Investigator Paul Holes has dedicated decades of his life to uncovering the man known alternatively as the Golden State Killer, the East Area Rapist, and the Original Night Stalker. Recently, Mr. Holes spoke on the popular true crime podcast "My Favorite Murder" and revealed one particularly fascinating clue. The cold case investigator from the Contra Costa County DA's office said that when the authorities investigated suspect Joseph DeAngelo's home in Citrus Heights, California, they discovered a towel draped over his personal computer.

Holes said that this "left the biggest impression" on him because of its connection to several GSK/EAR crime scenes.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, during the serial killer's reign of terror, he was known to separate couples after he broke into their homes. One of the killer's calling cards was that, after separating the woman from the man, he would often drape a towel over the home's television in order to limit the amount of light that could be seen by a passerby. This signature move often occurred before the female victim was raped.

Holes said on the podcast that once he saw the towel over DeAngelo's monitor, he asked himself: "Is that just a dust cover, or is he reminiscing?" During his crime spree, the Golden State Killer was known to take items from the homes of his victims.

Holes also said that DeAngelo's early courtroom appearances, where he has appeared to be very ill, are "bs."

An interesting figure

Ever since his April 24 arrest, federal and state authorities have claimed that the 72-year-old DeAngelo is the man responsible for at least 45 rapes, 12 murders, and 150 break-ins between 1976 and 1986.

During this time, the Golden State Killer traveled around California, attacking victims in Sacramento, Ventura, Orange County, and elsewhere. The GSK often taunted police and fancied himself a criminal mastermind. As for DeAngelo, despite his apparently weak state, authorities have noted that prior to his arrest, DeAngelo was known to ride around on his motorcycle at high rates of speed.

DeAngelo grew up in the Sacramento area, served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War, and later worked as a police officer in the early to mid 1970s. In 1973, DeAngelo married Sharon Huddle. Later, after being fired from his job as a police officer in Auburn, California after he was caught shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent from a hardware store, DeAngelo worked for 27 years as a truck mechanic for the grocery chain Save Mart.


So far, it has been argued that DeAngelo was driven to kill and rape because of a failed engagement with a woman named Bonnie. At least one EAR victim heard her assailant say "I hate you, Bonnie." Another theory proffered by DeAngelo's nephew states that he was traumatized by the rape of his young sister on an Air Force base in West Germany.