Serial killer's crime spree likely started in Visalia

VISALIA, Calif. -- The man believed to be the "Visalia Ransacker," but more widely known as the "Golden State Killer," is finally in custody after four decades of evading law enforcement.

Now 72-years-old, Joseph DeAngelo was arrested Wednesday at his Northern California home.

DeAngelo's crimes are believed to have started in Visalia with a series of burglaries, where he was dubbed the "Visalia Ransacker." At the time, DeAngelo was a police officer in the nearby town of Exeter.

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I think this is shocking just shocking, this is a person that was here, and the question is whatever happened to him," said Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar.

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One of the detectives originally assigned to the 'Visalia Ransacker' case was detective Bill McGowen, who dedicated his life to breaking the case.

DeAngelo left the Tulare County area in the mid 70's to take a job with the Auburn Police Department, in his hometown located outside Sacramento.

"He is an ex-police officer in two different agencies," says Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones. He added that it was "very possible he was committing the crimes he was employed as a peace officer."

DeAngelo was booked in Sacramento on homicide charges in several counties.

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Visalia police believe his crime spree may have started in the Central Valley and charges could still be filed.

"By no means have we concluded our investigation, but the news out of Sacramento helps us in working this case," said Salazar.

Visalia police are working to tie DeAngelo to a murder and countless burglaries in Visalia.

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