Sacramento County prosecutors announced Wednesday they are filing double murder charges against Joseph James DeAngelo, the man they suspect eluded them for four decades as the East Area Rapist.
In the incident, Brian and Katie Maggiore were walking their dog about 9 p.m. Feb. 2, 1978, in the neighborhood near their apartment on LaVerta Court in Rancho Cordova. During their walk, they encountered a man and ended up in the backyard of a residence in the 10100 block of La Gloria Drive, according to the sheriff's department.
The encounter turned violent and the couple fled through a blown-down fence into the rear yard of a home in the 10100 block of La Alegria Drive, the street immediately to the north.
They were each shot and died of their wounds at a nearby hospital.
Brian Maggiore was a 21-year-old administrative specialist at Mather Air Force Base. His wife, Katie, was 20.
The formal complaint alleges DeAngelo shot and killed the couple with an "unknown caliber firearm" and applies a special circumstance of committing multiple murders.
Investigators believe the man they encountered was the East Area Rapist, who was active in Sacramento from 1976 to 1978. The Maggiores’ murder was the last time he struck in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction. But he continued attacks in the east and south Bay Area before committing several murders in Southern California. The DNA in both series was linked in 2001, according to the news release.
Investigators in February sought anyone with knowledge of a man who arrived at the now-closed American River Hospital at 11:47 a.m. on May 30, 1977, for treatment of a possible broken shoulder. A member of the staff, who contacted the sheriff’s department, suspected the man, for unknown reasons, of being the East Area Rapist, the sheriff's news release said. The suspect fled before being treated and before deputies arrived.
Investigators determined through the hospital admissions form that the patient used a stolen union identification card from the Local 18 Warehousemans’ Union. The card had been in a wallet that had been taken two years earlier, the news release said. All the other information on the form, such as phone numbers and addresses, proved to be fictitious or related to the victim whose wallet was stolen, the news release said.
No description of the patient was given, but the initials of the staff member who completed the form were “BK.”
Investigators suspect that if the man who sought treatment was the East Area Rapist, he may have suffered an injury related to his escape from the sexual assault of a couple on May 28, 1977. The rapist jumped a fence into a steep canal, where it would have been difficult to avoid injury in the dark, the news release said. The sexual assault also preceded a more than 13-week break in the rape series and an 18-week-break in attacks in Sacramento.