The man suspected of being the Golden State Killer allegedly kept items which belonged to his victims as trophies, a criminologist has said.
Paul Holes, who first identified former police officer Joseph DeAngelo as the lead suspect in the cold case, told podcast My Favourite Murder DeAngelo allegedly took trophies and jewellery from victim’s houses.
The FBI released images from inside DeAngelo’s home last month, along with a photograph of a ring police said was stolen from one of the victims.
The Golden State Killer was known for binding his female victims to a chair in front of TV sets. Mr Holes said the killer would then turn the TV on, place a towel over it and turn the sound off, “so he would have this glow, so he could see her”.
Mr Holes told the podcast that on walking into DeAngelo’s home he noticed a towel over a computer screen monitor.
It’s believed the Golden State Killer stopped committing crimes in the 80s.
Mr Holes told The Mercury New it’s likely the killer changed his methods after a home invasion in 1981 in which Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez were murdered. Mr Sanchez was found shot in the head.
The investigator said Mr Sanchez and the killer were involved in a struggle and he left following the fight, “scared and thinking he could have been killed or captured”.
In 1986, 18-year-old Janelle Cruz was home alone when she was raped and murdered. Mr Holes said “it’s telling” she was alone during the crime and showed the Golden State Killer did not want to fight another man.
“I think that underscores that Gregory Sanchez scares him,” Mr Holes said.
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DeAngelo, 72, is accused of more than a dozen murders and about 50 rapes in California in the 1970s and 80s. Police said he was also responsible for about 150 break-ins.
He’s expected to face court again later this week.