Golden State Killer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. Sentenced to Life in Prison

Illustration for article titled Golden State Killer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. Sentenced to Life in Prison
Image: Santiago Mejia/San Francisco Chronicle (AP)

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., the man responsible for 13 murders and over 50 rapes in a crime spree that started in the 1970s, was sentenced to life in prison in a Sacramento Country courtroom on Friday, the Los Angeles Times reports.

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DeAngelo was arrested in 2018 and his arrest was the first of its kind in the nation, traced through relatives’ DNA found via public genealogy websites. His case attracted national attention when Michelle McNamara published I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, a book about her search to find the identity of this man. The book has been made into a documentary series on HBO that chronicles McNamara’s investigation.

The sentencing comes a few days after a grueling day of victim impact statements that laid bare the horror and psychological toll that DeAngelo’s crimes took on his victims. During today’s sentencing, DeAngelo apologized.

Before he was officially sentenced, DeAngelo rose briefly to speak.

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

Contra Costa County Dist. Atty. Diana Becton called DeAngelo “the boogeyman, the man whose horrific, unspeakable crimes devastated the lives of so many people, lives that will never be the same, lives forever changed, moments, hours of terror that can never be erased or forgotten.”

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Though he avoided the death sentence as part of a plea deal, his final sentence befits his crimes: DeAngelo will spend the rest of his life in prison, serving 11 consecutive life terms without parole, with an additional 15 life terms and eight years.

Correction: A previous version of this post did not include Joseph James Deangelo’s full name. Jezebel regrets the error.

Senior Writer, Jezebel

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DISCUSSION

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

That pitiful underwhelming generic statement doesn’t begin to absolve this horror of a human being for the destruction left behind. A plea bargain puts his “apology” into a negative balance. One can only hope his remaining years are miserable.