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Who Is Paul Holes? New Details About The Man Who Helped Catch The Golden State Killer And His New Podcast

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Who Is Paul Holes? New Details About The Man Who Helped Catch The Golden State Killer And His New Podcast

For years the Golden State Killer terrorized the people of California. He broke into homes, he violently raped, and eventually, he even murdered. For a 10-year plus period, people everywhere thought that the man behind these crimes was unstoppable. Thankfully, one detective emerged who wasn't willing to let this case sit around cold and unsolved. 

Officer Paul Holes isn't just a hunk, he's also a smart police officer with a background in science, and when he happened to stumble upon the case of the Golden State Killer he couldn't let it go. Thankfully, his perseverance paid off and made him something of a sex symbol in the true crime community.

So who is Paul Holes? Here's everything you need to know about Paul Holes and his newest venture. 

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1. The Golden State Killer 

The Golden State Killer (the named coin by writer and investigator Michelle McNamara) otherwise known as the East Area Rapist perpetrated included 12 homicides, 50 rapes and more than 100 burglaries between 1976 and 1986. He terrorized California and baffled the police, who identified suspects but were unable to apprehend him during the time in which he was the most active. He targeted women, stalked them, called them on the phone, and broke into their houses at night, often when they were alone, but not exclusively. 

His crimes began in the Sacramento area in 1976 and included the February 1979 killing of Brian and Katie Maggiore, who were shot while walking their dog. Then, he moved to the Bay Area, where he committed 11 break-ins and sexual assaults in Concord, Walnut Creek, Danville, San Ramon, Fremont and San Jose in 1978 and 1979 before moving on to Southern California in 1979. 

Because of the breadth of his horrific crimes, the Golden State Killer was viewed as being one of the biggest unsolved crimes in California state history. It looked like it was going to stay that way too until investigator (and certified hottie) Paul Holes got involved. 

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2. Paul's Role 

Paul Hole got involved with the case of the Golden State Killer when he was a new graduate from the police academy where he also studied forensic toxicology. He was only in his mid-20s and new to the Contra Costa police department but he was eager to make a difference, and his eye on the advancements in forensics would prove integral to breaking this case wide open. Hole graduated from UC Davis with a degree in biochemistry, which today would've put him on a different track in the police department, heading him straight for the crime lab. But back when he started out, it still meant going to the academy and being sworn in as an officer. 

This actually suited Paul, who, in spite of his scientific background found that he had tremendous prowess as a cop working a case. "I very quickly got more interested in the investigative side to the point where the other guys in the lab were saying, 'That’s not your job,' " Holes said.

Thankfully, Holes ignored them and fused his background for science with his passion for investigation. He became an investigator on the infamous closed case and helped head up the idea to use DNA archives including 23andMe to test DNA samples found at the scene. This was critical to identifying the man behind the crimes: Joseph James DeAngelo.

“DeAngelo kind of bubbled to the surface,” Holes said to the Mercury News. “We’d been looking at him and others for six weeks, and when others dropped off, the circumstantial evidence started to build up (against DeAngelo) and we decided we needed to get his DNA.”

At a press conference, Holes was present when they announced the arrest of Joseph James DeAngelo in Sacramento. What he didn't count on was the fact that his chiseled good looks would inspire an army of true crime-obsessed fans. They've even started their own Twitter hashtag, #hotforholes. Which is hilarious. 

Paul is taking it all in stride, telling Vulture "it’s flattering. It’s very nice that they look at me that way. But it’s also very surreal. I’m just a retired county employee. But everybody that I’ve met, Murderinos and other true-crime fans, they’ve all been super nice and very respectful. And that’s been very reassuring, because as an investigator, some people, like online sleuths, would get very upset with me if I didn’t follow their particular lead to their satisfaction. You start thinking that the public has a very negative perception of who you are and what you do, and the sacrifices you make trying to work a case. So, it’s been very pleasant, in terms of that attention, but it can also be a little uncomfortable at times. I’m still trying to figure that out." 

3. The Murder Squad 

Paul and crime writer Billy Jenson (best known for his work on Michelle McNamara's book about the Golden State Killer) are launching a brand new crime podcast with a twist: they want the people listening to help them solve the cases. That's right, it's crowdsourcing the catching of murderers, and you know the podcast world is going to be obsessed. It's on the Exactly Right podcast network, helmed by the founders of the popular podcast, My Favorite Murder. Paul is bringing with him his keen sensitivity and a positive attitude about new ways to help solve cold cases. 

Paul told Vulture, "From my perspective, it’s making sure that what is being put out there is based in reality and in facts. You’re passing information to the public that is accurate. And it’s also being sensitive to the fact that these are real lives that have been impacted by these cases — there are cases where there are living victims; they’re going to be hearing their own stories."

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Rebecca Jane Stokes is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her cats, Batman and Margot. Her work focuses on relationships, pop culture and news. For more of her work, check out her Tumblr