Police say a man is in custody who may be responsible for a series of 12 homicides and 45 rapes across California nearly five decades ago.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested in Sacramento County on Tuesday on suspicion of murder in two of the unsolved cases, according to The Daily Beast.
Billy Jensen, a co-author of a book about the case, told The Daily Beast that DeAngelo has not been “confirmed” as the man responsible for the serial killings, but that “it looks good.”
The so-called Golden State Killer stoked fears throughout the 1970s and ’80s. The case received renewed media attention earlier this year with the publication of the book I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, by the late Michelle McNamara.
For years, McNamara immersed herself in the mystery of the Golden State Killer. She visited crime scenes and interviewed detectives and survivors. She died in 2016 at age 46, prior to the book’s publication.
In January, the comedian Patton Oswalt, who was married to McNamara, announced the release of the book, telling his Facebook followers he hoped it would help crack the case.
“I can’t help feeling that somewhere, in her final pages, she left enough clues for someone to finish the job she couldn’t — to put California’s worst serial killer behind bars,” he wrote.
Jensen, who helped posthumously publish McNamara’s book, reportedly told The Daily Beast the identity of the suspect.
Authorities in Sacramento have yet to comment on the development. A press conference has been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.