One of the investigators she worked closely with, Erika Hutchcraft, worked at the Orange County district attorney's office, which brought the initial charges against DeAngelo this week.
McNamara was a true-crime journalist and investigative reporter who also happened to be married to the actor. Here is part of that conversation.
- The author of a book that chronicled the investigation into the "Golden State Killer" is a University of Minnesota graduate. "It's just so nice to have closure and to know he's in jail".
She called police, who quickly arrived and asked her for details. Patton was there. [Researcher] Paul Haynes was there.
Yesterday, there would be elation. She's now optimistic that hope will see justice.
What do we know about the man who has now been arrested? He had a family. He lived in the same home for 30 years. "It's been a really long journey but we're in the home stretch guys, this is it, he's going away".
She said DeAngelo was handy, setting his own concrete in the front yard, which she suspects now might be of interest to detectives looking for some of the mementos the killer is known to have stolen from victims.
The long-sought suspect, also known as the East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker and the Diamond Knot Killer, is believed responsible for a dozen murders, about 45 rapes and multiple residential burglaries between 1976 and 1986 in the San Francisco, Sacramento and Los Angeles areas, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which in June 2016 announced a reward of $50,000 for information leading to his arrest.
Grant Gorman, whose childhood home in Citrus Heights is behind DeAngelo's, said one day in the 1990s, his family received an anonymous answering machine message. By Friday, they had a match, but it was "weak", Holes said. "There was no doubt he was either military or law enforcement or both". DeAngelo was sacked from the Auburn force in 1979, Jones said, after being accused of shoplifting a hammer and dog repellant.
McNamara died suddenly in 2016 after years spent investigating the unsolved California crimes for a book.
With dead ends and no major leads, the case turned cold.
For the team of investigators tracking the attacker suspected of killing 13 people and raping almost 50 women during the 1970s and '80s, GEDmatch was one of the best tools, lead investigator Paul Holes told the Mercury News in San Jose. Why was it so important to her? Because even though there was a lot of evidence, it wasn't centrally located because he was doing it in so many different jurisdictions.
"The hook for me was that the case seemed solvable", she wrote.
Grippi did not name which genealogy service investigators used, and CNN says that four major websites - Ancestry, Vitagene, MyHeritage and 23andMe - "didn't provide customer information to law enforcement officials".
"My detectives arrested James Joseph Deangelo. I think it fits perfectly".
At the time, Offerman, a surgeon, was living in Santa Barbara. He raped her, then bludgeoned them to death with a fireplace log. The central thread of the story is her growing understanding of the killer, like Clarice Starling, but the connection she makes with law enforcement and the victims makes her obsession come alive.
"Finally, after all these years, the haunting question of who committed these bad crimes has been put to rest", Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said. I'll Be Gone in the Dark was released on February 18, 2018 - decades after the first crimes were committed - and a suspect was arrested just two months later.
Written by Sheena Goodyear.
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