Sacramento, CA – Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., a former police officer arrested in 2018 for serial burglary, dozens of rapes and 13 murders was in court on Monday to respond to allegations against him. The former law enforcement officer was known as the “Golden State Killer”, evaded capture and terrorized California for decades. The crime spree ended suddenly in 1986.
The crimes went unsolved until detectives used DNA evidence collected at the crime scenes, compared it to a well-known online genealogy database which led them to a distant relative of DeAngelo’s. They then built a family tree which eventually led them to the suspect. Once identified, they trailed him, secretly collected DNA from his car and were able to make a match which led to the arrest.
At the time of his arrest, DeAngelo who did not cooperate with authorities, gave a cryptic description of an alter ego he referred to as Jerry, stating that Jerry had forced him to commit the crimes. Detectives thought he was likely faking a split-personality to feign insanity.
Sacramento prosecutors said that DeAngelo had admitted the crimes while alone in an interrogation room at the time of his arrest. He is reported to have said,
I did it all.
DeAngelo, who is 74, had been mostly silent until court on Monday where he quietly mumbled ‘guilty’ and ‘I admit’ as terms of a plea agreement offering him life without parole instead of the death penalty. All together, he admitted to 161 crimes involving 48 people, including 13 counts of murder and dozens of rapes.
I didn’t have the strength to push him out. He made me. He went with me. It was like in my head, I mean, he’s a part of me. I didn’t want to do those things. I pushed Jerry out and had a happy life. I did all those things. I destroyed their lives. So now I’ve got to pay the price.