Upstate man talks about growing up in same neighborhood as accus - FOX Carolina 21

Upstate man talks about growing up in same neighborhood as accused Golden State Killer

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A Greenville man said the arrest of the Golden State Killer hits too close to home after realizing he grew up down the street from the accused killer.

“It definitely hit close to home,” Eric Clary said, “Just running around the neighborhood being a kid, he was always there.”

Clary now lives more than 2500 miles away from his childhood home, but years before moving to Greenville and opening his barber shop, Clary lived in Roseville, California, which is just outside Sacramento.

Decades later, Clary would find out the man he lived down the street from, Joseph James Deangelo, would be named as the accused Golden State Killer, who is believed to be responsible for at least 12 murders and more than 50 rapes between 1976 and 1986.

“My parent’s house is on a corner and if you go along the side of the street, it runs into a cul-de-sac and on the other side of that cul-de-sac, there’s a little green belt with a creek going through it and his house is right there,” Clary said, “It’s probably less than a quarter mile away.”

Clary's childhood home on Vista Creek Drive was just houses away from the accused Golden State Killer, who lived on Canyon Oak Drive in the same Citrus Heights neighborhood.

“I lived on Vista Creek Drive from the ages of 8 or 9 until I was 17 or 18,” Clary said.

According to public records, Deangelo had lived at the same address since the 1980's, and as kids, Clary said he and his siblings would often play outside Deangelo’s home.

“It just makes you think, was he watching?” Clary said, “I've got young sisters and we used to play back in the creek behind his house and ride our bikes around there. It was really, really close. Close enough that I probably walked past it on a pretty regular basis. It kind of makes you feel a little weird.”

Clary's parents and his aunt still live in the same neighborhood and watched as local, state and federal agents swarmed Deangelo’s house last week.

“It just kind of goes to show you don’t really know who your neighbors are,” Clary said, “When something hits that close to home it’s definitely shocking.”

Deangelo is currently behind bars, and at this point, he is only charged with two murders.

Authorities say DNA evidence acquired through a genealogical website helped them to connect him to the crimes.

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