Golden State Killer Possibly Motivated by Breakup With Fiancee: Investigator

DNA evidence helped police connect former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo to the decades-old attacks

Joseph James DeAngelo
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department

The man suspected of being the Golden State Killer may have been motivated to commit series of rapes and murders in the 1970s and '80s in part by losing a partner, a former investigator told NBC News.

An early victim of the killer's told authorities he kept saying, "I hate you, Bonnie," as he raped her in Davis, California, in the late 1970s, according to Paul Holes, an investigator retired from the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office who was closely linked to the investigation.

"We always thought that our offender had a Bonnie that was significant in his life, either a mother, a wife, an ex-wife, a girlfriend," Holes said.

DNA evidence helped police connect former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo to the decades-old attacks, and he was arrested last week in Sacramento. DeAngelo has not entered a plea. 

An old newspaper article investigators saw when they first looked into his background showed he was engaged to a woman named Bonnie but never married her, Holes said.

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