A former police officer has been arrested in connection to a long-unsolved string of rapes and murders which are believed to have been carried out by the "Golden State Killer", The Independent reports.
Joseph James DeAngelo was picked up by authorities in California, who allege he was behind 12 murders and at least 50 rapes in the 1970s and 1980s, along with a number of burglaries. He was also known as the "East Area Rapist".
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said the 72-year-old was identified with a DNA test.
“For over 40 years”, Sacramento County district attorney Anne Marie Schubert told a press conference, “countless victims have waited for justice”.
Sheriff Jones added that an investigative team formed two years ago was given “virtually unlimited resources and freedom” to catch the killer.
Mr DeAngelo now faces murder charges across multiple counties for decades-old killings.
As the string of crimes were making headlines, Mr DeAngelo was working as a police officer. He worked for two different police departments from 1973 to 1979, Mr Jones said.
“Very possibly he was committing the crimes during the time he was employed as a police officer”, Mr Jones said, and authorities were investigating whether Mr DeAngelo committed any crimes while on duty.