California Golden State Killer's Hearing Took Place in a Ballroom

James Marshall
July 1, 2020

Prosecutors had identified him as the "Golden State Killer" suspect who committed serial murders, rapes and burglaries during the 1970s and 1980s in California.

The crime spree ran from 1975 to 1986 and began while DeAngelo was still a police officer.

Visalia is 10 miles away from Exeter. The Vietnam War veteran spent six years in law enforcement before he was sacked for shoplifting dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore.

He was sacked for allegedly stealing a hammer and a can of dog repellent, The Associated Press reported, citing Auburn Journal articles from the time.

For the next 11 years, he terrorized communities from Sacramento to Orange County, prosecutors say. When he was arrested in April 2018, he was in Citrus Heights, the neighborhood where the Golden State Killer raped the first of his known victims in 1976.

Sometimes he would take jewelry, identification, cash and coins from the victims' homes.

He was initially charged with only the 1978 murders of Brian and Katie Maggiore, a newlywed couple who were shot dead in Rancho Cordova, a Sacramento suburb, while walking their dog.

Besides the 13 murders and kidnappings, prosecutors said DeAngelo was tied to almost 50 rapes and more than 120 home invasions - mostly in and around Sacramento, the eastern San Francisco Bay area and Southern California.

Then, they waited through decades of investigation into his identity.

The statute of limitations for the rapes and abductions have expired.

In July 1981, Cheri Domingo and Gregory Sanchez were killed in Goleta.

Along the way, the meticulous masked assailant was given a number of other nicknames including the East Area Rapist, the Diamond-Knot Killer and the Original Nightstalker.

That was his last known crime.

The 74-year-old has agreed to plead guilty to all charges to avoid the death penalty, Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Amy Holliday.

They then gathered DeAngelo's DNA on the handle of a auto door and a tissue in his garbage can, which matched the DNA from the crime scenes.

Investigators plugged his discarded DNA back into the genealogy database and found a match, linking DeAngelo's DNA to DNA found at crime scenes, prosecutors said.

He will also informally admit to numerous other crimes, it said.

Formal sentencing was set to begin on 17 August. Due to the large numbers of people attending, the hearing was held at a ballroom at California State University, Sacramento to allow for social distancing.

Prosecutors also revealed that on the day of his arrest, while alone in an interview room, DeAngelo was overheard having an animated conversation with himself, referring to an apparent alter ego named "Jerry", whom he described as being "in my head" and compelling him to "do those things".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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