Suspected Serial Killer Charged With 13th Murder

Investigators say may be "Golden State Killer's" 1st murder.

Posted: Aug 13, 2018 1:53 PM
Updated: Aug 13, 2018 1:59 PM

Prosecutors have added another murder charge against the suspected "Golden State Killer" ... bringing the total number of alleged victims to 13.

Investigators believe the shooting death of Claude Snelling in Visalia was his very first murder.

Elizabeth Hupp is the victim's daughter, "In my heart, I believe he's the one, and that my father was his first victim."

According to a CBS News report by DeMarco Morgan, Hupp's Father, Claude Snelling, gave up his life to save her from being abducted by the so-called "Visalia Ransacker."

In September 1975, she says a masked gunman broke into her bedroom in the middle of the night... threatened her... and then dragged her out to their car port. "That's when I heard my dad yell and the man with a ski mask pushed me to the ground, turned, and shot my dad twice as he was coming through the back door," said Hupp.

The killer fled, and Snelling died on the way to the hospital. Hupp was 17 years old at the time, "he's always been my hero. i would not be here today, i'm sure of it, if it hadn't been for him."

Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward believes Snelling was the first victim murdered by suspected serial killer Joseph DeAngelo.
"We're filing first degree murder charges against Mr. DeAngelo, along with an allegation that he used a firearm in the commission of that murder," said Ward.

During the 1970s and 80s, DeAngelo allegedly committed at least 12 other murders and more than 50 rapes in 10 california counties. DNA evidence lead to his arrest in April.

While he is not directly linked to Snelling's murder by DNA, Police Chief Jason Salazar says he can prove DeAngelo is also the "Visalia Ransacker," "We have been able to locate victims and witnesses that were able to identify Mr. DeAngelo as the suspect back in that time. Those crimes were ultimately tied to the murder of Claude Snelling by a firearm that was taken from one of the Ransacker burglaries."

At the time of Snelling's murder, DeAngelo worked as a police officer about 12 miles away in the town of Exeter. He is also suspected in about 100 burglaries and attempted sex assaults in Visalia.

Ward says, "The only crime that we can attribute to Mr. DeAngelo that has not passed the statute of limitations is the murder of Mr. Snelling."

De Angelo has not yet entered a plea in his criminal cases.

Hupp said, "I'm just very happy that he's caught. He's a very evil person."

46° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
47° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 45°
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 46°
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 56° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 40°
Red Bluff
Partly Cloudy
40° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 40°
Mostly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
A ridge of high pressure delivered beautiful weather to northern California on Friday. The weekend will also begin in a quiet and mild way, but changes including rain, snow and wind are coming over the next week.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events