Joseph James DeAngelo (left) who was sacked from the Auburn Police Department for a petty theft in the early 70s, was arrested after a DNA sample came back as a match to the Golden State Killer, Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.
The culprit also known as the East Area Rapist, among other names, is suspected of at least 12 slayings and 50 rapes in 10 counties from Northern to Southern California.
The arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo as the man accused of 51 rapes and 12 homicides across the state - after a 40-year search involving the Federal Bureau of Investigation - came about through DNA evidence linking him to dozens of brutal crimes.
Bruce Harrington, whose brother and sister-in-law were killed in 1980 in their Orange County home, told reporters that the arrest offered some closure "to the anguish that we all suffered for the last 40-odd years".
DeAngelo was listed in Sacramento County jail records as being booked early Wednesday on two counts of murder from a Ventura County Sheriff's Department warrant.
Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.
Ventura County officials referred inquiries to Sacramento County, and DeAngelo's name does not appear in online Ventura Superior Court records.
The suspect is a former Auburn, California, police officer who was sacked in 1979 for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore, according to Jones.
"We all knew that we were looking for a needle in a haystack", Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.
The notorious "Golden State Killer" may finally be in police custody after eluding arrest for decades.
Among the evidence collected in the cold case of the Golden State Killer are fingerprints lifted from crime scenes, shoe treads, and DNA.
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After briefly speaking about his new "Keep California Safe Proposition" that he is collecting signatures to get on the November ballot, Harrington closed by addressing the relief that victims and the families of victims could feel in the wake of the arrest.
Carson-Sandler has written one book and co-authored another about her attack. He tied them up and threatened to kill the woman, who broke free and alerted neighbors by screaming.
"Over the years, we heard of homicides down in Southern California, and we thought it was the East Area Rapist", said Larry Crompton, retired detective for Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department. The attacker became known as the "East Area Rapist". Now that officials have arrested a suspect, he says he's going to spend this weekend celebrating. "This is a case that much like the rapes that occurred ... in the Sacramento area, literally struck fear in the hearts of Ventura County residents". The FBI said the victims were tied up in the same way and had their homes ransacked in the same way as the Sacramento area victims.
Later than same month, according to Auburn Journal archives, DeAngelo went on trial for the shoplifting case and was convicted by a jury on October 31, the website Heavy.com said.
Michelle Cruz, the sister of one of the killer's last victims, said "I'm so excited and overwhelmed".
"After which I knew what he was there for", she mentioned.
Kevin Tapia, now 36, said when he was a teenager, DeAngelo falsely accused him of throwing things over their shared fence, prompting a heated exchange between DeAngelo and Tapia's father.
"He's not like an overly creepy person, but he definitely, you know, kept to himself and kind of was. a little different", Tapia told HLN.
He was most recently called the Golden State Killer.