In Santa Barbara, the arrest of the man suspected of being the infamous "Golden State Killer" has ramped up the cold case investigations into a spree of slayings that terrorized the area during the late 1970s and early 1980s.
The killer dubbed by local authorities as the "Original Night Stalker" was behind the brutal murders of four people and a double attempted homicide stemming back to 1979, officials said. And Santa Barbara authorities believe that attacker to be the same man alleged as the Golden State Killer.
Law enforcement officials are asking for the public's help in gathering information about Joseph James DeAngelo — the 72-year-old man believed by authorities to be behind a dozen slayings and some 50 rapes across at least 10 California counties during the 1970s and early 1980s.
A sketch and two photos of DeAngelo from the time period — both showing him in his police uniform, with one for the Exeter Police Department and the other for the department in Auburn — have been released by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.
Authorities are asking that anyone who may recognize DeAngelo from the Santa Barbara County area between the years of 1978 and 1986 — specifically between the cities of Santa Maria to Carpinteria — contact authorities.
DeAngelo was arrested Tuesday evening following a 40-year FBI search. He once served as a police officer before being fired following a shoplifting incident in 1979. He was living in Citrus Heights, a quiet Sacramento suburb, at the time of his arrest.
Detectives were able to locate him after comparing genetic profiles found on genealogy websites to DNA evidence from multiple crime scenes.
In Santa Barbara County, for decades, detectives have struggled to solve the murders of Cheri Domingo, 35; Gregory Sanchez, 27; Dr. Debra Alexandria Manning, 35; and Dr. Robert Offerman, 44.
For years, the slayings terrorized the Santa Barbara community — beginning with an attack in October of 1979, officials said. One night, a couple was attacked while sleeping in their Goleta home. The man and woman managed to escape but their attacker fled on a stolen bicycle.
Then, just two months later, another man and woman were attacked inside their home, authorities said. But this time, things turned deadly.
Offerman, an orthopedic surgeon, and Manning, a psychologist, were both brutally killed inside their condo near Goleta on Dec. 30, 1979, officials said.
Two years later, another couple in the Santa Barbara area was found brutally killed.
Sanchez and Domingo were killed inside a home also near Goleta that Domingo was housesitting at the time, officials said. DNA evidence found at that scene linked it to other crimes believed to have been committed by the perpetrator known as the Original Night Stalker or "East Area Rapist."
Anyone with information about DeAngelo or about his travels to Goleta and the larger Santa Barbara area can contact the Criminal Investigations Division of the Sheriff's Office at 805-681-4150. Anonymous tip can be forwarded to 805-681-4171.