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East Area Rapist investigator Paul Holes’ new cold case show premieres on Oxygen

Paul Holes, true crime sensation and California detective who became famous for helping investigators identify East Area Rapist suspect Joseph James DeAngelo, will take the lead in his own crime TV show premiering Saturday.

“The DNA of Murder with Paul Holes” will air its first 90-minute episode Saturday at 7 p.m. on Oxygen. The show follows Holes as he travels the country and examines cold cases, “hoping to zero in on the profile of the perpetrator,” according to the show’s promotional material.

The premiere episode will focus on a 1980 murder in Williamsburg, Iowa, where two hotel guests were found bludgeoned to death in their Holiday Inn hotel room.

Holes is a graduate of UC Davis and a retired investigator from the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. He pursued the East Area Rapist case for more than 20 years after discovering the case file in a dusty metal file cabinet, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Read more of the The Bee’s coverage of the East Area Rapist.

The public attention toward Holes began April 25, 2018, when he attended a press conference announcing the arrest of the Golden State Killer suspect in Sacramento. Without him uttering a word, true crime fans recognized the previously quiet investigator and began posting about him online, some of it sexually graphic.

Holes developed a fan base after he was mentioned in Michelle McNamara’s book, “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” about the case. A fan in Atlanta developed the hashtag #HotforHoles, which took off on social media. Some of his fans refer to themselves as the Holerinos.

Holes, who lives in Vacaville, told The Bee last year he didn’t expect to become a sex symbol after 20-plus years of toiling as an obscure lawman in the Bay Area, but he didn’t mind the gaggles of ladies requesting selfies with him at a true crime convention in Nashville.

“They are all wanting to come up and get photos, but they are all super nice, and (it’s) nothing overtly sexist, like all the sudden I am feeling like an object,” Holes said. “Here I’m a 50-year-old-guy, but at the same time it is flattering.”

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Molly Sullivan covers crime, breaking news and police accountability for The Bee. She grew up in Northern California and is an alumna of Chico State.
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