Did the Golden State Killer, also dubbed the East Area Rapist, have an accomplice? Experts are debating the possibility.
Retired investigator Paul Holes, who followed Golden State Killer case for decades, and came up with the idea of using DNA from a crime scene to build a fake genetic profile on GEDmatch, a genealogy site, which lead to capture of Golden State Killer suspect Joseph DeAngelo, said on Monday that it’s possible.
"Those of us who are familiar with the case files recognize that is a possibility," Holes told The Sacramento Bee. "I've always just held open the possibility of a second person assisting in a few cases, but not being active through the whole series."
Sacramento Sheriff's Department spokesman Sgt. Shaun Hampton, however, doesn’t think that the killer had any help.
"According to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detective Sergeant Ken Clark, the sole suspect behind all of these alleged crimes is Joseph DeAngelo," Hampton told the Sacramento Bee. Clark is the lead investigator in Sacramento County for the Golden State Killer’s numerous crimes.
A possible accomplice, according to Holes, likely didn’t help with the 12 heinous murders that the Golden State Killer is accused of, but more likely with the crimes before the deadly escalation.
Police now believe that the Golden State Killer and the Visalia Ransacker are one and the same, according to the Los Angeles Times. The Visalia Ransacker burglarized about 100 homes in the small California city of Visalia in 1974 and 1975. It’s possible that he could have had help with those crimes, which were less sinister in nature than what he did in the years that followed. In 1976 and 1977, the Golden State Killer raped multiple women and teen girls. Then, on April 2, 1977, he began attacking couples. He would physically restrain and tie up both people and then rape the woman. After a dozen attacks on couples, he began killing. On Feb. 2, 1978, he murdered his first of many couples.
"When he ends up escalating into homicide, I think it's just him," he said.
Holes thinks that he could have had help with the less violent crimes, and has stated that in at least four cases victims thought they heard him speaking to a second person. In one case, which occurred in Concord, a victim thought they heard him telling another person, "Take this to the car” as he carried out a bag of stolen goods from the victim’s home.
Online sleuths, who are obsessed with this case, have been discussing the rumor of a female accomplice.
Holes did say it was possible that the killer was just talking to himself, and that he was pretending to talk to another person as a manipulation tactic. The Golden State Killer was known to have several terrifying and bizarre tactics, including raiding victim's fridges and forcing men to lie down on his stomach and put dishes on top of him, telling him that if they rattled, he'd hurt or kill the woman he was raping.