Years before the East Area Rapist terrorized California with one of modern America's worst crime sprees, the primary suspect in the case, Joseph DeAngelo, was just another Sacramento-area teenager trying to figure out what life had in store for him.
A "Joe DeAngelo" with the same birthday as the East Area Rapist suspect attended Mills Middle School in Rancho Cordova, Folsom Cordova Unified School District spokesman Daniel Thigpen confirmed. On Monday, the district released a copy of DeAngelo's ninth-grade picture from the 1961 Mills yearbook.
DeAngelo was born in Bath, N.Y., before moving to the Sacramento area and attending Folsom High School, according to a 1973 article in the Exeter Sun. He worked as a police officer in Exeter between the time of his graduation from Sacramento State and the start of his job with the Auburn Police Department in 1976.
The East Area Rapist first struck in Rancho Cordova in 1976, and raped at least 37 women in the Sacramento area before moving into the Central Valley and Bay Area. He's also believed to have killed Rancho Cordova couple Brian and Katie Maggiore prior to murdering 10 additional victims in Southern California.
Known also as the Golden State Killer, Original Night Stalker and Diamond Knot Killer, the East Area Rapist's crime spree ended in 1986. DeAngelo, who worked at a SaveMart distribution center in Roseville for 27 years before retiring in 2017, was arrested last Tuesday at his home in Citrus Heights.
Benjy Egel: (916) 321-1052, @BenjyEgel