Joseph DeAngelo, a former policeman who’s known as the “Golden State Killer” and committed numerous crimes between the 1970s and 1980s, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on August 21, 2020. In June of 2019, DeAngelo pled guilty to his crimes, which included murdering 13 people and raping more than 50 women. Within this plea deal, DeAngelo also admitted to uncharged crimes, which included rape. By DeAngelo taking this plea deal, he was no longer at risk of being sentenced to death.
During DeAngelo’s sentencing he did not attempt to physically face his victims or their families, often not looking in their direction. However, he did apologize to them. DeAngelo stated, “I’ve listened to all your statements, each one of them, and I am truly sorry to everyone I hurt.” During sentencing, many of the victims or their family members recounted in detail what happened to them at the hands of DeAngelo. Another unique aspect of this case is that DeAngelo is the first person to be publically arrested due to genetic genealogy. With the use of his DNA that remained at crime scenes, investigators were able to use public genealogy databases to track down DeAngelo’s ancestry, which led to his arrest in 2018.