SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — Friday was sentencing day for Joseph DeAngelo, the man known as the Golden State Killer or the East Area Rapist.
After hearing DeAngelo would speak a gasp came from the room, which soon became still and silent as everyone intently watched the 74-year-old admitted rapist and murderer stand to his feet.
“I’ve listened all your statements, each one of ‘em, and I am truly sorry to everyone I’ve hurt. Thank you, your honor,” DeAngelo said.
Judge Michael Bowman said DeAngelo’s plea does not mean that DeAngelo does not deserve the death penalty, but that the court feels it would not come to pass.
“Mr. DeAngelo will spend the rest of his life and, ultimately, meet his death confined behind the walls of the state penitentiary,” Judge Bowman said.
“I had always wondered if we would ever really hear his voice, and to hear it today was a shock,” said Debbi Domingo McMullan, daughter of victim Cheri Domingo.
“I was extremely surprised when he stood up to say something, even though I thought, ‘What kind of BS is he going to spiel out of his mouth?” said Golden State Killer survivor Jane Carson-Sandler.
It has been a long road to get to Friday’s sentencing, which followed three days of impassioned statements from victims and families who were impacted by DeAngelo’s reign of violence.
“To sit in a courtroom and hear from these folks, I don’t cry a lot. I cried pretty much most of the week,” Schubert said.
Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert was dogged in solving the case, assembling a task force four years ago to identify the suspect and bring him to justice.
“To me, and I think everybody else, it was a matter of just finding the answer because so many people deserved that,” she said.
Following the sentencing, Schubert showed recent videos of DeAngelo from inside his cell at the Sacramento County Main Jail, exposing that DeAngelo’s feeble physical stature was a farce. Since his arrest more than two years ago, he’s only been seen in a wheelchair.
“Watch it for what he does. Watch his flexibility, watch his dexterity, watch his mental drive,” Schubert said. “Think back on the crimes that he committed. Think back about what he did to escape.”
“Everybody called his bluff and he stood up and showed himself to be perfectly physically fit, with a strong voice,” said survivor Gay Hardwick.
“Know that the monster of your childhood or your younger years is gone forever and will die alone in the dark,” Schubert said.