Is cold case that led to wrongful conviction linked to Golden State Killer?

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — Police in Simi Valley, California are investigating whether the recently-arrested suspect in the notorious “Golden State Killer” case was behind a 40-year-old double murder that led to a wrongful conviction, reports CBS Los Angeles. On April 24, authorities arrested Joseph DeAngelo, the man suspected of being the Golden State Killer — blamed for at least 12 murders, 50 rapes and dozens of burglaries.

Investigators say they are weighing whether DeAngelo can be linked to the deaths of a mother and son in 1978, said Simi Valley Deputy Chief Joseph May.

“Its within the realm of possibility that he could be a suspect in our case,” May said in an interview with CBS Los Angeles. “You had the same time period that he was committing crime throughout the state, you had our homicide here, also he is suspected of committing a homicide in Ventura County, we are part of Ventura County.”

Investigators are waiting to see if the DNA that helped identify DeAngelo as the Golden State Killer will also tie him to the murders of Ronda Wicht and her 4-year-old son Donald.

“We’ve made a request for a DNA comparison to find out if the DNA they recovered from Mr. DeAngelo is consistent with the DNA that we have in our case,” May said.

Craig Richard Coley


Seventy-year-old Craig Coley told the station he is also waiting to find out if DeAngelo can be connected to the murders. After Coley was wrongfully convicted for the deaths, he spent nearly four decades in prison before his release in November 2017.

“I’ve always had hope for [being cleared], even while I was in prison,” Coley said. He was Wicht’s ex-boyrfiend, and was ultimately exonerated when detectives examined DNA evidence that couldn’t be analyzed in the 1970s.

Whether there is a DNA match to the Golden State Killer or to someone else, Coley said all he wants is for the true murderer to be held accountable.

“First of all I’d feel elated for the family, for Ronda’s family, because I’m not just a victim,” Coley said. “I believe that some point in time they will find who did this, and justice will finally be served.”

Police did not know when the results of the DNA tests will be in but said they are actively working the case.

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