Joseph James DeAngelo, the suspected Golden State Killer, has been charged with four more counts of first-degree murder, Santa Barbara District Attorney Joyce Dudley said Thursday.
Authorities believe the Golden State Killer was responsible for killing a dozen people and for at least 50 rapes in California during the mid-1970s and 1980s.
DeAngelo, 72, who was arrested last month, was previously formally charged with eight slayings, including four in Orange County, two in Ventura County and two in Sacramento County. He has not yet entered a plea.
The killings in Santa Barbara happened in 1979 and 1981, Dudley said. Each murder charge comes with special circumstances and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death sentence, Dudley said.
Decades after the decade-long crime spree terrified communities throughout California, authorities tracked down the suspect by comparing genetic profiles from genealogy websites to crime scene DNA, according to investigators.