Suspected Golden State Killer Charged in Orange County With 4 Murders, 2 Rapes

The man suspected of being the so-called Golden State Killer — who is tied to about a dozen killings and at least 50 rapes across California in the '70s and '80s — was charged on Wednesday in series of crimes in Orange County.

Dana Point residents Keith Harrington and Patrice Harrington, two of the victims killed by the Golden State Killer, are seen in a photo provided to CNN.

Dana Point residents Keith Harrington and Patrice Harrington, two of the victims killed by the Golden State Killer, are seen in a photo provided to CNN.

Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was arrested this week at his home in Citrus Heights, outside Sacramento, after investigators matched his DNA to evidence collected at some of the crime scene tied to the serial killer.

The crimes spanned at least 10 counties, according to prosecutors in Sacramento County, and by late afternoon Wednesday DeAngelo was charged with crimes in three, including Orange County.

The former police officer is accused of four murders and two rapes between 1980 and 1986, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said in a news release.

He was charged in the deaths of Patrice Harrington, 28, and Keith Harrington, 24, who were killed in Dana Point in 1980, officials said. The victims were identified as a couple with the last name Harrington by Keith's brother, Bruce Harrington, who spoke at a press conference Wednesday.

Prosecutors also charged him in the 1981 rape and murder of 28-year-old Manuela Witthuhn in Irvine, and in the rape and murder of 18-year-old Janelle Cruz in Irvine, in 1986.

Jannelle Cruz, an Irvine 18-year-old, is among the rape and murder victims tied to the Golden State Killer. (Credit: CNN)

Jannelle Cruz, an Irvine 18-year-old, is among the rape and murder victims tied to the Golden State Killer. (Credit: CNN)

Cruz's body was discovered by realtors who entered her home after she was raped and killed while her family was on vacation on May 5, 1986, according to the Irvine Police Department.

Bank teller Manuela Witthuhn, 28, was home alone while her husband was hospitalized when she was raped and killed on Feb. 5, 1981, police said.

DeAngelo faces sentencing enhancements for multiple murders, lying in wait and murder during the commission of rape, robbery, burglary and sodomy, according to the DA's office.

"These cases are some of the most horrific I've had to investigate," Erika Hutchcraft, an investigator for the Orange County District Attorney's Office, told CNN. "They're not a one-time, you know, crime of passion, but these are almost passionless crimes. Very cold, very violent."

Prosecutors were not releasing further details about the crimes, and did not indicate when they would.

Manuela Witthuhn of Irvine is among the victims tied to the Golden State Killer. (Credit: CNN)

Manuela Witthuhn of Irvine is among the victims tied to the Golden State Killer. (Credit: CNN)

DeAngelo was additionally charged with two murders in Ventura County and two in Sacramento County on Wednesday.

In Ventura County, he is accused of murdering Charlene Smith after raping and burglarizing her in March 1980, and murdering and burglarizing Lyman Smith the same months.

And the 72-year-old was charged with murdering Katie and Brian Maggiore with a gun in Sacramento County in February 1978, the serial killer's first known homicides. The couple was killed after they allegedly spotted him breaking into a home while walking their dog in Rancho Cordova, CNN reported.

Some of crimes the Northern California resident has been charged with occurred while he worked as a police officer — first in Exeter and then in Auburn — between 1973 and 1979.

The capital murder suspect was being held without bail in Sacramento.