July 18, 2024

Judge Bowman sentences Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo to life in prison


Joseph DeAngelo, the man known as the Golden State Killer, has been sentenced to life in prison.

The judgement on Friday August 21, 2020, ended a crime investigation that began in the 1970s and attracted worldwide interest.

DeAngelo, 74, was arrested in 2018 after his DNA was found on a genealogy website.

In June, he admitted to 13 murders in a deal with US prosecutors meant to spare him the death penalty.

He also admitted to numerous rapes, burglaries and other crimes at the time.

Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert on Friday called DeAngelo a “sociopath in action”.

“I’ve listened to all of your statements. Each one of them. And I’m truly sorry to everyone I’ve hurt,” DeAngelo.

It is likely that DeAngelo will die in prison, serving 11 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, with 15 concurrent life sentences and other time for weapons charges.

“When a person commits monstrous acts they need to be locked away where they could never harm another innocent person,” Judge Bowman said.

Judge Bowman said on Friday that the sentence he chose was the “absolute maximum” the court was able to impose under the law.

“The survivors have spoken,” he said. “Clearly the defendant deserves no mercy.”

DeAngelo was a Californian police officer during his crimes in the 1970s and 80s and his crimes stretched across the state of California.

The former police officer, Vietnam War veteran and auto mechanic was arrested in April 2018 after police tracked him down by matching his DNA with a genealogy website.

Investigators designed a new method of DNA tracing, creating a family tree dating back to the 1800s in order to identify him as a suspect. Detectives followed him and collected a piece of rubbish he had thrown away, finding the same DNA recovered from several crime scenes.

Prosecutors said on Friday that this method has since been used to solve nearly 100 additional crimes.

Speaking after the sentencing, Ms Schubert described DeAngelo as “a person who has no respect for the rights of human beings, no respect for the law, no compassion, no empathy, no remorse.”

“He is a person who lacks a conscious or a soul,” he said.

Answering questions on Friday, Ms Schubert said it was possible there were still unidentified victims remaining.

“I don’t believe we will ever know the magnitude of what Mr DeAngelo did,” she said.

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