Man in Golden State Killer case lived with daughter, granddaughter

- As media crews descended on a quiet, middle class neighborhood in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights, neighbors learned they had been living by an alleged prolific serial killer. 

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested Tuesday after a DNA match indicated he was the Golden State Killer linked to at least 12 homicides and 45 rapes throughout the state in the 1970's and '80's.

Neighbors on Canyon Oak Drive tell KTVU DeAngelo lived in the home with his daughter and 15-year-old granddaughter. In a news conference Wednesday afternoon investigators revealed DeAngelo had adult children, but they did not provide additional information. 

From the street, the three bedroom, two bath home appeared to be well-kept with a healthy, freshly cut lawn. According to property records the home was built in 1979 and had last been sold in 1980.

Neighbor Kevin Tapia, 36, grew up nearby. He tells the Associated Press, "No one thinks they live next door to a serial killer. But at the same time I'm just like, he was a weird guy. He kept to himself. When you start to think about it you're like, I could see him doing something like that but I would never suspect it."

Tapia said DeAngelo falsely accused him of throwing things over their shared fence, prompting a heated exchange between DeAngelo and Tapia's father. Tapia remembered DeAngelo often cursing in the backyard. 

Neighbors echoed that sentiment, telling our KTVU crew DeAngelo was known to yell loudly at times and had a temper. 

Twelve of the rapes connected to the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer were in the East Bay with nine in Contra Costa County.

For Bay Area residents, who remembered living in fear, DeAngelo's arrest brought back a flood of memories. 

One Danville resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, tells KTVU she was pregnant with her first daughter when the rape occurred "too close to home."

She recalled a case in 1979 when the East Area Rapist entered a Danville home through an unlocked window in a child's bedroom. According to reports a woman woke up to a man with a flashlight standing at the foot of her bed. As she woke her husband, the man said he wanted money and threatened to kill everyone in the home. He ended up tying up the woman's husband, while she was raped. 

"I literally lived in fear 24 hours a day. He had raped in Danville and we lived in San Ramon. Reports said he hid in crawl spaces, so every morning I placed my shoes in certain positions on top of the crawl space. If they were moved I had a plan. Any time the dog barked, I was sure he was in the yard," she said. The woman said she kept her keys on her and planned to run next door to get help if she was approached by the rapist.

As time went by the crimes seemed to stop and she forgot about the case. "Eventually you stop being afraid... but when I heard there was a suspect, I realized he was never off someone's radar in the police department."

Shannon McGinley was a child when the East Area Rapist struck near her Danville home. She tells KTVU she remembers a civilian patrol in the neighborhood as neighbors banded together to help keep watch. For several weeks her dad would patrol the neighborhood with another person, late at night. "My dad starting sleeping with a bat next to his bed and my mom’s dad died around this time and my dad inherited his shotgun which he kept underneath his bed," she said. 

Learn more about the case and watch our coverage here. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

 

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