Orange County Sheriff’s investigator Larry Pool said he felt “mixed emotions” Wednesday about the arrest of the suspected Golden State Killer, a case he has worked on for 20 years.

Pool said the case that culminated in Tuesday’s arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, was his first investigation.

“In 1998, I was assigned to sex crimes,” Pool said. “It was my first investigation assignment.”

Pool said his boss “seemed to think I was the right fit — and he always knew of my interest in serial offenses.”

Also, Pool said, he was “aspiring to become a homicide investigator.”

So, how did he feel when he got the call his suspect was handcuffed?

“Mixed emotions,” he told City News Service. “Elation, a sense of relief that I have not had felt the depth of in a good 20 years. Satisfaction and also a sense that our work has just begun. There’s a lot of work behind us and a lot of work ahead of us.”

Pool “rejoiced” when he heard a suspect was behind bars.

“It felt great,” he said. “It’s a feeling I’ve been longing for for 20 years.”

But he said he also felt “stunned.”

“When it does happen it takes your breath away a little bit,” he said. “I’m still experiencing what the survivors are experiencing — that we’ll wake up tomorrow and pinch ourselves — is it real?”

Over the years, investigators ruled out about 8,000 suspects, Pool said.

“This man, DeAngelo, was not one of them,” he said.

Initially, he was chasing someone “really specific as regards to their behavior,” Pool said, adding that he eventually began “broadening the net.”

Pool did suspect that the killer may have had a law enforcement or military background. DeAngelo worked for two police departments in California in the 1970s.

It’s possible DeAngelo’s law enforcement background helped him evade authorities, Pool said.

“Typically, people in his line of work are not successful for long,” Pool said.

One of the thrills Pool had was calling a colleague who also worked the case for many years to convey the good news. It was late when Pool dialed up retired Contra Costa sheriff’s investigator Larry Crompton.

“I could hear in his voice that he was just shocked and that kind of astonishment you hear” at unexpected news, Pool said. “I prepped him quickly. I didn’t want to torture him. Again, that was one of those calls you look forward to for a very long time.”

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