Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. Wiki – Biography
A former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. is known as the Golden State Killer pleaded guilty Monday to multiple murder and kidnapping charges and admitted to dozens of rapes in connection to a brutal crime spree that terrorized California in the 1970s and 80s.
DeAngelo, also known as the East Area Rapist, would likely not be executed even if he hadn’t struck a deal with prosecutors. Although the death penalty is legal in California, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom placed an indefinite moratorium on executions last year. Newsom’s eventual successor, however, could resume the practice in the future.
Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. Age
DeAngelo is 73 years old.
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Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. Crime
His crime spree began in Tulare County in 1975 and included two murders in Sacramento County in 1978, four killings in Santa Barbara County between 1979 and 1980, two more murders in Ventura County in 1980, and another four in Orange County between 1980 and 1986, according to prosecutors.
DeAngelo, who evaded justice for several decades, was arrested just two years ago after Holes and other cold-case investigators used an open-source, public genealogy website to track down crime suspects through voluntarily submitted DNA samples.
A former police officer known as the Golden State Killer pleaded guilty Monday to multiple murder and kidnapping charges and admitted to dozens of rapes in connection to a brutal crime spree that terrorized California in the 1970s and 80s.
The admission came after 74-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. struck a deal with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty. His guilty plea will result in a life sentence, but prosecutors hope it would also bring some degree of closure to the numerous families whose loved ones were killed or raped in a horrific crime spree that spanned six counties and went unsolved for decades.
The ex-cop appeared Monday morning in a Sacramento State University ballroom that has been turned into a temporary courtroom to allow for social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to charges related to 13 murders and 13 kidnappings, he also confessed to raping more than 60 women — though he won’t be criminally charged with those sex crimes because the statute of limitations has expired.
The sadistic killer was known to bind some of his victims and lay them down in front of TV sets. Prosecutors say he would turn the TV on and cover the screen with a towel “so he would have this glow, so he could see her.” He would also take “trophies” from his victims’ houses, including pieces of jewelry like rings and cuff links, authorities have said.
“He’s a psychological sadist,” criminologist Paul Holes said in a 2018 podcast interview. “His big thing was the fear he was instilling in the victims.”
Representatives from each of the six counties that investigated the decades-old cases joined Monday’s hearing to read the charges against him. As of 10:30 a.m., local time, DeAngelo had formally pleaded guilty to more than half a dozen charges.