SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — After a dramatic arrest and successful prosecution, the East Area Rapist is behind bars for life.
The people he terrorized are getting another chance to have their voices heard as the Sacramento County District Attorney's office is going digital with hundreds of shocking survival stories.
"It affected so many. I mean, the ripple effect is extraordinary," said Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert.
That's what compelled Schubert to give survivors another chance to heal. Her team compiled an online book, filled with hundreds of email submissions from people who lived through Joseph DeAngelo's attacks. These stories reveal the ripple effect of terror that gripped Sacramento.
"There's one story of a family sleeping on the roof of their home. You have another woman who loaded her children up into a car and slept in a car at night," Schubert said.
People were prepared to do anything to keep themselves and their families safe.
"I remember one woman who washed her laundry and put her laundry on her bed with a pillow and slept under that in hopes that the person wouldn't see them," Schubert said.
Schubert said people wrote about training their kids to use guns. She said some parents had to explain what rape was to their children.
"Much of it has impacted, if they were younger, how they raised their own children later in life and how they parented. What they taught their children," she said.
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DeAngelo's signature MO – tying people up, tormenting them for hours and stealing their valuables – scarred Sacramento and beyond for decades.
"It demonstrates the raw emotions that folks went through at the times," Schubert said.
At his sentencing, Schubert said she thinks DeAngelo has no remorse for crimes. But that doesn't have to stop survivors from moving forward.
"My hope is that we've given folks a voice and that we can now put this chapter, a really dark chapter in our past," she said.
This book is called Sacramento, A Community Forever Changed, and you can find a link to it on the Sacramento County District Attorneys Office website.
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