VISALIA, Calif. -- (KTXL) -- Investigators say they have officially linked the suspected East Area Rapist to a murder committed by the so-called "Visalia Ransacker."
Joseph DeAngelo, 72, is charged with the 1975 murder of Claude Snelling, with a special allegation of the use of a firearm, according to Stuart Anderson, spokesman for the Tulare County, California district attorney’s office.
Claude Snelling was shot and killed in September of 1975 as he charged at a masked man who was trying to abduct his daughter from his home, according to the Visalia Times Delta.
At the time of the Ransacker crimes, DeAngelo worked as a police officer for the nearby Exeter Police Department. DeAngelo would later join the Auburn Police Department.
DeAngelo, a former police officer, Vietnam veteran and mechanic, was a reclusive neighbor in Citrus Heights, a town about 16 miles northeast of Sacramento, according to residents, before he was arrested.