>> 72 year old Joseph James DeAngelo, the man accused of committing a string of rapes and killings across California, appeared in court for the first time on Friday.>> Is Joseph James DeAngelo your true and correct legal name?>> Yes.>> I'm sorry?>> Yes.>> Yes.>> The ex-cop was handcuffed to a wheelchair and has so far been charged with eight counts of murder attributed to the Golden State killer.
D'Angelo was arrested this week and is suspected in a dozen slayings as well as 45 rapes and more than 120 burglaries. A crime spree that sprawled from Sacramento all the way to Southern California in the 1970s and 80s. Investigators finally cracked the case by combing through geneology websites.
Detectives compared DNA found at the crime scenes to genetic information listed on the websites, which led them to family trees of close matches. The process produced a promising lead last week when the DNA of a relative pointed to D'Angelo.>> What would've had to have happened is that they would've had to supply those companies with a DNA sample from one of the rape victims.
>> When the 72-year old was identified as a possible suspect, investigators monitored D'Angelo's home and collected samples of what they called discarded DNA. They made a positive ID, the first break in a case that has long haunted victims' families and law enforcement, and is considered one of the most prolific in California's history.