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Timeline of Joseph DeAngelo, the Golden State Killer in California

Joseph James DeAngelo, also known as the East Area Rapist and Original Night Stalker, pleaded guilty Monday, June 29.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — On Monday, June 29, Joseph James DeAngelo, accused of crimes perpetrated by the Golden State Killer, pleaded guilty to multiple charges, including murder and kidnapping.

DeAngelo is believed to be responsible for at least 13 murders, over 50 rapes, and more than 100 burglaries, spanning the state of California. Locally, the Golden State Killer is also known as the East Area Rapist.

Due to California's statute of limitations on rape cases occurring before 2017, DeAngelo cannot be charged with the 1970s crimes that occurred while he was known as the East Area Rapist (among many, many other rape cases). However, DeAngelo admitted guilt to numerous uncharged rape allegations, including some of those that occurred in Sacramento and surrounding areas. 

Here is a brief timeline of the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo:

Folsom Senior High School


  • DeAngelo graduates high school and joins the Navy September 1964.

California State University, Sacramento


  • DeAngelo receives a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

Exeter Police Department

1973 - 1976

  • DeAngelo works as a burglary unit police officer in Exeter, Calif. 
  • He is promoted to sergeant in 1976 and is put in charge of the Exeter Police Department's Joint Attack on Burglary program.

Visalia Ransacker

April 1974 - December 1975

Though no DNA evidence links DeAngelo to these cases, police are confident that the Visalia Ransacker has been captured. DeAngelo has been charged with the murder of Snelling.

  • Most of these crimes include breaking into houses, stealing personal items, and scattering women's underclothing.
  • The Visalia Ransacker commits more than 120 burglaries during this time.
  • In 1975, Claude Snelling is shot defending his teenage daughter from a would-be kidnapper. This is believed to be DeAngelo's first murder.

Auburn Police Department

1976 - 1979

  • DeAngelo works as a police officer in Auburn. 
  • He is fired from the force in October 1979 for allegedly stealing a hammer and a can of dog repellent.

East Area Rapist

June 1976 - July 1979

DeAngelo has been charged with the double homicide listed below, the only counts of first degree murder to have occurred in Sacramento County.

  • The East Area Rapist targets middle-class neighborhoods like Carmichael, Citrus Heights, and Rancho Cordova at night. 
  • The Golden State Killer operates in Sacramento County from June 1976 to May 1977, then takes a three-month gap that leaves many thinking the terror is over. 
  • However, the Golden State Killer then strikes in Lincoln Village in San Joaquin County in September 1977.
  • He returns to Sacramento for seven more attacks from October 1977 to January 1978.
  • In February 1978, DeAngelo takes the life of Brian and Katie Maggiore, who are shot while walking their dog in Rancho Cordova.
  • In the latter half of 1978, he commits multiple crimes in Stockton, Modesto, Davis, Concord, San Ramon, San Jose, and Danville over a period of just six months, seemingly crisscrossing Central and Northern California. 

Original Night Stalker

October 1979 - May 1986

DeAngelo has been charged with all of the murders listed below.

  • In 1979, the Golden State Killer botches an attack on a couple in Goleta (Santa Barbara County) and flees, only to return to the area two months later to murder Robert Offerman and Debra Manning in their Goleta home. 
  • DeAngelo returns to Goleta once more in July 1981 to kill another couple, Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez.
  • The Golden State Killer ventures further south in March of 1980, attacking Charlene and Lyman Smith in Ventura.
  • Keith and Patrice Harrington are murdered in their home in Dana Point in August.
  • The Orange County spree continues with the murder of Manuela Witthuhn in her Irvine home in February 1981. 
  • Five years pass between the murder of Witthuhn and the Golden State Killer's last known attack, the murder of Janelle Lisa Cruz in her Irvine home in 1986.



  • Joseph DeAngelo was arrested on April 24, 2018, at his Citrus Heights home after DNA evidence linked him to crimes attributed to the Golden State Killer, East Area Rapist, Original Nightstalker, and others.


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