TUSTIN (CBSLA) – A group of law students in Orange County believe the death of a young mother may have a connection to the accused Golden State Killer.
The unsolved murder of Patricia Neufeld, a Garden Grove mother who lived just blocks from the brother of suspected killer Joseph DeAngelo, is getting a fresh look 40 years later.
A group of UC Irvine law students and the pro bono group Innocence Rights of Orange County are starting to dig into whether Neufeld could be another victim of the accused serial murdered and rapist.
“The similarities between the Golden State Killer’s M.O. and what was found at the scene of the crime for Patricia Neufeld are strikingly similar,” said Annee Della Donna with Innocence Rights of Orange County.
The 34-year-old victim’s home was about six blocks from DeAngelo’s brother.
The lawyers say they found out that Neufeld was bludgeoned to death with a bowling pin that was left behind. The infants that were with her were unharmed. The house wasn’t ransacked. The brutal killing was two days before Thanksgiving in 1978.
“We have reason to believe that a lot of the Golden State Killer’s cases were based upon opportunity,” Della Donna said. “He would be familiar with the neighborhood, he would start stalking people and neighbors. We believe that he may have come for Thanksgiving to his brother’s house, shortly before the holiday, and committed this murder.”
Another case, the killing of Fountain Valley’s Joan Anderson, could also be linked to the Golden State Killer. The same group of lawyers brought this to the attention of the Orange County district attorney, which is now investigating.
Anderson and Neufeld lived two blocks from one another. In Anderson’s case, a construction worker was convicted and sent to prison. The group of lawyers think he was innocent.
He died behind bars.