A former police officer who terrorized California as an intruder, burglary and rapist who continued to kill more than a dozen people while evading capture for decades, pleaded guilty to the murders attributed to the Golden State Killer.
Joseph James de Angelo Jr. has remained almost silent in court since his arrest in 2018 until he repeatedly pronounced “guilty” and “confess” to a rough and rough voice as part of the affirmation agreement that would spare him the death penalty life imprisonment with no chance of parole.
DeAngelo, 74, has not cooperated with the authorities. But he made a confession of some sort after his arrest that implicitly refers to the alternative ego called “Jerry” that he says forced him into a wave of crimes that seemed to end abruptly in 1986.
Dangelo told himself while he was alone in the police interrogation room after his arrest in April 2018, “ I did all of that. “
Dangelo said: “I did not have the strength to drive him out.” “It made me. He went with me. It was like my head, it is part of me. I didn’t want to do those things. I pushed Jerry and got a happy life. I did all these things. I destroyed all their lives. So I now have to pay the price.”
While prosecutors indicated that de Angelo was leading a split personality, Hu said that the day of his reckoning had arrived.
“The scope of the crimes of Joseph de Angelo is simply amazing,” Hu said. “Every time he escapes, he slips silently at night.”
There is no escape now. DeAngelo, sitting in a wheelchair in a temporary stage in a college dance floor that can accommodate more than 150 observers at a safe distance during the Coronavirus pandemic, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of murder and dozens of rapes that were too old to be prosecuted.
Greg Toten, the Attorney General for Ventura County, said that all that had been said, admitted 161 crimes involving 48 people
The large room at Sacramento State University was designed to look like a state court hall with the seal of the Sacramento County Supreme Court behind the judge’s chair and the flags of the United States and the state on the riser that served as a kind of stage for an all-day procedure that felt like a theater. Large screens surrounded the stage so spectators could follow the live listening session.
DeAngelo, who wore orange scrubs in prison and a plastic face shield to prevent the possible spread of the virus, was placed on one side and his mouth opened when prosecutors read graphic details of rapes and murders as he snack on the remains of the turkey before he left.
Family members cried as the lawsuit continued for most of the day. A pile of used tissue sat on the floor next to Jennifer Carroll, whose father, lawyer Lehman Smith, was killed in 1980 with his wife Charlene Smith, who was raped before being killed.
“This is much more difficult than I thought it would be. Carroll said,“ I thought it would be difficult. ”“ I feel so angry, I don’t think I felt it so badly before. ”
DeAngelo, a Vietnamese veteran and grandfather, was not on the radar of the investigators until before his arrest.
Investigators had not linked a series of attacks in central and northern California with murder in southern California until about a decade after the latest killing and finally settled on the title of Golden State Killer for the mysterious assailant.
Police used DNA from the crime scene to find a distant relative through a popular genealogy online database and then built a family tree that eventually led them. De Angelo has secretly collected DNA from his car door and discarded tissues to obtain an arrest warrant.
A retired truck mechanic was caught at his home on the outskirts of Sacramento – the same area he terrorized in the mid-1970s, and was awarded the title East Area Rapist.
Prosecutors detailed his sadistic actions after sliding into their undiscovered and surprising homes in bed by projecting a flashlight into their faces and threatening to kill everyone at home – including young children – if they did not follow his orders.
The masked person initially said that he only wanted their money to win their cooperation. He would have the women tie their husbands or boyfriends in bed with shoelaces, then tied the women. Victims were described as being driven by the barrel of a gun or a knife point.
He stacked the dishes on the backs of the men and said that they would be killed if he heard the sound of boards breaking while he raped women.
In a house in Contra Costa County in the fall of 1978, he told a woman that he would cut off her child’s ear if she did not have oral sex after he raped her.
“I admit it,” de Angelo said after the prosecutor read the description of that crime.
He stole everything he could find, sometimes a few bottles of Budweiser, some cash, and sometimes diamond rings. He slid into the darkness on foot or by bike and even evaded the police, who sometimes thought they were close to catching him.
DeAngelo knew the area very well.
He started in the police force in the town of San Joaquin Valley in Exeter in 1973, where he committed the first murder.
DeAngelo was among the officers who tried to find a serial thief in the neighboring city of Visalia responsible for about 100 break-ins.
Community college professor Claude Sunling was killed by the suspected “Visalia Ransaker” after he tried to prevent him from kidnapping his 16-year-old daughter.
After three years of strength, DeAngelo returned to the Sacramento area, where he worked for the Auburn Police Department in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains until 1979 when he was caught stealing a dog repellent and a hammer – two items that could be useful to a thief.
De Angelo killed a couple walking their dog in a Sacramento suburb in 1978, but the majority of the murders came after he moved to southern California.
Orange County Attorney Todd Spitzer suffocated as the family members of the victims stood as he described each of the four murders there. Spitzer, who at one point wiped a tear, spaced other prosecutors to address DeAngelo directly when discussing the May 5, 1986 rape and murder of Janelle Cruz, 18 – final murder.
Spitzer said: “I attacked her, beat her, and raped her.” “She killed her first degree, and hit her in the face.
Acknowledgment of guilt and life imprisonment avoids long and costly litigation. Victims will be able to confront DeAngelo during a lengthy hearing of judgment beginning on August 17.
Victims began to stand in the crowd while reading accounts of their attacks. Almost twenty on their feet were in solidarity as a Sacramento prosecutor – where most of his sexual assaults took place – each case. They chanted and laughed when Regional Deputy Attorney General Amy Holiday noted that victims consistently reported that DeAngelo had a small penis.
One of the men, Victor Hayes, who was held at gunpoint while his girlfriend was raped in 1977, shouted that he wanted to read his name aloud.
“I waited 43 years. I am not ashamed of what happened. Hayes said later:“ I have never been John Doe in my life.
I want accountability and accountability begins with my name.
Among the remaining questions is whether DeAngelo has already stopped his life from crime, and if so, why?
He questioned De Angelo’s statement in the interrogation room, saying he “imagined poor inconsistency” with the investigators despite his sharp appearance during observation the day before his arrest. Hu said de Angelo acted madly when he was arrested for stealing from the store three decades ago in an attempt to avoid the charges.
Most of the hacker killers have no double characters or inner voices, although films often depict them this way, said James Alan Fox, criminologist at Northeastern University.
He said that infiltrated murderers who have escaped attacks for years are usually organized and cunning. A person with a serious mental illness is unable to do so. He said that armed killers who blame the ego for their crimes are usually fake.
Fox said: “It is in someone’s interest to suggest that he did all these things because of this voice:” Do not blame me, blame the voice.