California: Golden State Killer sentenced to life in prison

A former California officer who lived a double life known as “Golden State Killer” was sentenced to life in prison on Friday for a string of 1970s and ’80s murders and rapes

Joseph James DeAngelo, 74, showed no emotion during the nearly two-hour sentencing, held in a makeshift courtroom inside a ballroom at Sacramento State University so that victims and family members could spread out amid the coronavirus pandemic.

When given the opportunity to speak, DeAngelo slowly rose from a wheelchair, took off a mask, looked around at surviving victims and family members of those he murdered and said: “I’ve listened to all your statements. Each one of them. And I’m truly sorry to everyone out there. Thank you, your honour.”

In June, DeAngelo confessed to 13 murders and 13 rape-related charges for crimes carried out between 1975 and 1986 as part of a plea deal with prosecutors sparing him from a potential death sentence.

Prosecutors said he invaded 120 homes across 11 counties during his crime spree.

The identity of the Golden State Killer remained a mystery, his crimes unsolved, for decades until DeAngelo’s arrest in Sacramento County on April 24, 2018.

Investigators tied DeAngelo to the crimes using a then-novel technique of tracing him through family DNA.