Since police arrested Joseph DeAngelo last year after connecting his DNA to the 1980 murder of Golden State Killer victim Charlene Smith, he currently faces 13 murder charges and 13 rape-related charges.
Upon his arrest, The Sacramento Bee raised the question of whether the 1975 murder of 14-year-old Donna Jo Richmond in Exeter, CA, was one of DeAngelo’s crimes and not that of Oscar Clifton, the man who died in prison serving a life sentence for the crime. DeAngelo had been a police officer in Exeter in the 1970s. But The New York Post now reports that DeAngelo has been cleared of the 1975 murder due to DNA evidence that concludes Clifton was the correct suspect.
DeAngelo has so far been linked to Golden State Killer crimes, “East Area Rapist” crimes, and crimes made by “The Visalia Ransacker.” Because of the breadth of the case, prosecutors from different counties in California are coming together for a joint trial in Sacramento. The case is so large and expensive that it could reportedly last as long as 10 years.