Sacramento judge unseals search and arrest warrants in Golden State Killer case

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A Sacramento judge has unsealed the search warrants and arrest warrants that lead to the capture of the suspect known as the Golden State Killer.

Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer, is suspected of being responsible for 12 murders, more than 50 rapes and more than one hundred residential burglaries between 1974 and 1986.

The documents show how law enforcement officers linked DeAngelo to the series of crimes based on where he lived and worked, when the crimes occurred, along with circumstantial evidence, and the similar methods used.

But much of the information about numerous sexual assault victims is blacked out, along with the names of some murder victims, witnesses, and investigators.

Action News Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi says state law can require such redactions, "Any personal identification of any witnesses in the case or victims in the case cannot be released to the public."

The documents link DeAngelo to the "Visalia Ransacker" cases, a series of burglaries and assaults which included the murder of College of the Sequoias professor Claude Snelling who died while stopping the kidnapping of his teenaged daughter in 1975.

DeAngelo is facing charged for 12 murders in three counties. The Sacramento County charges are from the murders of former Fresno couple Brian and Katie Maggiore, who were killed in their home in Rancho Cordova in 1978.

Thee DNA collected at the scene of that crime and several other murders was not processed until 1996. That's when investigators determined the same person was involved in each of the crimes.

It wasn't until the advent of online DNA testing they were able to link it to a relative of DeAngelo through an online genealogy site.

To confirm it was him, they swabbed the door handle of DeAngelo's car while it was parked in a Hobby Lobby parking lot. They also recovered DNA through items in his garbage.

DeAngelo's attorneys argued releasing the arrest and search warrant information would deprive their client of the right to a fair trial, but Action News Legal Analyst Tony Capozzi says an impartial jury is likely to be seated somewhere in the state.

"There will be areas in California where there will be people that can sit on a jury that may have heard about the case but really haven't formed a position, haven't made a decision in their own mind, haven't made a judgment. I don't think this is going to preclude him getting a fair trial."

What's next is for prosecutors to figure out where to put DeAngelo on trial for a crime spree that so far includes several counties. DeAngelo has yet to be charged in Tulare County for his alleged role as the "Visalia Ransacker."

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