Golden State Killer Suspect: A Grandpa Obsessed With Lawn Care

Joseph DeAngelo built model airplanes, 'was just nice'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 26, 2018 4:19 PM CDT
Golden State Killer Suspect: A Grandpa Obsessed With Lawn Care
In this undated photo released by the FBI shows East Area Rapist Ski Masks in Sacramento, Calif. A California sheriff says a former police officer accused of being a serial killer and rapist was taken by surprise when deputies swooped in and arrested him as he stepped out of his home. Sacramento County...   (FBI via AP)

The California grandfather suspected of killing a dozen people and raping more than 50 women lived a quiet life as a warehouse worker and a suburban homeowner obsessed with lawn care, neighbors and acquaintances said. Joseph DeAngelo, a former police officer whose law enforcement career ended after he was busted for shoplifting in 1979, had a modest three-bedroom home in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights. He graduated from nearby Folsom High School, served in the Navy during the Vietnam War, and worked for 27 years at a cavernous supermarket distribution warehouse, the AP reports. Now 72, he has been accused of being the Golden State Killer who terrorized suburban neighborhoods in a spate of brutal rapes and slayings in the 1970s and '80s. The case baffled investigators for decades.

Sierra Creech, 17, said she was friends with DeAngelo's granddaughter and spent almost every weekend for six months at his home. DeAngelo wasn't around much and told her he was always at work. The girls, who were about 8 or 9 years old at the time, were supervised by DeAngelo's daughter. "Nothing was odd. Everything was normal. He was just nice," Creech said. Until recently, DeAngelo had never been under suspicion. He built remote-controlled model airplanes and took meticulous care of his house and manicured lawn, neighbors said. Natalia Bedes-Correnti said the suspect appeared to be a "nice old grandpa" who lived with an adult daughter and granddaughter. But he also had penchant for cussing loudly when he was frustrated. "He liked the F word a lot," Bedes-Correnti said. DeAngelo has been charged with eight counts of murder in three counties after being linked to the crimes through DNA. Authorities said other charges could be filed.

(Read more Joseph DeAngelo stories.)

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