SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — He's been called the original "Nightstalker," the "East Area Rapist," and most notably the "Golden State Killer." On Monday he's expected to plead guilty.
Joseph DeAngelo, 74, is set to admit to 13 murders and as many as 50 rapes in a Sacramento County courtroom in order to avoid the death penalty.
The crimes of the Golden State Killer spanning over a decade and across at least 10 California counties.
Throughout the 1970s and '80s, the Golden State Killer stalked his victims, committing numerous sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south where he is believed to have perpetrated 10 murders.
His crimes have been detailed in the true-crime novel "I'll Be Gone In The Dark," written by Michelle McNamara. McNamara not only followed the Golden State Killer's crime spree but dug into the investigation so much so she sub-titled the book "One woman's obsessive search for the Golden State Killer."
- Related: HBO to honor Michelle McNamara with docuseries based off her book: I'll Be Gone In The Dark
DeAngelo is a former Auburn, California, police officer who was fired in 1979 for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore, according to Jones. He worked as a police officer in Exeter and Auburn between 1973 and 1979.
Police arrested DeAngelo in 2018 after investigators were able to connect his DNA to crimes through genetic genealogy. DeAngelo was the first public arrest this new technique that takes the DNA of an unknown suspect left behind at a crime scene and identifies him or her by tracing a family tree through his or her family members, who voluntarily submit their DNA to public genealogy databases.
Over 150 victims and relatives expected to attend court proceedings, which are set to begin at 9:30 a.m.
The former police officer is then expected to be sentenced in August to life without the possibility of parole after the surviving victims and relatives of those killed confront him in court.