The Timeline Of The Golden State Killer's Suspected Crime Spree

Police believe that the Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, is behind a dozen heinous murders and dozens of rapes across California, spanning from the Sacramento area in down to Orange County in Southern California, between 1976 and 1986. 

Police believe that Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo is the man behind a dozen heinous murders and dozens of rapes across California, spanning from the Sacramento area in down to Orange County in Southern California, between 1976 and 1986.

The Golden State Killer also is known by the equally creepy monikers the Original Night Stalker and the East Area Rapist.

Here’s a timeline of his many, many crimes that police believe are linked to the serial killer and rapist. DeAngelo has only been charged with the 12 murders. The crimes he has been charged with have been noted in the list. The rest have been tied to the Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist by police.

1973-1976

During these years, DeAngelo worked as a police officer in Exeter, California. 

Summer 1976

The FBI believes that the killer’s spree possibly began in the eastern district of Sacramento County with a series of home burglaries and rapes.

June 18, 1976

Police believe he raped a woman in Rancho Cordova.

1976-1979

DeAngelo then transferred to work as a police officer in Auburn. He was later fired from the job for allegedly stealing a hammer and a can of dog repellent. Below is a photo of him working as a cop in Exeter from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.


July 17, 1976

He raped a teen girl in Carmichael.

 

Aug. 29, 1976
There was a burglary and attempted sexual assault in Rancho Cordova.

 

Sept. 4, 1976
He raped a woman in Citrus Heights.

Oct. 5, 1976

He raped a woman in Citrus Heights. This victim identified herself as Jane Carson-Sandler at CrimeCon in 2017 and said that when she was sleeping with her 3-year-old son, she awoke to a masked man with a butcher knife standing above her bed, shining a flashlight in her eyes. He blindfolded, gagged and tied both of them up and sexually assaulted her. 

Oct. 9, 1976

He raped a woman in Rancho Cordova.

Oct. 18, 1976

He struck twice this day. A woman was raped in Carmichael and another in Rancho Cordova. There was also a carjacking in Carmichael that police believe the Golden State Killer was behind.

Nov. 10, 1976

A woman was raped in Citrus Heights. 

Dec. 18, 1976

A woman was raped in Carmichael.

Jan. 19, 1977

A woman was raped in Sacramento. 

Jan. 24, 1977

A woman was sexually assaulted in Citrus Heights. 

Feb. 7, 1977

A woman was raped in Citrus Heights.

March 8, 1977

A woman was raped in Sacramento.

March 18, 1977

He raped a teen girl in Rancho Cordova. According to Michelle McNamara's book "I'll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer," the teen was returning home from her part-time job at Kentucky Fried Chicken. Her parents were out of town and from their room, a man in a green ski mask emerged with a hatchet. Before attacking the teen, he taunted police with a phone call in which he said: "I have my next victim already stalked and you guys can't catch me,” according to KGO-TV in San Francisco

April 2, 1977

A couple was attacked in Sacramento, and the woman was raped. Typically, he’d rape the tie up a couple and rape the woman. Sometimes he piled dishes on the man’s back and warned him that if it falls off he’d kill him. 

April 15, 1977

Another couple was attacked, and the woman was raped, in Sacramento.

May 3, 1977

He attacked a couple in Glenbrook, Sacramento, raping the woman.

May 5, 1977

In Orangevale, a couple was accosted outside their home.

May 14, 1977

A couple was attacked in Citrus Heights. The woman told the New York Times that they were both tied up and that the killer had a knife to her throat to rape her. She said he stayed in their home for hours, drinking beer. He also stole her wedding ring and photo ID. 

May 17, 1977

In Carmichael, he attacked a couple and raped the woman. By this time, attacking couples became his MO. 

May 28, 1977

He attacked a couple in Sacramento. The woman was raped.

Sept. 6, 1977

In North Stockton, he attacked a couple. He raped the woman.

Oct. 1, 1977

In Rancho Cordova, he attacked a couple. He raped the woman.

Oct. 21, 1977

He attacked a couple in Antelope. He raped the woman.

Oct. 29, 1977

He attacked a couple in Sacramento, raping the woman.

Nov. 10, 1977

He attacked a teen girl in Sacramento.

December 1977

The Sacramento Bee, a local publication and Sacramento's mayor received letters from a person claiming to be the East Area Rapist, according to KGO-TV. The creepy letters included a poem entitled "Excitement's Crave" which included the line: "Sacramento should make an offer. To make a movie of my life that will pay for my planned exile."

1978

This year marked the Golden State Killer’s habit of calling previous victims to taunt them and threaten them. Some of these calls continued past the year 2000.

Jan. 28, 1978

He raped a pair of sisters in Sacramento.

Feb. 2, 1978

These are what police believe are the Golden State Killer’s first murders. Husband and wife Brian and Katie Maggiore were walking their dog in the Rancho Cordova area of Sacramento when they were shot to death. Brian was 21 and Katie was 20. It wasn’t until 2016 that investigators tied their murders to the East Area Rapist. For years, police thought there were at least two different attackers.  Even though this marked the first time he elevated his crimes to murder, it marked the last crimes in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction. DeAngelo has been CHARGED with their murders.

