The Golden State Killer Arrest: Everything We Know So Far

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It was the bicentennial summer. July 4, 1976. We were having a block party in our backyard. My brother and all the neighbor kids and I did a dance show for the parents as they sat on our patio drinking Hamm's and pink wine. None of us knew then that one of the most prolific serial rapists had struck for his first time just 13 miles away a few weeks earlier. We didn't know that our community, and especially its women, would be terrorized by this man in a mask who would go on to commit at least 45 rapes and at least 12 murders and remain unidentified and uncaptured for over 40 years. But today may finally be the end of that terror. The East Area Rapist, the Original Night Stalker, the Golden State Killer may have finally been arrested. While we await the official press conference, here's what we know so far.

  • Sources say an arrest in the decades-old Golden State Killer case has been made.

    Authorities at the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department are supposed to announce the arrest of a suspect in a news conference at 12pm PT today. A call to the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department could not immediately confirm the time for this press conference. 

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  • Although unconfirmed by authorities, the arrest and background information on the suspect look very promising.

    According to the Sacramento Bee, the suspect has been living in the Sacramento area. This is absolutely horrifying news for anyone who remembers this criminal and lives here. 

    If we're to believe the onslaught of other unconfirmed information swirling on the Internet right now, the suspect's geographic background as well as a stint in the military and on the police force fall right in line with the kind of man investigators have been searching for all these years. 

    Even more disturbing, possibly, are the rumors that the alleged rapist and murderer had a wife and two daughters around the time of his crimes. Also upsetting, rumors that he's currently married as well. 

    You can find a long list of the currently unconfirmed rumors about the suspect on this Twitter thread from author Charles Finch or in this Reddit thread

  • Michelle McNamara's posthumous book I'll Be Gone in the Dark ignited massive national interest in this decades-old cold case again recently.

    Patton Oswalt, comedian and widower of Michelle McNamara, got the news out early this morning about the big break in the case. 

    I read McNamara's book in three sittings. She did so well at capturing 1970s Sacramento and the terror that surrounded the city during his crime spree in our area. Then known to us as the East Area Rapist, this man raped 37 women and girls in the Sacramento area and Central Valley before moving south and elevating his criminal activity to murder.

  • Crime investigative journalist Billy Jensen has been tweeting the various rumors about a man who was arrested in Sacramento County.

    This old news article that Jensen shared (and is being widely shared around the Internet) alleges that the suspect was dismissed from the police force after getting caught shoplifting dog repellent and a hammer. What in the actual F?

    Billy Jensen worked closely with Michelle McNamara on investigating for her book. 

  • Jane Carson-Sandler, one of the GSK's most outspoken rape victims, is filled with joy at this news.

    "I just found out this morning," Carson-Sandler told the Island Packet. "I'm overwhelmed with joy. I've been crying, sobbing ... I just can't tell you how I feel ... After 42 years -- wow!" 

    She wrote about the attack in her book Frozen in Fear: A True Story of Surviving the Shadows of Death

  • As a lifelong Sacramentan, I am overwhelmed by this news too.

    Summer 1976, Sheri Reed

    This has been a long time coming, and I hope they really got him and all the survivors of this ordeal can finally rest peacefully at night. 

    I'll never forget the scary masked man I learned about at such a young age, who scaled fences in a flash, woke people from sleep with a beam from his flashlight, and balanced dishes on the backs of the male partners' backs while attacking his female victims. Wow, it's surreal. I can't explain it. But right now frozen in this moment, I almost feel like that innocent and hopeful 5-year-old girl again, dancing and playing in the safety of her fence-lined suburban backyard in 1976. 

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