SACRAMENTO -- In 1979, Jerry Johnson was a teenager when his path crossed with Joseph DeAngelo's.
The moment was captured in a photograph and published in the Auburn Journal. Little did Johnson know, the newspaper clipping would take on new meaning almost 40 years later.
Johnson posed for the picture with two police officers at a charity baseball game. At the time his family was proud to see it published in the newspaper.
"My grandma used to cut out and save all the articles if my name or picture happened to appear in the Auburn Journal," Johnson told FOX40.
Johnson's family is shocked to see the photograph back in the news.
"It's crazy. Just kinda wild to think I'm standing next to an alleged rapist killer," Johnson said.
Back then DeAngelo was an Auburn police officer. DeAngelo started working for the Auburn Police Department in August of 1976.
The East Area Rapist crimes began in June of that year. Now, DeAngelo is the suspect accused of being the East Area Rapist or Golden State Killer.
"He just seemed a little different than the rest of the cops," Johnson said.
Johnson says DeAngelo wasn't very friendly. "I heard him as crazy Joe. The crazy neighbor, the crazy cop."
"Good cop, bad cop... he was the bad cop, you know, trying to throw his authority around a bit. But never anything too wild," Johnson said.
DeAngelo was arrested for shoplifting and fired from the Auburn Police Department shortly after the photograph was taken, in the summer of 1979. That same year the East Area Rapists' crime spree traveled to Southern California.