SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Keith Smith has relived his sister’s murder since 1978.
Katie Maggiore, 20 and her husband Brian were shot to death while out on a walk in their suburban Rancho Cordova neighborhood.
But Smith says it took two decades for investigators to link the heinous crime to the man who had raped dozens of women in Sacramento. The man also known as the East Area Rapist and the Golden State Killer.
“It wasn’t the same as the other cases. He didn’t come into their home. They were walking their dog,” he said.
He would go on to kill couples in 10 counties across the state until he vanished in the mid-1980s.
“After such a long time you start to make peace with he’s probably dead,” said Smith.
Then authorities got a break in the case, thanks to DNA evidence.
“We found the needle in the haystack,” said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
Investigators arrested Joseph James DeAngelo at his suburban Sacramento home, Wednesday morning.
It’s just a few miles away from where he gunned down Smith’s newlywed sister and brother in law.
“The magnitude of it hasn’t really sunk in,” said Smith.
Investigators say it was the first murder in DeAngelo’s grisly crime spree.
And according to the formal criminal complaint, it’s among the first DeAngelo is being charged with.
For Smith it’s the closest thing to closure he’ll ever get.
“He’s had all of the control the entire time. And now we have that control,” said Smith.
Smith plans to be in the courtroom when DeAngelo is arraigned in Sacramento at 1:30 p.m. on Friday.