A man who prosecutors believe is one of California’s most elusive serial killers was charged with four additional counts of murder on Thursday, May 10, leaving him now facing a dozen murder charges.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was charged with a total of eight murders in April. The ex-police officer is being held in the Sacramento County Jail without bail.
As of May 10, he is also a suspect in another four murders in Santa Barbara County.
Authorities suspect that DeAngelo killed Cheri Domingo and her boyfriend, Gregory Sanchez, on Jul 27, 1981. In the house where their bodies were found, investigators found DNA linked to other crimes they believe were committed by a notorious serial killer dubbed Golden State Killer.
DeAngelo has also been charged with the murder of Roberto Offerman, an orthopedic surgeon, and Alexandria Manning, a psychologist, in their condo in December 1979.
“I have decided to file four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances against Joseph James DeAngelo,” said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley. She said that the DA’s office and the country sheriff’s office had been gathering evidence and conducting interviews since DeAngelo’s arrest on April 24, Reuters reported.
DeAngelo is scheduled to appear in court in Sacramento on Monday, May 14. He has not yet entered a plea to any of the charges against him.
“Each of the four counts carries multiple allegations,” Dudley said, according to KCRA. “Each of the four counts carries the potential for life without the possibility of parole or the death sentence.”
“Violent cold cases never grow cold for victims or their loved ones,” Dudley said. “In fact, most of them spend their lives feverishly seeking answers and desperately hoping for justice.”
DeAngelo is now being held formally responsible for all of the murders attributed to The Golden State Killer. Also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker, he is believed to have committed at least a dozen murders, 45 rapes, and 120 burglaries across California in the 1970s and 1980s.
To identify DeAngelo, prosecutors said they used crime scene DNA to genetic information on commercial genealogical websites used by people to explore their ancestry.