Golden State Killer’s Contra Costa County crime spree outlined as DeAngelo pleads guilty

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KRON) — The Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo, pleaded guilty Monday to 13 murders and dozens of rapes that he committed in several California counties. During the plea hearing, Contra Costa County Chief Assistant District Attorney Venus Johnson delivered a statement of facts about home invasions DeAngelo carried out in the late 1970’s the left entire communities terrified.

When the Golden State Killer was breaking into homes in the middle of the night in Contra Costa, he was fixated on violently raping women while their husbands were tied up. DeAngelo was working as a police officer by day, and terrorizing families as a serial rapist by night in Concord, Walnut Creek, and Danville.

He used the same tactic over and over again. He pointed a gun in one hand and a flashlight in the other when he woke up husbands and wives in their beds. DeAngelo threatened to kill the entire family if they did not follow his sadistic demands, and pretended to be a burglar who was after money and jewels. But once his victims were tied up, DeAngelo beat and raped the wife.

Joseph James DeAngelo
FILE – In this March 12, 2020, file photo, Joseph James DeAngelo, charged with being the Golden State Killer, appears in court in Sacramento, Calif. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

He went undetected for decades until new DNA technology built a family tree around him just three years ago.

Monday’s hearing stretched on for hours as deputy district attorneys from California’s Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, and Southern California described a horrifying number of crimes committed by the serial killer. Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Thien Ho said DeAngelo’s crimes were “simply staggering … pain followed wherever he went.”

DeAngelo, 74, pleaded guilty to all charges and admitted guilt in exchange for prosecutors taking the death penalty off the table.

There was a stark contrast between the aggressive, brutal crimes described by the prosecutors, and the weak, frail voice that come out of DeAngelo’s mouth as he admitted, over and over, his guilt.

Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman told DeAngelo that he will be sentenced to serve 11 consecutive terms of life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

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