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Final Chapter Written In Golden State Killer Case; Sentenced To Life Behind Bars


It was a long, painful week which was decades in coming.  The man known as the Golden State Killer was finally sentenced, more than four decades after he started on a rampage which included 13 murders.

Joseph James DeAngelo agreed to plead guilty to the murders, as well as dozens of other crimes, and admit to some that he could no longer be charged with in exchange for a life without the possibility of parole prison sentence. 

Prosecutors had originally sought the death penalty, but they realized that the now 74 year old man might not make it through a trial, and with a moratorium in the state on executions, he would probably die behind bars anyway.

But, before he was sentenced, some of his victims, as well as family members of those who died had the opportunity to tell him, and the court about the pain he'd inflicted.  Before being sentenced, DeAngelo made a less than 30 second statement, saying that he was sorry for all the pain he had caused.

Prosecutors say anything he would say would be meaningless, noting that he went out of his way to inflict pain on others.  He would often would tie up some of his victims and force them to listen as others were sexually assaulted, or tortured. 

The crimes went unsolved for decades.  In the 1970's and 80's, law enforcement agencies around the state didn't link their cases together.  Eventually, they realized their was a serial killer at work.  In 2018, DNA evidence led to the arrest of the one time policement for the crimes.

They say they hope that his conviction and sentencing will bring some sense of closure to survivors.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral. 
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