleep in 2016.

My first thought was what a relief this news must be for the extraordinary amount of victims and their families this b*stard left in his wake. He is responsible for 50 rapes and 12 murders in California during the 1970s and 1980s. I sincerely hope that he is brought to swift justice and these people can finally have closure, peace, and healing. My second thought was a mixture of joy and sadness for Michelle. Her work clearly had a great impact on developing this case and keeping it in the public’s eye, and yet she’s not alive to see the fruits of her labor. She’s undoubtedly left behind an incredible legacy.

It’s my understanding there will be another, more revealing press conference tomorrow. I’m about to listen to an “emergency” episode of podcast, My Favorite Murder. They just had an episode a week or so ago discussing the case and the posthumous release of Michelle’s book, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer. Included in the discussion was Michelle’s research assistants, fellow investigative journalists, and Patton Oswalt. Wild to see that only days later, there is such a massive development!

The late Michelle McNamara and her widower, Patton Oswalt

I’m interested to see how this story will develop further, but I also want to know more details about the DNA identification and his apprehension (allegedly, he was quite surprised and there are concerns he’s suicidal).

Side note: this is why I watch Forensic Files. Forensic science has the power to unearth the truth and bring people to justice.

It’s beyond disturbing that DeAngelo was a police officer and there’s reason to believe he committed some of his crimes while employed. He looks like a guy you’d see having the senior special at Baker’s Square. Would anyone have looked twice at him? This is hiding in plain sight to the nth degree. The resemblance between the police sketch and his arrest photo are uncanny, though, in my opinion.

One of the things I am still processing is being an adult and seeing something like this come to fruition. There are documentaries, news articles and interviews with or regarding serial killers and rapists that were apprehended, incarcerated, and executed decades ago. Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Richard Ramirez come to mind. I wondered what that was like for the victims and the American public to finally get the justice, closure, a deeply painful reminder, peace of mind, and whatever else comes with knowing the truth. I guess we’ll find out.

That this case, save for Michelle’s work, really never got the same attention as those aforementioned monsters, doesn’t make any sense to me. So is seeing the face of this aged shell of a man responsible for all of this:

  • June 18, 1976: Sexual assault/rape, Rancho Cordova
  • July 17, 1976: Sexual assault/rape, Carmichael
  • August 29, 1976: Burglary, attempted sexual assault, Rancho Cordova
  • Sept. 4, 1976: Sexual Assault/rape, Carmichael
  • Oct. 5, 1976: Sexual Assault/rape, Citrus Heights
  • Oct. 9, 1976: Sexual Assault/rape, Rancho Cordova
  • Oct. 18, 1976: Sexual Assault/rape, Carmichael
  • Oct. 18, 1976: Carjacking, Rancho Cordova
  • Nov. 10, 1976: Kidnapping, Citrus Heights
  • Dec. 18, 1976: Sexual Assault/rape, Carmichael
  • Jan. 18, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Sacramento
  • Jan. 24, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Citrus Heights
  • Feb. 7, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Carmichael
  • Feb. 16, 1977: Assault, attempted murder, Sacramento
  • March 8, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Sacramento
  • March 18, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Rancho Cordova
  • April 2, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Orangevale
  • April 15, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Carmichael
  • May 3, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Sacramento
  • May 5, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Orangevale
  • May 14, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Citrus Heights
  • May 17, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Carmichael
  • May 28, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Sacramento
  • Sept. 6, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Stockton
  • Oct. 1, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Rancho Cordova
  • Oct. 21, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Sacramento
  • Oct. 29, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Sacramento
  • Nov. 10, 1977: Sexual Assault/rape, Sacramento
  • Dec. 2, 1977: Attempted sexual assault, Sacramento
  • Jan. 28, 1978: Sexual Assault/rape, Carmichael
  • Jan. 29, 1979: Sexual Assault/rape, Carmichael
  • Feb. 2, 1978: Brian and Katie Maggiore were killed, Rancho Cordova
  • March 18, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Stockton
  • April 14, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Sacramento
  • June 5, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Modesto
  • June 7, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Davis
  • June 23, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Modesto
  • June 24, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Davis
  • July 6, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Davis
  • Oct. 7, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Concord
  • Oct. 13, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, Concord
  • Oct. 28, 1978: San Ramon
  • Nov. 4, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, San Jose
  • Dec. 2, 1978: Sexual assault/rape,San Jose
  • Dec. 8, 1978: Sexual assault/rape (DNA link), Danville
  • Dec. 18, 1978: Sexual assault/rape, San Ramon
  • March 20, 1979: Sexual assault/rape, Rancho Cordova
  • April 4, 1979: Sexual assault/rape, Fremont
  • June 2, 1979: Sexual assault/rape, Walnut Creek
  • June 11, 1979: Sexual assault/rape (DNA link), Danville
  • June 25, 1979: Sexual assault/rape, Walnut Creek
  • July 5, 1979: Attempted sexual assault, Danville
  • Oct. 1, 1979: Attempted sexual assault/murder (no DNA) Goleta
  • Dec. 30, 1979: 2 people killed, Goleta
  • March 13, 1980: Sexual assault/rape, Lyman and Charlene Smith were killed (DNA link), Ventura
  • Aug. 19, 1980: Sexual assault/rape, 2 people killed Dana Point
  • Feb. 5, 1981: Sexual assault/rape, 1 person killed (DNA link), Irvine
  • July 27, 1981: 2 people killed (DNA link), Goleta
  • May 4, 1986: Sexual assault/rape, 1 person killed (DNA link) Irvine

More on this soon – I need to go to bed! Share your comments below!

Alter, Alexandra. Michelle McNamara Died Pursuing a Killer. Now, the Police Say They Have Him. 26 Apr. 2018,
Bay Area News Group. “Golden State Killer Attacks: Map and Full List.” The Mercury News, The Mercury News, 25 Apr. 2018,
Johnson, Elizabeth, and Alanne Orjoux. Authorities to Announce a ‘Major Development’ in the Hunt for the Golden State Killer. 25 Apr. 2018,

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2 thoughts on “The Golden State Killer

  1. spinn477 says:

    It is astounding these cases didn’t get the same amount of attention!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megan says:

      It really is! Obviously so many people were involved in solving this case, but Michelle’s influence really kept this on enough people’s radar. It is truly fascinating how a member of the public can make such an impact in crime investigation!


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