Although DNA collected from sex crimes victims identified a suspect, the Golden State Killer will likely only face murder charges. The statute of limitations has expired for prosecuting sexual offenses associated with the suspect.
Investigators recently gave a more detailed account of how they tracked down the prime suspect in the case, Joseph DeAngelo, Jr. Investigators submitted DNA samples preserved from a Ventura County crime scene to several private genealogy websites. Using the DNA evidence, one site produced a match of a distant relative.
Detectives then constructed a family tree of the distant relative and identified several potential suspects. They eliminated all but one suspect, who lived in and around the areas where the Golden State Killer struck. Investigators then obtained a search warrant and collected a DNA sample from the suspect’s car. The suspect had parked the car in the parking lot of a local retailer. Police collected the sample while the suspect shopped.
The car sample returned DNA profiles from three people, one of whom was the source of the crime scene DNA. Investigators then collected a DNA sample from the prime suspect’s household trash. That sample also matched the crime scene DNA conclusively, and authorities sought an arrest warrant for him.
Over the years, authorities have matched DNA from separate crime scenes to each other. They knew that the killer had operated in both Northern and Southern California and had periodically changed his MO. In addition, Visalia authorities now believe that DeAngelo is also responsible for the 1975 murder of a professor there. The professor was shot as he defended his daughter from an attempted kidnapping.
Recently unsealed search warrants also included descriptions of dozens of items DeAngelo is thought to have taken from crime scenes. Investigators have not said whether searches of DeAngelo’s home produced any of the missing items. A list of seized items, as well as evidence from the suspect’s computer and phone remain sealed.
Ventura sex crimes attorney
When you face sex crimes charges, hire an experienced sex crimes attorney like Robert Helfend. Mr. Helfend has nearly 35 years of criminal courtroom defense experience. He takes cases in Ventura County and throughout Southern California.
It’s important to have exceptional representation when facing charges for sexual offenses. Aside from spending significant time in prison, most California sex offenders must register in the state’s sex offender database. Sex offender registration can prevent you from finding suitable work and living accommodations after release. It also places onerous compliance requirements upon offenders, including restrictions on computer use and address verification among others.
Don’t settle for an inexperienced attorney or one who won’t fight for your rights. Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (805) 273-5611, (310) 456-3317 or (818) 591-2809 for an immediate consultation on your Ventura sex crimes case.
Photo Credit: Mark Warner, via Flickr.com