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DNA leads to California serial killer from 1970s

California authorities say a man they suspect of being a serial killer tied to dozens of slayings and sexual assaults in the 1970s and '80s has been charged with murder. (AP)

SACRAMENTO (AP) - California authorities say a man they suspect of being a serial killer tied to dozens of slayings and sexual assaults in the 1970s and '80s has been charged with murder.

Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten told reporters Wednesday that his office charged Joseph James DeAngelo with two counts of first-degree murder in the 1980 killings of a couple.

Totten says prosecutors will seek the death penalty against the former police officer.

Authorities in Sacramento County also have arrested DeAngelo on suspicion of murder in the slayings of married couple Brian and Katie Maggiore in 1978.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert says DNA helped solve the case.

The attacker who became known as the "East Area Rapist" is accused of at least 12 homicides, 45 rapes and dozens of burglaries across the state.

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