Joseph Deangelo, the so-called Golden State Killer, at his arraignment for a 1978 murder on April 27, 2018.

Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee/TNS/Sipa USA

New Murder Charge Against Alleged Golden State Killer

Carrie Hodousek
August 13, 2018 - 3:35 pm

Authorities in the Central Valley have charged the suspected Golden State Killer with another murder. The latest charge is the 13th killing attributed to Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer, who was arrested earlier this year.

The new accusation alleges that DeAngelo fatally shot Claude Snelling, a journalism professor at the College of the Sequoias, after breaking into his home in 1975. It's the earliest slaying that's been blamed on DeAngelo.

Visalia Police Chief Jason Salazar said on Monday that investigators believe D’Angelo was attempting to kidnap Snelling’s juvenile daughter.  He added that ballistics tests tied the gun used in the murder to a previous burglary in the area.

For years, authorities worked to track the suspect, who they believed was behind a spree of burglaries in and around the quiet agricultural community of Visalia. 

Later known as the Golden State Killer, DeAngelo is suspected of committing at least 13 homicides, 51 rapes and more than 120 burglaries across California between 1975 and 1986. 

"To think that the crimes we now see from the charges filed across the state may have originated in our quaint, quiet, wonderful little town is quite startling," said Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward. 

Ward said he hoped that the charges bring closure to Snelling's family. 

Written by Jordan Bowen.