SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Joseph DeAngelo’s six-year career as a cop came swiftly to an end after being busted for shoplifting a can of dog repellant and a hammer from a Pay N’ Save store in a Sacramento suburb in 1979.
Authorities are now wondering if the items he snatched were intended as tools for the sinister rash of crimes he’s suspected of carrying out.
DeAngelo, 72, was accused of being the Golden State Killer who terrorized suburban neighborhoods in a spate of brutal rapes and slayings in the 1970s and 1980s before leaving a cold trail that baffled investigators for decades.
He was charged with eight counts of murder in three counties after being linked to the crimes through his DNA. Authorities said he was responsible for a dozen slayings and some 50 rapes and that other charges could be filed.
Most of the crimes, predominantly sex assaults but also two slayings, occurred in the three years he was an Auburn police officer in the Sierra foothills outside of Sacramento.
The attacks on sleeping women — and sometimes their partners — in middle and upper-middle-class subdivisions east of the state Capitol shattered an innocence where people didn’t lock their doors and children rode bicycles to school and played outside until dark.
Sales of locks surged. Lights burned all night. There was even talk of vigilantes with CB radios patrolling streets to nab the masked, armed man who became known as the East Area Rapist.
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — Mass graves that authorities say could contain more than 2,000 bodies have been discovered in Rwanda nearly a quarter-century after the country’s genocide and further graves are being sought nearby.
The new discovery is being called the most significant in a long time in this East African nation that is still recovering from the 1994 killings of more than 800,000 people.
Some Rwandans are shocked and dismayed that residents of the community outside the capital, Kigali, where the mass graves were found kept quiet about them for so many years.
“Those who participated in the killing of our relatives don’t want to tell us where they buried them. How can you reconcile with such people?” asked a tearful France Mukantagazwa. She told The Associated Press she lost her father and other relatives in the genocide and believes their bodies are in the newly found graves.
The discovery of the graves in the Gasabo district came just days after Rwanda marked 24 years since the mass killings of ethnic Tutsi and moderate ethnic Hutus.
“It is very disturbing that every now and then mass graves are discovered of which the now-free perpetrators never bothered to reveal to bereaved families so that they can get closure,” the daily newspaper The New Times said in an editorial this week.
“Definitely some very cruel people still live in our midst,” it added.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 people are thought to be buried in the graves based on the number of area residents who went missing during the genocide, Rashid Rwigamba, an official with the genocide survivors’ organization Ibuka, told AP.
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting a woman in the first big celebrity trial of the #MeToo era, completing the spectacular late-life downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers in Hollywood on his way to TV superstardom as America’s Dad.
Cosby, 80, could end up spending his final years in prison after a jury concluded he sexually violated Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia home in 2004. He claimed the encounter was consensual.
Cosby stared straight ahead as the verdict was read but moments later lashed out loudly at District Attorney Kevin Steele and called him an “a–hole” after the prosecutor asked that the former TV star be immediately jailed because he might flee. Cosby denied he has an airplane and shouted, “I’m sick of him!”
The judge decided Cosby can remain free on bail while he awaits sentencing. No sentencing date was set.
Cosby waved to the crowd outside of the courthouse, got into a car and left without comment. His lawyer Tom Mesereau declared “the fight is not over” and said he will appeal.
Shrieks erupted in the courtroom when the verdict was announced and some of his accusers whimpered and cried. Constand remained stoic, then hugged her lawyer and members of the prosecution team.