By Shirin Rajaee

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The names East Area Rapist and Golden State Killer are known to law enforcement officials up and down the state, but the name Joseph James DeAngelo hasn’t.

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Now at 72 years old, the newly retired DeAngelo had been living a quiet life in Citrus Heights. What do we know of the man accused of killing 12 people and raping scores of others?


  • Born in Bath, New York on November 8, 1945
  • Attended Folsom High School 
  • Graduated from Sac State with a degree in criminal justice
  • A former cop, he was fired from Auburn PD after being charged with shoplifting

“I was absolutely flabbergasted,” said Ron Osborn, DeAngelo’s brother-in-law.

Osborn says the family is in disbelief.

“When you see the picture of someone you know so very close, there’s that shock element and to look at Joe, I never suspected,” Osborn said. “We had a family type relationship, we joked, we hunted, went boating and none of this would rear its head as being a personality trait.”

Joseph James DeAngelo’s booking photo (l) and composite sketch (r)

He said DeAngelo has three adult children and is married but separated from Sharon Huddle, an attorney from Citrus Heights. Osborn says he was a family man.

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“We played cards at the house, had family nights,” he said.

Born in Bath, New York, DeAngelo went to Folsom High School and got his GED in 1964.

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He went on to Sacramento State, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice.

According to an “Exeter Sun” article from 1973, DeAngelo was a police officer in Exeter near Visalia and a Navy veteran who served in Vietnam.

DeAngelo as a police officer in Exeter (Credit: Exeter Sun)

He later joined the Auburn Police Department from 1976 until his termination in 1979, after DeAngelo was charged with shoplifting dog repellant and a hammer from a Citrus Heights drug store.

DeAngelo working as an Auburn police officer. (Source: Placer County Museums)

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And for the last 27 years, he’s worked as a mechanic at a Save Mart Distribution Center in Roseville.

“He seemed like a nice guy, it’s just mindblowing,” said Tim Muriset.

Muriset worked with DeAngelo at Save Mart. He said DeAngelo just retired last year and he can’t believe he’s allegedly tied to some of the most horrific crimes imaginable.

“He used to get vertigo and couldn’t get out of bed sometimes so he had to stay home. When you talk to him, you just never thought, he’s been with the company for years, oh my god,” he said.

Save Mart confirmed DeAngelo’s employment, releasing a statement saying:

“None of his actions in the workplace would have lead us to suspect any connection to crimes being attributed to him.”

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“It’s sad and tragic but my heart goes out to his immediate family, no matter what the situation was at home, it’s still a shock and awe in that,” said Osborn.