Could the Golden State Killer Be Linked to Ocean Beach’s Unsolved Double Murder from 1964?

by on April 30, 2018 · 1 comment

in Ocean Beach

Photo credit: San Diego Haunted

There has been some local speculation of late that the Golden State Killer, Joseph James DeAngelo, is linked to the unsolved double-murder that occurred in Ocean Beach in 1964. He’s being possibly linked to a string of at least a dozen murders, 50 rapes and dozens of burglaries up and down the state from 1976 to 1986. NBC7

Is it even possible that he could be tied to OB’s infamous crime of the early Sixties?

First – the tragedy.

Johnny Ray Swindle – a Navy radio-man third class – married his childhood sweetheart, Joyce, on January 18, 1964. They moved into a 3-room cottage nine blocks from OB’s famous Sunset Cliffs. On February 5th, they were on the Ocean Beach Boardwalk next to the Silver Spray Apartments. Without warning or provocation, a sniper above them fired 5 shots at the couple, and then 2 more shots at close range into their heads. Johnny and Joyce were dead.

Photo credit: San Diego Haunted

To this day, the case is unsolved and stands out as one of San Diego’s oldest cold cases. Many believe the murders are linked to the infamous Zodiac Killer.

Some OB locals believe the spirit of Joyce Swindle remains here on Earth forever walking the same path she did in life, with her husband on that fateful February night.  San Diego Haunted

So, what about DeAngelo, the former cop just arrested as the suspected serial killer?

It has been confirmed that DeAngelo attended and graduated basic training at the Naval Training Center (now Liberty Station) in San Diego from October to December 1964. NBC Los Angeles

He also served aboard the guided-missile cruiser USS Canberra during the Vietnam War in 1965.

According to USS Canberra records, the cruiser was transferred to the Pacific Fleet in October 1963 to be part of the Pacific Fleet’s US deployment during the Vietnam War. The first several months of 1965 the USS Canberra was deployed off Southeast Asia.  USS

And DeAngelo was definitely on board. Here’s his name on the crew roster of the USS Canberra – for 1965. (What’s eerie is that there is also a Swindle on board, but it’s a Ken Swindle.)

Okay, the murders occurred in early February 1964, but DeAngelo is not reported at NTC until October to December of that year.

Without any information as to where he was in February, and being from out of town, it’s probably unlikely he’s already in San Diego then. Plus, the manner of the murders doesn’t sound like the serial killer’s later MO.

It is then unlikely that DeAngelo can be seriously linked to the murders of Johnny and Joyce – without more.


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Tom Cairns April 30, 2018 at 12:49 pm

My friend and I went down there the afternoon after it happened. There was a large blood stain left, which lasted for weeks. It was where the wooden railing met the sea wall, down below the Silver Spray. The shooter had fired from the top of the ice plant just to the north side of the stairs.


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