A former police officer known as the Golden State Killer admitted to being a rapist and a serial killer in California. He pleaded guilty to having killed more than a dozen people and committing burglary while evading capture.
Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. had remained almost silent in court since his 2018 arrest until he repeatedly uttered the words “guilty” and “I admit” in a hushed and raspy voice as part of a plea agreement that will spare him the death penalty for a life sentence with no chance of parole, a Reuter’s report read.
Though the 74-year-old convict did not cooperate with the police, he said that an alternate personality called ‘Jerry’ forced him to commit the wave of crimes that appeared to end abruptly in 1986.
“I didn’t have the strength to push him out,” DeAngelo said while alone in a police interrogation. “He made me. He went with me. It was like in my head, I mean, he’s a part of me. I didn’t want to do those things. I pushed Jerry out and had a happy life. I did all those things. I destroyed all their lives. So now I’ve got to pay the price”.
The day of reckoning had come for DeAngelo, Sacramento County prosecutor Thien Ho said.
At the trial that was held in a makeshift university ballroom, DeAngelo was seated in a wheelchair, where observers followed social distancing. DeAngelo pleaded guilty to 13 counts of murder and dozens of rapes that were too old to prosecute.
DeAngelo, who wore orange jail scrubs and a plastic face shield to prevent a possible spread of the virus. Family members wept as the proceeding went on most of the day.
DeAngelo, a Vietnam veteran and a grandfather, had never been on the investigators’ radar. DNA from crime scenes led to finding one of his distant relatives, that led to DeAngelo. They tailed DeAngelo and secretly collected DNA from his car door and a discarded tissue to get an arrest warrant.
He was arrested at his home in the Sacramento suburbs DeAngelo’s sadistic acts were detailed by the prosecutors at the trial— surprising couples with flashlight sand threatening to kill everyone unless they followed his orders.
He initially intended only to rob his victims.
James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northeastern University, was quoted in a Reuter’s report as saying, most serial killers do not have dual personalities or inner voices, though movies often portray them that way.
Ho too, cast doubt on DeAngelo’s statement in the interrogation room and said DeAngelo had acted crazy when he was arrested for shoplifting three decades earlier.