Authorities say the arrest of a 72-year-old man living outside Sacramento, California, solves a string of murders, rape cases and other crimes that happened decades ago.
Joseph James DeAngelo will be arraigned in court on Friday. Some of his victims' family members are here in Texas. They're relieved the man police dubbed the 'Golden State Killer' is now behind bars.
Debbi Domingo lives near Lubbock. She says the first 20 years she tried not to think about the murders of her loved ones. But after that, she never gave up hope that the killer would be found.
DeAngelo is the accused, elusive California serial killer of the 70s and 80s. While investigators continue to seize items from his suburban Sacramento home, a Texas family is relieved.
In 1981, Debbi Domingo's mother, Cheri, and her mother's boyfriend, Greg Sanchez, were found beaten to death inside a relative's Santa Barbara home. The murders were linked to the man dubbed the 'Golden State Killer’ and the ‘Original Night Stalker.'
“They were honestly the neatest, kind of casual southern California couple that you'd ever want to know,” Domingo said.
Domingo says she was not at all surprised to learn DeAngelo is a former police officer.
"I've always felt that he had that tactical advantage and that he probably learned with some type of training, either law enforcement or military,” Domingo said. “So to see that he was in fact experienced at both of those areas, it doesn't surprise me at all. I think it fits perfectly."
Domingo was a teenager when her mother and Sanchez were killed. As a result, she says her life has been tumultuous with bouts of depression and drug addiction. But 15 years ago, she says she found renewed hope. She's now optimistic that hope will see justice.
"I'm healthy now, and I've got a wonderful family,” she said. “I've got a wonderful husband and children and grandchildren. And now I have the truth for my mother."
DeAngelo was living in the Sacremento area with his daughter and granddaughter. He is charged with multiple murders and could face the death penalty if convicted.