Man Accused in Serial Killings Lived in San Diego - NBC 7 San Diego

Complete Coverage: The Hunt for a Prolific Rapist and Serial Killer

Man Accused in Serial Killings Lived in San Diego

Joseph James DeAngelos lived and trained in San Diego on the site of what's now known as Liberty Station

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Sacramento man accused in a series of killings and rapes across California was stationed in San Diego for several months as part of his service in the U.S. Navy.

    Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, will appear in court Friday to face charges of murder. The former police officer was arrested Tuesday as the prime suspect in the Golden State Killer case.

    DeAngelo attended and graduated basic training at the Naval Training Center in San Diego from October to December 1964, NBC 7 confirmed Friday. The base was closed in 1997 and the land is now known as Liberty Station.

    He also served aboard the Boston-class guided-missile cruiser USS Canberra during the Vietnam War, according to military officials. 

    DeAngelo may be linked to a string of at least a dozen murders, 50 rapes and dozens of burglaries from 1976 to 1986 throughout the state.

    After he was identified as the suspect, however, prosecutors rushed to charge him with eight killings.

    (L) Sketch of suspect in the East Bay Rapist/Golden State Killer case (R) Mugshot of Joseph DeAngelo after his arrest on April 24, 2018.

    His DNA is being compared to a cold case NBC 7 covered in November when the man wrongly accused was released from prison. 

    Police in the central California farming town of Visalia said Thursday that DeAngelo is a suspect in a 13th killing and about 100 burglaries in the area.

    In 1975, of community college teacher Claude Snelling was shot while trying to stop a masked intruder from kidnapping his 16-year-old daughter from his home.

    Investigators lacked DNA evidence so Snelling's death and the burglaries weren't included in the tally of Golden State Killer crimes but fingerprints and shoe tracks will be reviewed for matches to DeAngelo, Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar said.

    Investigators searched DeAngelo's home on Thursday, looking for class rings, earrings, dishes and other items that were taken from crime scenes as well as weapons.

    DeAngelo worked as a police officer in the farming town of Exeter, not far from Visalia, from 1973 to 1976.

    Later, DeAngelo joined the Auburn Police Department outside of Sacramento but was fired in 1979 after he was caught shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent.

    Investigators say they have linked DeAngelo to 11 killings that occurred after he was fired.

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    (Published Wednesday, May 2, 2018)