At a joint news conference held Tuesday morning, prosecutors from multiple jurisdictions across the state announced the filing of a consolidated criminal complaint in Sacramento County against 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo of Citrus Heights, charging the former police officer with 13 murders, including four that were committed in Orange County.
The murder charges include a variety of special circumstance allegations that could lead to a possible death sentence for DeAngelo. The complain filed in Sacramento also includes 13 counts of kidnapping to commit robbery.
The crimes span two decades from 1975 to 1986 and span the entire length of California across six different counties.
Tony Rackauckas, the Orange County District Attorney, said Tuesday the decision to try the case jointly in Sacramento was made based on factors including witness availability, and consideration for victims' families and other concerned parties who would need to appear in court.
Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten said prosecutors from interested jurisdictions would all be working together on DeAngelo's case.
"We are unified and we are committed to delivering justice to the victims of the Golden State Killer and their loved ones who for far too long have had justice elude them,” he said.
Also present at Tuesday's press conference was District Attorney Diana Becton of Contra Costa County, Anne Marie Schubert of Sacramento County, Joyce E. Dudley of Santa Barbara County and Tim Ward of Tulare County.
DeAngelo has also been linked to the notorious Visalia Ransacker burglaries that occurred in the northern California area between April 1974 through December 1975. The spree ended with the attempted murder of Visalia Officer Bill McGowan as he tried to apprehend the suspect.
The 72-year-old former cop is also suspected of being the East Area Rapist, who is suspected of comitting 52 attacks in Contra Costa, Sacramento and Santa Clara Counties from June 1976 through July 1979.
DeAngelo worked for several years for the Exeter police department until transferring to work as an officer in Auburn. He was fired in 1979 for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent.
Photos: Kris Ankarlo and Getty Images