Secretly Collected DNA Led to Suspect's Arrest in Golden State Killer Case

Documents: DNA from tissue in trash led to arrest of Golden State Killer suspect

Documents: DNA from tissue in trash led to arrest of Golden State Killer suspect

Documents released by a judge detail how Sacramento County sheriff's investigators obtained arrest and search warrants for Joseph DeAngelo, 72, who is facing murder charges in multiple counties.

"On April 18, 2018, a surreptitious sample from DeAngelo was collected from the driver's side auto door handle he was directly observed driving", according to the affidavit.

But authorities said in the court records that the definitive link came when the DNA taken from the auto matched that of semen recovered at the scene of one of the Golden State Killer's rape cases.

Investigators say it matched DNA left at one of the decades-old crime scenes.

A DNA sample taken from the door handle of Joseph James DeAngelo's auto was the key to his arrest as the suspected Golden State Killer, a prolific serial killer and rapist who terrorized California in the late 1970s until the mid-'80s, according to documents released Friday by the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office.

A heavily redacted search warrant, arrest warrant and accompanying affidavits issued in connection with the case were released Friday upon the request of several news organizations. The documents detail how detectives watched the suspect's home in Citrus Heights, Calif., for three days.


DeAngelo is suspected of committing at least a dozen killings and 50 rapes in the 1970s and 1980s. A piece of tissue plucked from the trash gave them the DNA they were looking for, according to the document.

DeAngelo has been charged with 12 counts of murder in all, the Times reports.

Authorities had zeroed in on DeAngelo, a former police officer, after using a genealogy website.

He was sacked from his law enforcement job in 1979 for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore.

Neighbors have said DeAngelo mostly kept to himself and sometimes yelled at people who got too close to his fence, but they said he had become a recluse in recent years.

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