The Golden State Killer, a former California police officer by the name of Joseph James Deangelo, will die in prison. On August 20th, the 75-year-old murderer was sentenced to 26 life sentences without the possibility of parole for his crimes.
Deangelo plead guilty to 13 counts of first degree murder and 13 rape related charges committed between 1975 and 1986. Before receiving his life sentence, he stood and removed his mask to speak to the court. His statement addresses the survivors and family members who had given statements during the trial. Turning to the people present, he said, “I listened to all your statements, each one of them, and I’m truly sorry for everyone I’ve hurt.”
Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Michael Bowman sentenced Deangelo a total of 26 life terms. According to AP News, he has a sentence of “11 consecutive life terms without the possibility of parole, plus 15 life terms with the possibility of parole and eight years for other enhancements.”
AP also reported that the court had considered the death penalty. In the end, California’s temporary suspension of executions, the coronavirus pandemic, and the old age of both Deangelo and his victims led them to settle on multiple life sentences.
The days leading up to the sentencing were full of statements from survivors, victims, and family members of the murdered. Mentioned in the Washington Post’s report, one woman gave a detailed account of her encounter with the Golden State Killer, when she was just 7-years-old. She told the court, “That was the day I knew I had proof. Monsters were real. The boogeyman had broken into my house.”
That “boogeyman” will now spend the rest of his life in prison.