DNA Evidence Clears Alleged “Golden State Killer” of a Murder

Joseph DeAngelo Golden State KillerUPDATED: 01/10/2019 4:15PM

Joseph DeAngelo, the man accused of being California’s infamous Golden State Killer has been cleared of involvement in the murder of 14-year-old Donna Jo Richmond in the Central Valley in 1975.

On December 26th, 1975 Richmond was riding her bike from a friend’s home when she disappeared. She was later found in an orange grove having been strangled, beaten and stabbed 17 times.

DNA testing excludes DeAngelo as a suspect in the murder and affirms that Oscar Clifton, the convicted sex offender who was convicted of the crime but died in prison in 2013, is the perpetrator. Clifton had been serving a life sentence for kidnapping, attempted rape and murder.

DeAngelo still stands charged with 26 counts of murder and kidnapping after being tracked down with the help of a DNA testing service on an ancestry website. Prosecutors believe that DeAngelo has killed 13 people and raped dozens of others across 6 California counties in the 70s and 80s. Though the rape cases are not able to be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations, charges were brought on 13 related kidnapping counts. DeAngelo has not yet entered a plea.