The suspected "Golden State Killer" behind serial rapes and murders across California in the 1970s and 1980s has finally been identified.

Joseph James DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former police officer, was arrested this week in the decades-old case.

His alleged "reign of terror" spanned from the Sacramento area in Northern California down to Orange County in Southern California, Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said Wednesday. DeAngelo is believed to have committed 12 murders, at least 50 rapes and multiple home burglaries.

An evidence room from the "Golden State Killer" investigation.(Courtesy FBI ) An evidence room from the "Golden State Killer" investigation.

Here is a closer look at the timeline:

1973-1976

DeAngelo was a police officer in Exeter, California, from 1973 to 1976, officials said.

1976-1979

DeAngelo was then a police officer in Auburn from 1976 to 1979 until he was fired for allegedly stealing a hammer and a can of dog repellent, The Associated Press reported, citing Auburn Journal articles from the time.

Suspected "Golden State Killer," Joseph James DeAngelo is the police officer on the right in a photo from 1979.(Auburn Journal ) Suspected "Golden State Killer," Joseph James DeAngelo is the police officer on the right in a photo from 1979.

1976-1978

FBI sketch for the "Golden State Killer."(FBI) FBI sketch for the "Golden State Killer."

The terror started with burglaries and rapes in the eastern district of Sacramento County in the summer of 1976, the FBI said.

The "Golden State Killer" would break into his victims' homes by prying open a window or door while they slept, the FBI said.

Sometimes he would take jewelry, identification, cash and coins from the victims' homes.

Ransacked drawers after an attack by the "Golden State Killer."(Courtesy FBI ) Ransacked drawers after an attack by the "Golden State Killer."

There were five incidents in 1976 and 17 incidents in 1977, according to SFGate.

1978-1981

The crimes turned to murders in February 1978, when the "Golden State Killer" shot and killed Brian and Katie Maggiore, who were walking their dog in the Sacramento area.

They were the killer's last victims in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction, according to The Sacramento Bee.

Murder victims Katie Maggiore and her husband Brian Maggiore were on an evening walk with their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood when they were chased down and murdered, Feb. 2, 1978, Rancho Cordova, Calif.(FBI via AP, FILE) Murder victims Katie Maggiore and her husband Brian Maggiore were on an evening walk with their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood when they were chased down and murdered, Feb. 2, 1978, Rancho Cordova, Calif.

After the attacks in the Sacramento area, crimes continued in the East Bay area of Northern California, and then escalated into rapes and murders along the California coast, the FBI said.

After the Maggiores' slaying, no other victims were killed until the end of 1979, when Alexandria Manning and Robert Offerman were killed in Goleta, California, near Santa Barbara, on Dec. 30, 1979, according to SFGate.

That attack was followed by multiple rapes and murders in 1980 and 1981.

According to the FBI, "He would attack couples, tie up both victims, rape the female, and then murder them."

July 1981 was the last incident for several years.

FBI sketch for the "Golden State Killer."(FBI) FBI sketch for the "Golden State Killer."

1986

No crimes were attributed to the "Golden State Killer" from July 1981 until 1986, when 18-year-old Janelle Cruz was raped and murdered in Irvine.

That was his last known crime.

In this June 15, 2016, file photo, law enforcement drawings of a suspected serial killer believed to have committed at least 12 murders across California in the 1970's and 1980's are displayed at a news conference about the investigation, in Sacramento, Calif.(Rich Pedroncelli/AP, FILE) In this June 15, 2016, file photo, law enforcement drawings of a suspected serial killer believed to have committed at least 12 murders across California in the 1970's and 1980's are displayed at a news conference about the investigation, in Sacramento, Calif.

2018

Last week, DeAngelo's name came up for the first time in the investigation, Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said.

Joseph James Deangelo, known as "The Golden State Killer," is seen in this police booking photo, April 25, 2018, after being apprehended. (Sacramento Police Department) Joseph James Deangelo, known as "The Golden State Killer," is seen in this police booking photo, April 25, 2018, after being apprehended.

DeAngelo was then surveilled and DNA from an item police had collected of his was confirmed as a match.

"We had our man," Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said at a news conference Wednesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, DeAngelo was confronted by officers and arrested in Citrus Heights in Sacramento County, said Jones.

He has not yet appeared in court.