Golden State Killer suspect fights demand for more of his DNA

Prosecutors used forensics and a genealogical website to identify Joseph DeAngelo

Harriet Agerholm
Thursday 03 May 2018 13:50 BST
Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected 'Golden State Killer', appears in court on April 27, 2018
Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected 'Golden State Killer', appears in court on April 27, 2018 (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A former policeman accused of being the infamous Golden State Killer is battling prosecutors’ efforts to collect more of his DNA.

Joseph DeAngelo, 72, was scheduled to appear in a court in Sacramento, California, on Thursday after his lawyer filed a motion to block the district attorney from taking DNA, fingerprints and photos of his body.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert got a warrant last week to collect the samples and images.

Mr DeAngelo was arrested last week and identified as the suspect in at least a dozen murders and more than 50 rapes between 1976 and 1986.

The string of brutal crimes, during which the killer often enacted bizarre and cruel rituals while inflicting pain and death on his victims, spread terror throughout California.

In some cases, the women targeted by the Golden State Killer were at home alone with their children. He would also rape women with their husbands present and then murder them both.

Some victims who survived described the rapist placing a saucer and teacup on their backs and threatening to murder them if he heard the ceramic shake.

Prosecutors said they used DNA and a genealogical website to identify Mr DeAngelo, decades after the case went cold.

Mr DeAngelo, in an orange jumpsuit and handcuffed to a wheelchair, has appeared alongside Ms Howard in court. He has not yet entered a plea.

Ms Howard argued in a motion that the search warrant should be stopped because it was approved before Mr DeAngelo was arrested and arraigned last week.

Prosecutors argued that the search warrant was still relevant and said collecting the evidence won’t be “testimonial in nature.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in