March 18, 1978

He attacked a couple in Stockton and raped the woman.

April 6, 1978

A woman was raped in Rancho Cordova.

April 14, 1978

A teen was raped in South Sacramento.

June 5, 1978

He attacked a couple, raping the woman, in Modesto.

June 7, 1978

He raped a woman in Davis. 

June 23, 1978

He attacked a couple, raping the woman, in Modesto.

June 24, 1978

He attacked a couple in Davis. He raped the woman.

July 6, 1978

He raped a woman in Davis.

Oct. 7, 1978

He attacked a couple in Concord. He raped the woman.

Oct. 13, 1978

He attacked a couple in Concord. He raped the woman.

Oct. 28, 1978

He attacked a couple in San Ramon. He raped the woman.

Nov. 4, 1978

He raped a woman in San Jose.

Dec. 2, 1978

He attacked a couple in San Jose. He raped the woman.

Dec. 9, 1978

He raped a woman in Danville. 

April 5, 1979

He attacked a couple in Fremont. 

June 2, 1979

He raped a teen girl in  Walnut Creek.

June 11, 1979

He attacked a couple in Danville. He raped the woman.

June 25, 1979

He raped a teen girl in Walnut Creek. 

July 5, 1979

He tried to attack a couple in Danville but they were able to abort the attack.

Oct. 1, 1979

A couple in Goleta woke up to an extremely disturbing break-in: an intruder changing “I’ll kill ‘em.” He tied up the couple with a roll of twine and when he left the room, the woman screamed. Because that triggered an alarm he fled on bike. The couple’s neighbor, an FBI agent, heard the nose and chased him. At some point the killer dropped the bike and a knife and ran away through neighborhood backyards. His shoe print was later linked to other attacks.DeAngelo has been CHARGED with their murders.

Dec. 30, 1979

On December 30, Dr. Robert Offerman, 44, and Dr. Debra Alexandra Manning, 35, were found shot dead at Offerman's condominium in Goleta. Paw prints from a large dog were found at the scene, according to Los Angeles Magazine. Police believe that the Golden State killer broke into the adjoining residence, to steal a bike which was found abandoned a few blocks away. DeAngelo has been CHARGED with their murders.

March 13, 1980

Charlene, 33, and Lyman Smith, 43, were bludgeoned to death inside their Ventura County home after someone broke in in the middle of the night, according to Cold Case. He was about to be appointed a Ventura County Superior Court judge and she was a home decorator. They were attacked as they slept in their bed. Charlene was raped before she was killed. As police investigated their murders, Charlene’s lover was once suspect. A business associate of Lyman, was also a suspect. He was even arrested and charged with their murders after a minister claimed he had confessed to him. Eventually, he was cleared and the double murder went cold. Sixteen years later, a detective suggested that it may have been the same killer from the other three crime scenes because of how their hands were bound and other similarities — bludgeoning and a break in in the middle of the night. DeAngelo has been CHARGED with their murders.

Aug. 19, 1980

Patrice, 28, and Keith Harrington, 24, were murdered in their Dana Point home. Like with the Smiths, Patrice was raped before the murder. The couple had left a window open, according to Cold Case. They were described as a quiet couple and police scrambled to find any suspects, people who would have wanted to hurt them. Within three months, the case went cold. DeAngelo has been CHARGED with their murders.

Feb 26, 1981

Manuela Witthuhn was raped and bludgeoned to death inside the bedroom of her suburban Irvine home. She was 21 and her husband was hospitalized at the time of her murder, which cleared him as a suspect. She was bound by her hands and feet before she was murdered. DeAngelo has been CHARGED with her murder.

July 27, 1981

Cheri Domingo, 35, and Gregory Sanchez, 27, were murdered in Goleta. Cheri was house-sitting for her aunt and Gregory was her ex-boyfriend. They both worked with computers. Their deaths marked the last incident for several years. A man with a German Shepherd was allegedly spotted around the time they were killed, according to Los Angeles Magazine. Cheri's daughter Debbie Domingo-McMullan has become a vocal advocate for victims and families of victim's of the Golden State Killer. DeAngelo has been CHARGED with their murders.

May 4, 1986

Janelle Lisa Cruz, an 18-year-old woman, was raped and bludgeoned to death in Irvine. She was home alone while her family was vacationing in Mexico. Her sister Michelle Cruz has become an active YouTuber and advocate for catching the Golden State Killer. DeAngelo has been CHARGED with her murders.

1996

Semen samples from three of the crime scenes (Cruz, Harrington, and Witham) were compared and profiled against each other. Criminologists extracted DNA from the semen because she saw similarities in the attacks, according to Cold Case.

2016

The FBI offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the capture of the Golden State Killer.

Michelle McNamara died suddenly at 46 before she could finish her book on the killer. It was published in 2018 and has been credited with renewing interest in the case and possibly even cracking it.

April 25, 2018

Joseph James DeAngelo is arrested and officially named a suspect in the case.

Billy Jensen, a journalist, who contributed to Michelle McNamara's novel "I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer" is looking into DeAngelo's vacation history to see if there are any other potential crimes that could be linked to him. Jensen has reached out to the public for help.

[Photo: Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office]

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