The “Golden State Killer” is known to have committed numerous home burglaries, rapes, and at least 13 murders in California from 1974–1986. These crimes, once thought to have been carried out by unconnected perpetrators given various nicknames, remained unsolved for decades. The “Golden State Killer” moniker was created in 2013 to group linked cases under a single name and raise public awareness in the ongoing search for answers.
In 2018, detectives traced the crimes of the Golden State Killer to Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. Though the statute of limitations had passed for the dozens of rape and burglary offenses, DeAngelo was charged with 13 counts of murder and 13 counts of kidnapping. He pled guilty to all charges as part of a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty, and in August 2020 was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.
Learn more about the Golden State Killer through historical newspapers from our archives. Explore newspaper articles, headlines, images, and other primary sources below.