The suspect is accused of murdering one elderly woman and suspected of killing another.
Victor Alvarez, 53, was arrested in New York City in October after DNA evidence linked him to the rape and murder of 63-year-old Hazel Hughes.
According to cold-case detectives, Hughes was found stabbed to death in her Westlake apartment in August 1982.
That same day, in the same apartment complex, 65-year-old Cordelia Ferguson was also found raped and murdered in her apartment.
Alvarez has been the suspect in both cases since the beginning, but there was never enough evidence to charge him, until now.
Detectives working the case tracked Alvarez down in New York City, obtained a DNA sample, and just like they suspected, it matched one of the murders.
"To be able to do this kind of case, from 1982, 27 years ago, is hugely rewarding," said LAPD Detective Corey Farell. "I think a lot of people involved are surprised at the outcome, including Mr. Alvarez."
"It feels great, because we've been in contact with the family, who, for 28 years, thought their loved ones were forgotten," said LAPD Det. Rod Amador.
"It just really goes to show you how much DNA helps us in this day and age," said LAPD Commander Pat Gannon.
Alvarez waived extradition and is behind bars in Los Angeles facing one count of murder for the death of Hazel Hughes. Authorities are still waiting for DNA results in the Ferguson murder, and hope to soon charge him in that case as well.