Police arrest suspected 'Golden State Killer' wanted for murders and rapes dating back to the 1970s

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Officials have arrested a man known as the "Golden State Killer," a violent criminal whose crimes span from Sacramento to the East Bay and down to Southern California. (KGO-TV)

Officials have arrested a man who's believed to be the "Golden State Killer," a violent criminal whose crimes span from Sacramento to the East Bay and down to Southern California.

WATCH LIVE: Officials give update on arrest of suspected 'Golden State Killer

The Sacramento Bee is reporting authorities arrested the suspect in Sacramento's Citrus Heights area and that, according to public records, Joseph James DeAngelo has lived there for at least two decades.

A source tells our sister station KABC in Los Angeles that DeAngelo is a former police officer.

Multiple law enforcement sources and agencies confirmed that the arrest was made Wednesday morning. Numerous agencies are being notified right now that an arrest was made in cases that involved their departments back in the 1980s.

Authorities say the elusive criminal committed at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and dozens of burglaries across the state in the 1970s and 1980s.

This announcement comes at least 40 years after his rape and murder spree.

People know him as the "East Area Rapist" in the area of Sacramento and down in Los Angeles they called him the "Golden State Killer."

Two years ago, a Sacramento official told ABC7, "The subject has eluded investigators for over 40 years and the victims and their families deserve justice."

RELATED: FBI offering $50,000 reward to identify 'Golden State Killer'
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There's new hope today for the capture of a violent criminal whose crimes span from Sacramento to the East Bay and down to Southern California.



The FBI joined the hunt for one of California's most notorious criminals who first struck 40 years ago in Rancho Cordova. "He came in and had a ski mask on and jumped on the bed and had a knife," according to a victim account from the FBI.

Police called him the "East Area Rapist" and said he was also a burglar. "After it was all over and done with he went through the stuff in the room, took money out of my purse," said the victim.

In the months that followed, a slew of sexual assaults in the east area of Sacramento County and later Contra Costa County took place. Officials say the motive was distinctive and brutal.

"Sock stuffed in my mouth, blindfolded, gagged, hands tied, legs tied, and then you, know pulled me up like this, because I was on my stomach, and put me back in bed and said, 'If you move I'm going to kill you,'" a victim said.

That was in the late 1970s. But in 2000, DNA evidence confirmed a link between the Bay Area crimes and murders in Southern California during the 1980s. The "East Area Rapist" had become the "Golden State Killer."

"This serial offender was probably one of the most prolific, certainly in California, possibly within the United States," said Sacramento County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Belli.

In 2016, the FBI joined California officials in their renewed hunt for the suspect, and a $50,000 reward was announced for his arrest and conviction. He's linked to more than 175 crimes in all between 1976 and 1986.

ABC7 News' Jonathan Bloom contributed to this report.
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