The man authorities say is among the worst serial killers and rapists in U.S. history is a 72-year-old Vietnam War veteran, former police officer and grandfather who lived quietly in a tidy, suburban California home.
Joseph James DeAngelo, who is suspected of being a serial killer in the 1970s and ’80s, was described Wednesday as an odd but decent neighbor in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights.
Neighbors say he mostly kept to himself but was prone to angry, profanity-filled outbursts if he couldn’t find his keys or something else set him off.
Natalia Bedes-Correnti said Wednesday that DeAngelo never yelled at people but would be on "his driveway yelling and screaming, looking for his keys."
Kevin Tapia, now 36, said when he was a teenager, DeAngelo falsely accused him of throwing things over their shared fence, prompting a heated exchange between DeAngelo and Tapia’s father.
Tapia says DeAngelo was a "weird guy."
DeAngelo has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the 1978 killings of a couple in Rancho Cordova and two additional counts of murder for the 1980 killings of a Ventura County couple.
Joseph James DeAngelo
An attacker known as the Golden State Killer or East Area Rapist is accused of at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and dozens of burglaries across California.
DeAngelo served as a police officer for six years until the Auburn Police Department fired him in 1979 for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent.
Sacramento Sheriff Scott Jones said DeAngelo’s police training may have helped him commit the crimes.
Neighbors say he lived with an adult daughter and granddaughter.