In a darkened college ballroom filled with his victims — and in some cases, their survivors — the man dubbed the Golden State Killer admitted Monday to 13 murders and dozens of rapes. The crimes committed by Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. had remained unsolved in California for decades until investigators got a DNA break in the case in 2018.
Ultimately, the 74-year-old from Citrus Heights, pleaded guilty to 13 murders and rapes, while confessing to 62 rapes and abductions that have passed the statute of limitations. The confessions bought him his life. The plea deal spares DeAngelo the death penalty and frees up elderly witnesses from testifying during the pandemic, according to prosecutors. For many in the crowded ballroom at Cal State Sacramento, it was a morning they spent almost a lifetime waiting for.
The horror story of DeAngelo’s reign of terror played out for all to witness during Monday’s proceedings. He was known as the East Area Rapist, and the Original Night Stalker in the 1970s. Later, his moniker changed to the Golden State Killer as crime bloggers, and detectives worked to solve the convoluted case of over 50 rapes and 13 murders.
Sacramento Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman heard detailed descriptions of DeAngelo’s crimes from prosecutors across California. The accused man’s voice rang hollow across the ballroom as charges were read, and he repeatedly answered “guilty,” admitting to all charges filed against him.
DeAngelo, charged in 13 murders, was brought into the modified courtroom by his attorney, Diane Howard, she offered up her client’s guilty plea to the string of murders across the state in the early 1980s after prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty.
Todd Spitzer, Orange County’s District Attorney, voice full of emotion, took the plea for the county’s four murder cases.
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Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy: AP
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