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The man who California authorities recently linked to the infamous unsolved Golden State Killer case was charged with an additional 4 counts of murder Thursday for a total of 12.

Cops believe Joseph James DeAngelo is the Golden State Killer.

Investigators say DeAngelo - who worked as a police officer in the Central Valley and in a foothill town east of Sacramento in the 1970s - committed crimes in the Sacramento area, the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

"This has been an ongoing discussion all district attorneys have been having, one that will not be decided tomorrow", Dudley said. "In fact, majority spend their lives feverishly seeking answers and desperately hoping for justice".

Debra Alexandria Manning and Robert Offerman were murdered around December 30, 1979, according to the charges filed by Santa Barbara DA Joyce Dudley.

Rhonda Wicht, 24, and her son Donald, 4, were murdered in 1978.

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Holes suggested the encounter may have encouraged the killer to rethink his tactics as he committed one more known murder five years later.

DeAngelo now faces four counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances in Santa Barbara, though it was unclear when he might appear in court there.

In April, authorities arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, at his home near Sacramento.

He already has been charged with eight other murder counts in Sacramento, Ventura and Orange counties. "Ventura and Orange County have warrants out for his arrest for murder".

His attorney, Diane Howard, did not immediately respond Thursday to an email seeking comment.

The charges filed by Dudley's office could result in the death penalty or life in prison without parole upon conviction.