Law enforcement believes they finally have the notorious Golden State Killer, a serial killer who is thought to be responsible for 12 homicides and almost 50 rapes, in custody. The arrest comes nearly two years after a book, written by actor Patton Oswalt’s wife and published posthumously, reignited the country’s interest.
On Tuesday night, 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. was taken into custody by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, according to a report by the Daily Mail. DeAngelo was arrested on two murder charges.
He is being held in county jail and is listed as ineligible for bail.
DeAngelo is thought to be a former Auburn police officer who was fired for shoplifting dog repellent and a hammer and is believed to be linked to 12 unsolved homicide cases, nearly 50 rapes, and 120 home burglary cases that begin in the late 1970s and span a decade.
Local law enforcement has not confirmed that DeAngelo is the Golden State Killer. However, a press conference is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon that will provide additional information.
“It is the most prolific unsolved serial killing case probably in modern history,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Shubert.
Interest in the Golden State Killer, also referred to as the East Area Rapist, grew after the posthumous publication of the crime novel I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, written by Michelle McNamara, Oswalt’s late-wife.
McNamara spent a significant amount of time researching the Golden State Killer while crafting the novel but passed away before it was published.
Oswalt and Billy Jensen, a friend and journalist, complete the book and had it published. I’ll Be Gone In The Dark quickly reached the top spot on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Oswalt took to Twitter after learning of DeAngelo’s arrest, stating, “If they’ve really caught the #GoldenStateKiller I hope I get to visit him. Not to gloat or gawk – to ask him the questions that @TrueCrimeDiary (McNamara) wanted answered in her ‘Letter To An Old Man’ at the end of #IllBeGoneInTheDark.”
If they’ve really caught the #GoldenStateKiller I hope I get to visit him. Not to gloat or gawk — to ask him the questions that @TrueCrimeDiary wanted answered in her “Letter To An Old Man” at the end of #IllBeGoneInTheDark. pic.twitter.com/32EHSzBct5
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) April 25, 2018