She had been in the middle of her hunt for the killer and her book, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer". He initially targeted women who were home alone at night, but as time went on, he got bold and victimized couples as well. "'48 Hours': The Golden State Killer" features new interviews with survivors and witnesses who have spent years wondering if the killer and rapist would ever be caught.
The man's daughter said the family was not aware that authorities had taken a DNA sample from him until the Federal Bureau of Investigation contacted her in April 2017 to ask for her help expanding the family's genetic tree as they searched for a suspect.
The comedian and actor helped finish McNamara's book about the case, "I'll Be Gone in the Dark", after she died in 2016.
Her husband told me she wouldn't care about the credit.
Shaun Hampton, a Sacramento County Sheriff's department spokesman, also told CNN that investigators used sites that collect DNA information.
Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said at an April 25 press conference that DNA technology connected DeAngelo to the crime.
Instead, they waited for him to discard items and then swabbed the objects for DNA, which proved a conclusive match to evidence that had been preserved more than 30 years.
Then: on Tuesday, April 24, nearly four decades after the Golden State Killer began his crime spree, two years after McNamara's death, and less than two months after the publication of I'll Be Gone in the Dark, Joseph James DeAngelo was quietly arrested at his home in Citrus Heights, California in relation to the case.More news: Armenian opposition leader to meet with Russian MPs
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February 6, 1981. Witthuhn was raped and bludgeoned to death in her Irvine home, according to the Los Angeles Times. Could someone close to DeAngelo have read the book and recognized the man they thought they knew was the monster she described?
It was 1981 and the authorities struggled for any clues that could lead to a possible motive or suspect in the killing of her mother, Cheri Domingo, then 35, and her boyfriend Gregory Sanchez, 27.
"To see this book come out and have people see the lovely writer that she was, was just unbelievable", Skrine said. The Golden State Killer was linked by DNA and method to 12 murders, 45 sexual assaults and more than 120 burglaries from Sacramento to Orange County between 1976 and 1986.
Prosecutors say Joseph DeAngelo carried out his most violent crimes in the months after he was sacked for shoplifting in 1979. "It became a No. 1 New York Times best-seller".
DeAnglo has so far been charged with six counts of murder.
Oswalt appeared on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" early Thursday and said news of the arrest felt like "a beginning of this whole other chapter". He is suspected of killing 12 people and raping about 50 and could face more charges. It was the latest in a string of stalled or dead cases given fresh impetus by journalists, including the probe into real estate tycoon and multiple murder suspect Robert Durst, and the dubious conviction of Adnan Syed made famous by the acclaimed "Serial" podcast.
In the four decades since the "Golden State Killer" started his rampage, there have been key members of law enforcement, victims relatives and victims themselves who worked relentlessly to find the killer.