Accused Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo unwittingly left his incriminating DNA on a car door handle and a piece of discarded tissue paper, court papers revealed on Friday.
Once Sacramento County Sheriff’s deputies had DeAngelo in their crosshairs, they followed him to a Hobby Lobby parking lot in Roseville on April 18, papers cited by the Sacramento Bee showed.
“A swab was collected from the door handle while DeAngelo was inside the store,” according to the affidavit from sheriff’s Det. Sgt. Ken Clark. “This car door swab was submitted to the Sacramento DA crime lab for DNA testing.”
Then two days later, DNA from the swab came back back to match genetic material left behind at murder scenes in Orange and Ventura counties in Southern California, officials said.
Just to make sure, deputies kept following DeAngelo and struck gold again in the form of a tossed piece of tissue paper fished from DeAngelo’s trash on April 23, officials said.
The tissue-paper DNA also matched the Orange and Ventura county murders.
“The trash can was put out on the street in front of his house the night before,” Clark wrote. “DeAngelo is the only male ever seen at the residence during the surveillance of his home which has occurred over the last three days.”
The former cop is suspected of committing at least a dozen killings and about 50 rapes in the 1970s and ’80s, up and down California.
Cops first linked DeAngelo to the decades-long, violent spree by matching DNA collected from a semen sample from one of those crimes with DNA logged into a genealogical website.
DeAngelo, who worked as a police officer in the cities of Exeter and Auburn, was arrested on April 24 at his home in Citrus Heights.
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