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Investigators are digging in accused Golden State Killer’s backyard

Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected Golden State Killer, is accused in 12 killings, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries.
(Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department)

Investigators were digging Thursday in the backyard of the accused Golden State Killer, who they say killed 12 people from 1978 to 1986.

By the early evening, investigators had not uncovered anything in Joseph James DeAngelo Jr.’s yard. They said they were “not really looking for anything specific.”

“We do NOT believe there are bodies buried back there or anything,” Sacramento County sheriff’s Sgt. Shaun Hampton said in a text message. He added that authorities were not using heavy equipment or excavators.

A local and federal task force arrested DeAngelo late Tuesday evening, after linking him to 12 slayings, 45 rapes and more than 120 residential burglaries in a trail that stretched south from Sacramento to Orange County.

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In Ventura, he allegedly tied up a couple with a drapery cord and raped the wife before fatally bludgeoning them with a fireplace log. In Goleta, he bound a doctor and his wife, a clinical psychologist, and shot them both, authorities say.

Authorities said that the killer would sometimes place cups or plates on his bound victims’ backs so he could hear if they broke free when he was in another room. At the time of the crimes he was described as being about 5-foot-9 with blond or auburn hair. Investigators thought he had military or law enforcement training.

A Navy veteran and former police officer, DeAngelo eluded authorities for decades before they were able to tie DNA evidence from the slayings to genetic information contained on a consumer genealogical website.

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

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Twitter: @AleneTchek


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