Joseph James DeAngelo, The Golden State Killer Case Updates

I was listening to an old My Favourite Murder episode (Episode 111 – Figure It Out Kevin) where they were discussing the Golden State Killer It’s Not Over documentary and the book “I’ll Be Gone In The Dark” by Michelle McNamara.

I remembered to something reading on him being caught a few years back but my true crime obsession didn’t reach the current levels yet so I thought it is time I do my research and check up on the case. You could imagine my surprise when I read that there were significant developments in the case of Joseph DeAngelo.

Aug 21, 2020
DeAngelo Sentenced to Life in Prison

The life sentence came after 3 days of hearings where the survivors and family members of the victims were subjected to relive the horrific crimes committed between 1975 and 1986 by DeAngelo.

“When a person commits monstrous acts, they need to be locked away so they can never harm an innocent person,”

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman

DeAngelo also admitted to dozens more sexual assaults for which the statute of limitations had expired. Prosecutors called the scale of the violence “simply staggering,” encompassing 87 victims at 53 crime scenes spanning 11 California counties.

Before sentencing, DeAngelo rose from a wheelchair, took off his mask and said to the court: “I listened to all your statements, each one of them, and I’m truly sorry for everyone I’ve hurt.”

Applause erupted when DeAngelo was remanded to the custody of sheriff’s officials for transfer to the state prison system.

“The defendant deserves no mercy,” the judge said.

June 29, 2020
DeAngelo Pleads Guilty in Court

The Golden State Killer admitted to his crimes and in unusual fashion 87 of his living victims will be speaking on his sentencing.

DeAngelo pleaded guilty in Sacramento County Superior Court last week to the 26 crimes he was formally charged with. He also admitted to 161 offenses he was never formally accused of because the deadline to prosecute them had long since passed, Temple said. 

Including the admissions, the guilty pleas guarantee the 87 people have the opportunity to give a victim impact statement at the August sentencing hearing, she said. This includes Jennifer Carole, the daughter of prominent Ventura attorney Lyman Smith. 

Katharine Tinto, a clinical law professor at UC Irvine School of Law, said typically there’s no incentive for defendants to plead to additional crimes because it tends to carry a longer sentence. DeAngelo was already facing the harshest punishment in the criminal justice system. In his case, his defense attorneys were likely trying to spare DeAngelo’s life.

There were other practical considerations to agree to DeAngelo’s guilty plea. The crimes occurred in the 1970s and 1980s, an era when DNA forensic evidence did not yet exist. DNA testing done years later in the case offered investigators a major break. However, by the time an arrest was made in 2018, many of the witnesses were older, and some had died.

The case could have taken 10 years to get to trial, and the remaining witnesses are in their 90s. Plus, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly stalled the courts. 

June 16, 2020
DeAngelo to Plead Guilty to 88 Charges to Avoid the Death Penalty

In court, DeAngelo currently faces 26 counts in Sacramento Superior Court, including 13 murder counts, with one tied to Tulare County.

A new expected plea deal which would help DeAngelo avoid the death penalty requires him to admit responsibility for another 62 crimes attributed over the years to assailants variously known in California as the Visalia Ransacker, Original Nightstalker and Diamond Knot Killer, The Sacramento Bee reported.

Details of the agreement, which has not been formalized in court documents filed in the case, still are being worked out, as is the final decision on where the hearing will take place on the 29th June.

But with hundreds of spectators expected officials are looking for a setting large enough to allow for social distancing because of COVID-19 concerns.

April 22, 2020
Preliminary Hearing for Suspected Golden State Killer Delayed by Coronavirus

According to an article on Noozhawk the Coronavirus has delayed a preliminary hearing for the prime suspect in the Golden State Killer case.

The probable cause hearing for Joseph DeAngelo, 74, has still not occurred nearly two years after he was arrested on April 24, 2018. DeAngelo was scheduled to appear in Sacramento County Superior Court to argue about several motions filed by the defense team.

Joseph Deangelo is facing is facing 26 felony charges— 13 of which include murder— for crimes allegedly committed in Ventura, Santa Barbara, Orange, Sacramento, Contra Costa and Tulare counties.

The charges stem from crimes reported in the 1970s and 80s by suspects known at the time as the East Area Rapist, Original Nightstalker, Visalia Ransacker and Golden State Killer. Authorities have decided to seek the death penalty.

The case will contunue on June 29.

April 24, 2018
72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo is arrested and charged in relation to the unsolved Golden State Killer cases

Of course after that episode I had to go and listen to the MFM Episode 118 – Golden State Serial Killer Caught to catch the excitement of when this was happening live.

James DeAngelo was arrested after months of investigation based on DNA evidence. Detectives got a hit when they uploaded an udentified sample to a genomics website and they found relating matches to it. From then on they worked on the family to trace back the matches to DeAngelo. On April 18, a DNA sample was surreptitiously collected from the door handle of a car DeAngelo had been driving at the Roseville Hobby Lobby. Soon after, a sample was collected from a tissue found in DeAngelo’s curbside garbage can. Both samples were consistent with the Orange and Ventura County suspect profiles.

The 72-year-old U.S. Navy veteran and former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo was charged with eight counts of murder with special circumstancesin Sacramento County and with four counts of first degree murder in Santa Barbara. He is also facing 13 counts of kidnapping and abduction attempts.

Books about the Golden State Killer:

Films about the Golden State Killer

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s