"We suffered for 44 years": Victims and families face Golden State Killer ahead of sentencing
Raw emotions took center stage in a California courtroom Tuesday as victims and surviving family members got their first chance to confront the man known as the Golden State Killer, who raped or killed more than a dozen people beginning in the 1970s.
Forty-four years of pain flooded the Sacramento courtroom. "You can go straight to hell," Pat Murphy said while raising a middle finger.
Murphy said she was a normal 15-year-old girl until 1976 when serial rapist and murderer Joseph James DeAngelo raped her.
"Wielding a knife told me would kill me if I didn't do what he demanded," said Chris Pedretti.
Pedretti was one of 16 to confront the so-called Golden State Killer on Tuesday as the 74-year-old sat stone-faced.
"He truly is an evil monster," said Patricia Cosper.
"We suffered for 44 years," said Pete Schultz, who spoke for his mother.
"He tied me up to the bed and performed horrific acts on my mother, who was bound and blindfolded," said Schultz.
DeAngelo, a former police officer, terrorized women mostly in central California from 1975 to 1986. There were many nicknames used to describe the serial killer, including the Visalia Ransacker, the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker, CBS Los Angeles reported. He evaded arrest until 2018 when new DNA testing techniques tracked him down.
DeAngelo pleaded guilty in June to murdering 13 people and raping more than 50 others — saving himself from the death penalty.
"It is inconceivable that such a sick creature exists in the world. May he rot in hell," said Phyllis Henneman, a sister of one of the victims.
The emotional reckoning will continue Wednesday when more victims will confront DeAngelo.
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