Case # 18FE008017
Date: August 21, 2018
SIX DISTRICT ATTORNEYS UNITE TO CONSOLIDATE GOLDEN STATE KILLER CASE IN SACRAMENTO COUNTY
*13 Additional Charges Filed Today
SANTA ANA, Calif. – Orange County District Attorney(OCDA) Tony Rackauckas announced today that the case against Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, Citrus Heights, will be prosecuted jointly in Sacramento County, where the defendant is being housed after his arrest on April 24, 2018. This joint prosecution will involve Contra Costa, Orange, Sacramento, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura Counties. An amended complaint charging all crimes together in one case, as well as 13 counts of kidnapping to commit robbery, was filed today in Sacramento Superior Court. A copy of the amended complaint may be found here.
DeAngelo now faces 13 felony counts of murder. Special circumstances sentencing enhancements include: multiple murders, murder during the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary, and personal use of a firearm. DeAngelo was charged today in an amended complaint with 13 felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife during the commission of the offenses. He faces a minimum sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole. DeAngelo is expected to appear in Sacramento County for arraignment on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. in Department 61.
“DeAngelo is a human predator who took a path through all of these counties and committed vicious, violent crimes in our state. Wherever he went, he left a wake of terror,” stated District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. “Our teams have been working for decades to try to capture this defendant, and ultimately DNA caught up with GSK.”
A link to the Facebook Live stream of the news conference may be found here.
Circumstances of the Case
Contra Costa County – District Attorney Diana Becton
Four felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife during the commission of the offenses.
- Between Oct. 7, 1978, and June 11, 1979, DeAngelo is accused of kidnapping and carrying away four women to commit robbery.
- DeAngelo is accused of leaving his DNA at two of the crime scenes.
Tulare County – District Attorney Tim Ward
One felony count of murder with a sentencing enhancement for personal use of a firearm
- Sept. 11, 1975, approximately 2:00 a.m., Claude Snelling, 45, Visalia
o DeAngelo is accused of shooting and murdering Snelling during an attempted kidnapping of the victim’s daughter from their home.
Sacramento County – District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert
Nine felony counts of kidnapping to commit robbery with sentencing enhancements for personal use of a firearm and personal use of a knife during the commission of the offenses.
- Between Sept. 4, 1976, and Oct. 21, 1977, DeAngelo is accused of kidnapping and carrying away nine women to commit robbery.
Two felony counts of murder with a sentencing enhancement for multiple murders, personal use of a firearm
- Feb. 2, 1978, approximately 9:00 p.m., Kate Maggoire, 20, and Brian Maggoire, 21, Rancho Cordova
o DeAngelo is accused of shooting and murdering the couple as they walked their dog in their neighborhood.
Santa Barbara County – District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley
Four felony counts of murder with a sentencing enhancement for multiple murders, personal use of a firearm, and special circumstances sentencing enhancements for murder during rape, and murder during burglary
- Dec. 30, 1979, approximately 3:00 a.m., Debra Manning, 35, and Robert Offerman, 44, Goleta
o DeAngelo is accused of binding and raping Manning, shooting her in the back of her head, and leaving her body on her bed.
o The defendant is further accused of murdering Offerman by shooting the victim three times in the back and chest as he attempted to defend himself.
- July 27, 1981, approximately 3:25 a.m., Gregory Sanchez, 27, and Cheri Domingo, 35, Goleta
o DeAngelo is accused of shooting Sanchez on the cheek causing a non-fatal wound. He is also accused of murdering both victims by bludgeoning them each on the head. He is accused of leaving his DNA at the crime scene.
o The victims’ bodies were discovered by a real estate agent.
Ventura County – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten
Two felony counts of murder with special circumstances sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, murder during rape, and murder during robbery
- Between March 13 and 16, 1980, Charlene Smith, 33, and Lyman Smith, 43, Ventura
o The defendant is accused of raping Charlene and leaving his DNA on the victim’s body
o DeAngelo is accused of bludgeoning the couple to death with a wooden log and leaving their bodies in their bed. He is accused of ransacking the home and stealing minor items.
Orange County – District Attorney Tony Rackauckas
Four felony counts of murder with special circumstances sentencing enhancements for multiple murders and murder during the commission of rape, robbery, and burglary.
- Aug. 21, 1980, approximately 11:00 p.m., Keith Harrington, 24, and Patrice Harrington, 27, Dana Point
o DeAngelo is accused of tying Patrice’s wrists and ankles with rope, raping her, and leaving his DNA behind.
o The defendant is accused of murdering Keith and Patrice Harrington by bludgeoning them both on the head with a blunt object.
o Their bodies were discovered by Keith’s father.
- Feb. 6, 1981, Manuela Witthuhn, 28, Irvine
o While her husband was staying overnight in the hospital, DeAngelo is accused of tying up Witthuhn’s wrists and ankles and bludgeoning her to death. He is accused of stealing various household items and jewelry. DeAngelo is further accused of leaving his DNA on the victim’s body and at the crime scene.
o Witthuhn’s body was discovered by her parents.
- May 5, 1986, Janelle Cruz, 18, Irvine
o DeAngelo is accused of binding Cruz’s wrists, raping her, and murdering her by bludgeoning her to death. He is accused of leaving DNA behind.
o Her family had left for Mexico the day prior to the murder. Cruz’s body was discovered by a real estate agent.
OCDA AND BRUCE HARRINGTON GET THEIR TARGET YEARS AFTER WORKING TO ENACT PROPOSITION 69
*DNA Fingerprint, Unsolved Crime, and Innocence Protection Act
The Golden State Killer case was a strong incentive to work on developing the California State Database, which now contains approximately 2 million profiles. The OCDA also started its own local DNA database and put about 170,000 DNA profiles of individuals who committed crimes in Orange County in its database.
In 2002, District Attorney Rackauckas assigned a deputy district attorney, a staff analyst, and an investigator to work on Senate Bill 1242, which permits prison officials to use “reasonable force” to collect DNA samples from inmates who refuse. The OCDA also initiated a letter-writing campaign by victims’ rights organizations and law enforcement to the members of the Senate Public Safety Committee, who heard the bill on April 9, 2002. The team conferred with senators and their staff in an effort the move the bill out of the Public Safety Committee so that it could eventually be heard on the Senate floor.
Orange County has been a statewide leader in the implementation of Proposition 69, passed by California voters and implemented in 2004. The OCDA played a vital role in drafting the proposition and Orange County was one of the first to implement this mandate, which required that all felony arrestees, and some misdemeanor arrestees, give a DNA sample. This substantially increased the DNA database of California. Orange County was the first to bring together a core workgroup to discuss the critical implementation issues and the only county to use data verification submission procedures, a process developed by OCDA’s TracKRS Unit.
The OCDA Rapid DNA program merges the power of the OCDA Local DNA Database with cutting edge DNA technology to provide investigators with leads, including suspect names, within hours of a crime. The program launched in 2015 and is available to all local law enforcement. The IntegenX RapidHIT 200 DNA instrument, which was validated for use with the assistance of the Orange County Crime Lab (OCCL), can generate a DNA profile from evidence collected at a crime scene in less than two hours. If suitable, that crime scene DNA profile is searched against the Local OCDA DNA Database, which was established in 2007 and is now the largest consensual DNA database in the country. The Rapid DNA program is supported by Prop 69 funding and is a collaborative effort among the OCDA, OCCL and local law enforcement to harness the power of science and technology to promote justice and enhance public safety.