Golden State Killer suspect charged with murdering Visalia man

VISALIA, Calif. -- Visalia Police and the Tulare County District Attorney announced that the man accused of being the Golden State Killer will be charged for the 1975 murder of Claude Snelling in Visalia.

TIMELINE: A look back at the Golden State Killer's crime spree that lasted a decade
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The first crime committed by the East Area Rapist occurred in mid-1976 in the Sacramento area. Over the next decade, more than 45 women were raped and 12 people were murdered by the man later called the Golden State Killer.

Joseph James DeAngelo is being charged with first-degree murder.

Authorities claim DeAngelo killed Snelling after DeAngelo attempted to abduct Snellings 16-year-old daughter. Our sister station Action News in Fresno spoke with the woman, Elizabeth Hupp, 40 years later who recalled that night saying she was awoken by a man in a ski mask saying he was going to abduct her.

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Hupp says after he took her out of the house, her father, Claude Snelling, walked into the kitchen and looked out the window.

"He couldn't believe what he was seeing and he just charged out the back door and the man pushed me down," she said. "And he shot my dad twice and then took off running."

ABC7 PRESENTS: Chasing the Golden State Killer
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ABC7 PRESENTS: 'Chasing the Golden State Killer' (1 of 3)

The case of the "Golden State Killer," also known as the "East Area Rapist," started with a serial rapist and became a 40-year manhunt for a murderer that spanned 500 miles. ABC7 took a look back on decades of terror and torment, and combed through the ABC7 archives to document the footprint of a predator.

Snelling was a journalism professor at the College of Sequoias.

DeAngelo is in a Sacramento County jail accused of several other rapes and murders in Northern and Southern California in the late 1970's and 1980's.

Click here for more stories on the Golden State Killer case.
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