Former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested at his home in Citrus Heights, California on Tuesday night after DNA linked him to crimes attributed to the Golden State Killer from the 1970s and 80s.
The Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, is suspected of at least 12 murders and 50 rapes across parts of the state 40 years ago.
Residents of the quiet, middle-class street where DeAngelo had been living for years said even though their neighbor was known for his temper tantrums, they were shocked to learn he was suspected of being a serial killer.
They said DeAngelo – a Vietnam War veteran, former police officer and grandfather – would mostly keep to himself but would often launch into swearing fits while working in his neatly kept front yard.
Natalia Bedes-Correnti, who lives a few houses away, said DeAngelo appeared to be a ‘nice old grandpa’ but he cursed loudly.
‘We used to just call him ‘Freak,’ she told The Sacramento Bee. ‘He used to have these temper tantrums, not at anybody, just (showing) his self frustration… usually because he couldn’t find his keys.’
‘He liked the F word a lot.’