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California's Golden State Killer faces life prison sentence, Victims tell of trauma and healing during the case

Man pleading guilty to 'Golden State Killer' murders, crimes
Posted at 5:21 AM, Aug 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-17 08:21:34-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., a former police officer, faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole for 13 rape-related charges and 13 murder counts stemming from crimes in the 1970s and 1980s across six California counties.

He pleaded guilty in June and is set to be sentenced on Friday after three days of testimony from his victims and survivors.

The 74-year-old is the elusive Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist and Visalia Ransacker. The charges linked to rapes were filed as kidnappings to commit robberies because the statute of limitations for sexual assaults has expired.

Nearly three-dozen victims or survivors plan to tell their stories before DeAngelo is formally sentenced to life in prison.

Some plan to tell of their pain during an extraordinary four days of hearings starting Tuesday. Others will talk of their healing since DeAngelo terrorized much of California more than four decades ago.

It's the culmination of a plea deal that will spare him the death penalty for 13 murders and numerous sadistic rapes and burglaries that terrorized California for more than a decade.

The reign of terror mystified investigators until they used a new form of DNA tracking to arrest him in 2018.