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‘Golden State Killer’ Sentenced to Life in Prison for Heinous Crime Spree in ’70s and ’80s

Joseph James DeAngelo (in orange) listens to victim impact statements.

Joseph James DeAngelo, the criminal defendant known as the Golden State Killer, was sentenced on Friday to life without the possibility of parole in a horrifying crime spree that stretched from the 1970s to the 1980s in California. He pleaded guilty in June to murdering Claude SnellingKatie MaggioreBrian Maggiore, Debra Alexandra Manning, Robert Offerman, Cheri Domingo, Gregory Sanchez, Charlene Smith, Lyman Smith, Patrice Harrington, Keith Harrington, Manuela Witthuhn, and Janelle Cruz.

“Today it’s the devil who will be condemned behind bars for the rest of his life,” Orange County Prosecutor Todd Spitzer said.

DeAngelo only pleaded guilty to 13 counts of murder, as well as kidnapping charges. Prosecutors said he committed 50 rapes and more than 120 burglaries over the years, but those charges reached the statute of limitations. Nonetheless, victims and survivors of even the uncharged crimes were given the opportunity to speak in a sentencing hearing beginning on Tuesday. They expressed anger and disgust.

More than one took jabs at the size of his private parts.

DeAngelo had little, if any, response during the victim impact statements, even when we take the mask into account.

He did speak when given the chance, telling the court that he was sorry.

The defendant’s M.O. was to often ambush victims. If there was more than one, he would put dishes on one of their backs as a so-called alarm system. He gave them an ultimatum: move or die. It was not uncommon for him to target a couple. He would put the dishes on the man’s back, and he would then rape the woman. A number of survivors reported getting harassing phone calls in the time after the crime.

From the moment of his first court appearance in 2018, DeAngelo appeared frail, often being pushed in a wheelchair, mouth open, staring at no spot in particular. Prosecutors said, however, he was just faking “feeble incoherence” when confronted with his crimes. They claim the defendant sped his motorcycle and did vigorous yard work before his arrest. They said there is video of him going through his cell athletically, and engaging in a sex act while watching a person who was outside of his cell.

[Screengrab via Law&Crime Network]

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