An investigator who helped nab the Golden State Killer said there’s “a possibility” that the fiend had an accomplice, according to a new report.
Paul Holes — who reportedly came up with the family-tree tracing technique that authorities say linked Joseph James DeAngelo to the slew of rapes and murders in California between 1974 and 1986 — suggested the ex-cop might have had help in carrying out some of his earlier crimes.
“Those of us who are familiar with the case files recognize that is a possibility,” Holes told the Sacramento Bee Monday. “I’ve always just held open the possibility of a second person assisting in a few cases, but not being active through the whole series.”
But “when he ends up escalating into homicide, I think it’s just him,” he added.
Holes’ theory was slapped down by the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department as “absolutely not true.”
“According to Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detective Sergeant Ken Clark, the sole suspect behind all of these alleged crimes is Joseph DeAngelo,” Sgt. Shaun Hampton told the newspaper in an email.
Clark is the lead investigator in the case.
DeAngelo, 72, a former police officer, was arrested last month on two counts of murder related to the decades-old killing spree that terrorized California. The Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist, is suspected of at least 50 rapes and 12 murders.
Holes, who recently retired from the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s office and spent 24 years investigating the case, pointed to four instances in which victims reported hearing the Golden State Killer talking to someone else. And in at least one of those cases, the victim thought she heard a second voice.
Three of those cases were in Sacramento and one was in Concord.
In Concord, the victim was on the floor in the living room when her attacker entered the garage of the home with a bag of stolen goods.
“Take this to the car,” she allegedly heard him say.
Another victim in a Sacramento attack reported that the suspect went into the living room and said to someone, “I thought I told you to shut up.”
A third victim heard a knock on the door and the Golden State Killer talking to someone outside.
It’s possible the elusive murderer was trying to confuse his victims into believing there was more than one person — when he was really acting alone — as “part of his self-preservation,” Holes said.
“He could have been talking to himself,” Holes said.
DeAngelo was nabbed after crime scene DNA matched with genetic material from a distant cousin who was registered to a genealogy website.
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