1st Victims Confront the East Area Rapist – He Escaped Death but Not Accusers

Joseph DeAngelo surrounded by his attorneys in June when he pleaded guilty

By Nick Domenici

SACRAMENTO – The victims and the victims’ families received their first day in court Tuesday before Judge Michael Bowman in Sacramento County Superior Court to address the damage that the Golden State Killer caused to their lives.

Between 1975 and 1986, Joseph DeAngelo—known as the Golden State Killer, the East Area Rapist, or the Nightstalker—terrorized victims all throughout Northern California.

DeAngelo is a convicted serial rapist and murderer. Back on June 29—after months of COVID-19 and a month of police brutality protests rocked the state and nation—he plead guilty to 13 counts of first-degree murder and 13 counts of kidnapping. He is accused of committing 50 rapes during his killing spree.

By pleading guilty to all charges, DeAngelo will avoid the death penalty and serve the rest of his life behind bars.

But, while he escaped the death penalty, he couldn’t escape his victims.

Tuesday in court was the first of several court hearing days for the victims and their families to confront the so-called “monster.” Victims received the opportunity to stare down the

perpetrator, as they “dehumanized” and “belittled” him with their well-prepared words and statements.

Jane Doe #14,  raped on the night of June 18, 1976, said, “I went to bed not knowing in just a few hours, my life as I knew it would change.  I was a happy young woman of 22 years of age. The only dark spot of my life was the passing of my mother.  My father was away in Massachusetts, I was the only one in the house. On that night Joseph DeAngelo broke into my home, blindfolded me, proceeded to tie my wrists to the bed and raped me, while brandishing a knife.  My life as I knew it irrevocably changed for the worse, and this wasn’t the end. On several occasions, he decided to taunt me, by calling me on the home phone in January of 1978.” She concludes, “He deserves to spend the rest of his miserable life in prison.”

Jane Doe #15 exclaimed in tears, “In the early morning hours of July 17, 1976, my life changed forever. I was only 15 years old, and my parents had left my sister and me at home inside of a locked house, where we should have been safe. Mr. DeAngelo broke into my house, and tied my sister up. He came into my room, woke me up with his hand over my mouth. After I woke, I rolled out of bed, and attempted to strike him, but I was unsuccessful. He tied me up and raped me for hours.” She went on to say she has lived a successful life with a great husband, two children, and four beautiful grandchildren. “Now finally, the end of this trauma is here, he is a horrible man and none of us have to worry about him anymore.”

Jane Doe #1, read aloud by her daughter who was also a victim on the crimes that occurred on September 4, 1976, said, “Your honor it has been a long four decades for justice to be served. I was loading a basket full of clean laundry into my car, when Mr. DeAngelo attacked me on that Saturday evening.  He punched me in the face, breaking my nose. He shook me until I lost consciousness. I was 29 years old at the time, same age as Mr. DeAngelo and learning to live on my own after a long marriage. I went back to work with two swollen eyes, with a lump on my nose. My coworkers asked me what happened, I replied I was mugged. After that night, I was never the same, always paranoid looking over my shoulder.  I turned to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain away. I was prescribed antidepressants to deal with my severe anxiety.” In her final words, she said “luck finally ran out for this poor human being, lack of a poor excuse for one.”

The daughter proceeded to provide her impact statement. At her conclusion, while trying to get the defendant’s attention she sang a song, while flipping him off with her middle finger.

Another individual, a son of another victim, brought an empty box wrapped in black ribbon signifying the prison cell where the defendant will live until he passes.

DeAngelo never made eye contact with any of the victims while they provided their statements. He just sat there in his orange jumpsuit with his white face mask, staring ahead at the wall behind the jury box. He had a stone-cold look on his face, with zero emotions expressed.

DeAngelo has to get through the next couple of days before he is ultimately sentenced to life in prison on Friday, August 21, 2020.

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About The Author

The Vanguard Court Watch operates in Yolo, Sacramento and Sacramento Counties with a mission to monitor and report on court cases. Anyone interested in interning at the Courthouse or volunteering to monitor cases should contact the Vanguard at info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org - please email info(at)davisvanguard(dot)org if you find inaccuracies in this report.

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