Investigators, lawyers and law students believe the Golden State Killer suspect, accused of being responsible for a decades-long violent crime spree, could be linked to even more murders.
One such cases that police are looking at is the unsolved murder of 34-year-old Patricia Neufeld in Garden Grove, California, according to CBS 13 in Sacramento. She was a young mother who was bludgeoned to death by a bowling pin in 1978. Neufeld lived just blocks away from the brother of Joseph DeAngelo, who was arrested in April for the notorious Golden State Killer murders. A group of Orange County law students from UC Irvine and the pro bono group Innocence Rights of Orange County made the link to the killing of Neufeld.
"We have reason to believe that a lot of the 'Golden State Killer' cases were based upon opportunity," Della Donna of Innocence Rights of Orange County told CBS 13. "He would be familiar with a neighborhood, he would start stalking people, and we believe he may have come for Thanksgiving to his brother's house shortly before the holiday and committed this murder."
DeAngelo has been charged with murdering 12 people across California in the 1970s and 1980s. He is also suspected of raping more than 50 women and committing over 100 break-ins. In August he was charged with a handful of those rapes. The Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, was known for raping women with their husbands or boyfriends present in the house. Often, he would torture the men by putting dishes on their backs and telling them he’d kill them if they made any noise. But before the spree of rapes, there was the so-called Visalia Ransacker crime spree, known for breaking into houses. In August, police announced they believe he is the Visalia Ransacker and they charged him with a 13th murder that was attributed to the ransacker.
Another case that the Innocence Rights of Orange County and the group of law students looked at is the rape and bludgeoning death of Joan Anderson in Fountain Valley. She was bludgeoned with a hammer in 1979, according to the Los Angeles Times. Her ankles were tightly tied with a cord from the window blinds, not unlike some of the Golden State Killer’s victims, Donna told the Times.
“The killer stayed in Joan Anderson’s house for hours afterward, cooking and eating in her kitchen while she lay dead,” Donna told the outlet. “Again, that is a fact that is very similar with the other Golden State Killer cases.”
That victim lived just two blocks away from Neufeld. The lawyers brought this possible link to the attention of the Orange County district attorney. They are now reportedly investigating, according to CBS 13.
A construction worker was convicted and sent to prison for Anderson’s murder but the pro bono group said they believe he was wrongly convicted for her death. He died while behind bars.
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