A former California policeman confessed to 13 murders, but he was not executed: how a man managed to save his life
American Joseph DeAngelo, known as the "murderer from the golden state", confessed to 13 crimes. Such was his agreement with the US Attorney's Office in exchange for changing the sentence from execution to life imprisonment. Writes about it with the BBC.
Joseph DeAngelo committed his crimes over 40 years ago - in the 1970s and 1980s. At that time, he worked for the California police. However, they were able to arrest the criminal only in 2018.
He was found using a database where anyone can upload their DNA data and see the family tree of the family.
Joseph DeAngelo confessed to numerous rape, burglary and other crimes.
Hearings took place in Sacramento, California, in a large university hall to allow victims and their families to attend.
It is expected that 74-year-old DeAngelo will be sentenced to life imprisonment in August at the second trial, where victims will be allowed to read out a report on the consequences of his crimes.
It is believed that the sentencing will be the culmination of an investigation into a crime that began in the 1970s and attracted worldwide attention.
DeAngelo carried out his crimes in different parts of California, for which he received many nicknames: “the robber from the Visalia”, “the killer with the diamond knot”, “the real night hunter”, “the rapist of the eastern regions”.
Who is Joseph De Angelo
DeAngelo is a former police officer and Vietnam War veteran. He worked as a car repair mechanic.
The criminal was arrested in April 2018, when the police, after matching the DNA data on an open service with DNA genealogy, tracked him down.
To identify the killer’s identity, investigators uploaded DNA samples from crime scenes and created a family tree until the 1800s.
The program was offered by several people, among whom was Joseph DeAngelo.
A former police officer was put under surveillance. Detectives watched and waited for him to throw something into the trash from which he could take a sample of his DNA.
After the examination, it became clear: the same criminal was before law enforcement officers. He was detained, then isolated in Sacramento prison.
Prosecutors from six California counties where he committed the crimes agreed to hold hearings in an audience at Sacramento State University, where 2000 people could be accommodated and social distance ensured.
During the June 29 hearing, DeAngelo and his lawyers had face shields on their faces to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
The accused was brought to the courtroom in a wheelchair, he moved with a stick.
Prosecutors noted that DeAngelo committed all his crimes about 40 years ago, and their geographic coverage is “simply amazing”.
The detainee confessed to all the crimes committed, although formally no charges were brought against him.
Sacramento County Attorney Thien Guo said that when DeAngelo was arrested in 2018 and left alone in the interrogation room, he started talking to himself, as if addressing a person whom he could not control.
“I did it all,” according to Guo, DeAngelo said. “I didn't have the strength to push him out. He made me. He went with me. It was like he was in my head. I mean, he's a part of me. I didn't want to do this kind of thing. I got rid of Jerry and became happy. I have done all these things. I destroyed all their lives. And now I have to pay for it. ”
However, prosecutors are skeptical of the veracity of De Angelo's words and actions. They recalled how he was fired from work for shoplifting, and he simulated a heart attack.
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