Joseph James DeAngelo, the 74-year-old defendant alleged to be the “Golden State Killer,” pleads guilty in a hearing.
DeAngelo, a former police officer, is the suspect who terrorized Californians while masked in at least 13 murders, 50 rapes, and 100 burglaries that took place between 1976 and 1986, say multiple law enforcement agencies. If he was attacking multiple people (often couples), then he’d allegedly tie one victim up, and put plates or other household items on that person’s back, so he’d know that person was moving if the items fell while he was raping a female victim.
The Golden State Killer allegedly taunted survivors after the incidents.
“I’m gonna kill you,” he said in one call caught on tape. “I’m gonna kill you.”
As part of the expected plea agreement, DeAngelo would submit to 13 counts each of murder and kidnapping in exchange for being spared the death penalty, according to a Los Angeles Times report from June 15. The defendant would also confess to 62 other crimes.
It’s unlikely that the elderly DeAngelo would’ve been executed even if he’d been convicted at a trail and sentenced accordingly. California Governor Gavin Newsom put down a moratorium on the death penalty in 2019, and the state hadn’t even used capital punishment since 2006.