'Golden State Killer' Joseph DeAngelo pleads guilty to over 13 murders, angry Internet hopes 'he dies of Covid'
Joseph James DeAngelo committed at least a dozen murders, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries and kidnappings in California from 1974 to 1986
Three decades after at least a dozen murders, more than 50 rapes and over 100 burglaries and kidnappings in California, former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr admitted to the crimes and has been officially declared as the Golden State Killer, who was also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker. The sadistic crime spree plagued California from 1974 to 1986.
During the trial at the Sacramento State University Union Ballroom, a venue chosen to allow social distancing on June 29, the frail-looking 74-year-old dressed in an orange prison jumpsuit meekly answered to Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman's questions in "Yes," "No," "Guilty" and "I admit" while giving his consent to the terms of the plea deal. "The scope of Joseph DeAngelo's crime spree is simply staggering," prosecutor Thien Ho reportedly told the makeshift courtroom. "Each time he escaped, slipping away silently into the night, leaving communities terrified."
Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday said he agreed to plead guilty to all charges to avoid the death penalty. DeAngelo faces 11 consecutive terms of life without parole, with 15 concurrent life sentences and additional time for weapons charges. DeAngelo was arrested in 2018, thanks to DNA evidence from crime scenes with a family genealogy database used by his relatives. He was initially charged with only the 1978 murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore, a newlywed couple who were shot dead in Rancho Cordova, a Sacramento suburb, while walking their dog. Arrested on April 24, 2018, he was charged with eight counts of first-degree murder with special circumstances.
Ever since the news became official, people on the internet are relieved that the serial killer was finally punished and they shed light on the fact that this could give closure to the families. "Joseph James DeAngelo pleads guilty, admits to killing 13, other uncharged rapes. He is officially the #GoldenStateKiller. Expected to serve 11 life sentences w/ out parole, 15 more life sentences. He meekly responds 'yes' to each judge’s question," one tweet read.
A United States Navy veteran, DeAngelo worked as a police officer from 1973 to 1976. Shocked to find out he was a cop, one said, "The #GoldenStateKiller was a cop. How anticlimactic." Another user tweeted, "He's so old hopefully he'll die of Covid while in prison. #GoldenStateKiller #coward".
Another posted, "One of the most prolific serial rapist/killer was a cop. Let that sink in. #GoldenStateKiller." One Twitter user said, "To all the victims living and dead, and their families. This won't change the horror of what happened to you and your loved ones. May it bring some closure, whatever that means for you." Another said, "That was a difficult day here in Sacramento. Tonight my heart is with all the #GoldenStateKiller victims and families, including those who never reported." Expressing disgust at the fact he was free for so many years, one said, "I hate that he spent so many years free. I hope, at the very least, that he always had chronic cases of hemorrhoids and crotch lice."
The news comes one day after the release of 'I'll Be Gone in the Dark' — an HBO adaptation of crime-writer Michelle McNamara who was obsessed with the Golden State Killer and helped bring all the crimes into public eye. "DeAngelo pleads guilty at last. It was always coming, the evidence against him was just too strong. Still sad Michelle McNamara didn't get to see him go down, but her book 'I'll Be Gone in the Dark' is a masterpiece of true crime writing, and should be read. #GoldenStateKiller," one tweet said.