Forty years after a suburban rapist terrorized California in a series of assaults and murders, a 74-year-old former policeman said he would plead guilty to being the elusive Golden State Killer.
Joseph James De Angelo Jr. on Monday told a judge in Sacramento that he would plead 13 murders and 13 kidnapping charges across California, and would admit dozens of sexual assaults he could not be criminally accused of.
The bargaining spares DeAngelo any chance of death penalty. Prosecutors who asked for the death penalty cited the extremely complicated case and advanced age of many of the victims and witnesses in agreeing to consider the deal.
DeAngelo He was arrested in 201
Law enforcement officers have spent decades trying to solve crimes. Investigators took years to link a series of assaults in central and northern California to subsequent killings in southern California. The authorities eventually opted for the Golden State Killer nickname for the mysterious assailant.
The case gained renewed attention in 2016 when the Sacramento district attorney announced the creation of a task force to identify the murderer and the FBI cashed in a $ 50,000 reward for the information that led to his capture.
The scale of the crimes, which has long been unidentified, has aroused particular interest on the part of the true criminal community and has generated dedicated discussions. I will be Gone in the Dark, a successful book on the search for the true criminal writer Michelle McNamara for the Golden State Killer, which aroused great attention in the event that it was released months before DeAngelo’s arrest.
To provide for social distances, Monday’s hearing took place in a Sacramento State University ballroom that was made to look like a state courtroom with the seal of the Sacramento County Superior Court behind the judge’s chair.
DeAngelo was brought to the makeshift hall with a transparent shield and spoke in a soft, hoarse voice.
For many survivors, DeAngelo’s motif also comes with mixed emotions the fear of being able to give up the deal at the last moment.
“It is a difficult place to find yourself, knowing that at any moment it could change your mind and that it is highly manipulative. I will not believe anything until it is written in ink and approved,” said Hardwick.
DeAngelo is a US Navy veteran of the Vietnam War and father of three he had worked as a police officer in the communities near where the crimes occurred. He had worked as a police officer in the city of Exeter in Central Valley from 1973 to 1976 and was fired from his job in the Auburn police department in 1979 after an alleged dog repellent shoplifting and hammer from a Pay store. n Save. He later worked in a Save Mart distribution center, reportedly by Sacramento Bee, and lived with his daughter and grandson on a quiet street in a suburb of Sacramento when he was arrested in 2018.
DeAngelo’s victims expect to face him in a sentencing hearing in August.
Before Monday’s guilty plea, many experienced a mix of emotions. “I will be really happy to have done it. I am tired of having some real estate in my head,” said Jennifer Carole.
Carole’s father, Lyman Smith, and his wife, Charlene, were curled up to death in their home in Ventura in 1980, when Carole was only 18 years old. His 12-year-old brother discovered the bodies. The family did not learn that the crime was the work of a serial killer for 20 years, and it was only after DeAngelo’s capture that Carole understood how much the killings had affected his life.
“You can’t get your people back. You can’t get your sense of security back,” added Carole. “He stole something from everyone in California who endured his terrorism.”