The Visalia Ransacker is a burglary crime series that began in Visalia in 1974. The suspect burglarized 100 homes in a small centralized location within the city. The Visalia Ransacker was identified as being responsible for shooting and murdering Claud Snelling during a ransacking burglary/attempt kidnapping of Snellings 16 year old daughter in September of 1975. After the murder of Snelling, the ransacking burglaries continued, culminating in a stake out in an attempt to apprehend the suspect. During the attempted apprehension, the suspect shot at a Visalia P.D. Officer and fled the area and was not captured. The ransacking burglaries stopped after the incident leaving investigators and the community with several unanswered questions.
It has long been believed the Visalia Ransaker is the same suspect as the East Area Rapist who was active in the Sacramento area from 1976-1979 and the Original Night stalker who was active in southern California from 1979-1986. In 2018, Joseph James DeAngelo was identified by DNA and arrested for his involvement in the East Area Rapist and Original Night Stalker crimes.
This presentation will give you an in depth look into the case history of the Visalia Ransacker and how investigators were able to successfully connect the Visalia Ransacking crime series and murder of Claud Snelling to Joseph DeAngelo.
Presented by Sgt. James Cummings
July 2005-Began working for the California State University, Fresno Police Department-Patrol Officer
March 2007-Lateraled to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office-Court Deputy/Patrol Deputy
August 2010-Lateraled to the Visalia Police Department-Patrol
April 2013-Assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit
Domestic Violence/Cold Case Homicide
Sexual Assault/Cold Case Homicide
Robbery/Homicide/Cold Case Homicide
November 2020-Promoted to Sergeant/FTO Sergeant
September 2022-Assigned to the Youth Services Unit as a Sergeant