Police in Tulare county believe the east area rapist is responsible for a murder in Visalia back in 1975.
College professor Claude Snelling was murdered in September of that year. The Tulare county district attorney says there’s enough physical and witness evidence to convict Joseph James de Angelo, who is already charged with 12 murders. De Angelo’s crime spree began in Visalia in the 1970’s and then continued in Sacramento and the Bay area and later, southern California. Then it mysteriously stopped in 1986.
The crime spree started in 1974 with the Visalia Ransacker, who would go into people’s homes and steal valuables. He was blamed for 100 burglaries. A handgun stole in one burglary was used in Snelling’s murder. Snelling taught journalism at the college of the Sequoia’s. Late one night, he heard a noise and went outside where he saw a man in a ski mask trying to abduct his 16-year-old daughter. Snelling was shot and killed saving his daughter. The assailant escaped on a bicycle which had been stolen two nights earlier.
De Angelo is now in custody in the Sacramento county jail. He faces 12 other murders in California.