A big break in a decades-old serial killer case.
The FBI and California law enforcement officials say they’ve arrested the “Golden State Killer.”
Now, his youngest victim is talking about how she survived his attack.
Neighbors say they were shocked as FBI agents searched the home of 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo.
“Kind of crazy because I live right behind him,” said neighbor, Kevin Tapia.
Authorities say DeAngelo is the “Golden State Killer”, also known as the “Original Night Stalker”. He was wanted for a string of gruesome rapes and murders between 1976 and 1986.
Sheriff Scott Jones of Sacramento County said, “We were able to get some discarded DNA and we were able to confirm what we thought we already knew. That we had our man.”
His youngest victim, Margaret Wardlow is speaking out. “This is like the greatest gift ever,” she said.
Wardlow was just 13-years-old when she became the serial rapist’s youngest victim.
“He asked in a harsh whisper, do you want me to kill your mother? and I said I don’t care. and soon as you started answering, he said shut up, shut up, shut up,” Wardlow said.
Wardlow says her defiance came from reading up on the case, and what she believed he was after, which was her power. “I just knew if i stood up to him as much as possible, he’d leave sooner rather than later,” said Wardlow.
She and other victims say DeAngelo’s capture brings them one step closer to justice being served.
Authorities say the killer’s DNA and crime pattern is linked to at least 45 rapes, a dozen murders and more than 120 burglaries from Sacramento to Southern California.
Authorities say Joseph James DeAngelo was a police officer with two California cities in the 70’s, possibly while committing some of the crimes.