SACRAMENTO (CBS / AP) — A former police officer who eluded authorities for years as the Golden State Killer arrived in state prison Tuesday to begin serving multiple life sentences for rapes and murders that terrorized the Bay Area and much of California in the 1970s and 1980s.
Joseph James DeAngelo, 74, arrived at North Kern State Prison, a reception center in the Central Valley about 140 miles (225 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
Officials there will decide his permanent prison destination based on his security, medical, psychiatric and program needs, said California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation spokeswoman Terry Thornton.
DeAngelo pleaded guilty in June to 13 murders and 13 rape-related charges that spanned much of California between 1975 and 1986. The plea deal spared him the death penalty.
He admitted victimizing at least 87 people at 53 separate crime scenes spanning 11 California counties, though some of the crimes were too old to be formally charged.
The spree included, among other crimes:
- Contra Costa County: Four counts of kidnapping to commit robbery using a gun and knife between Oct. 7, 1978, and June 11, 1979
- Sacramento County: Two counts of murder in the Feb. 2, 1978, shootings of Kate Maggoire, 20, and Brian Maggoire, 21, as they walked their dog in their Rancho Cordova neighborhood. 9 counts of kidnapping to commit robbery using a gun and knife between Sept. 4, 1976, and Oct. 21, 1977.
- Santa Barbara County: Four counts of murder in the Dec. 30, 1979, rape and slaying of Debra Manning, 35, and slaying of Robert Offerman, 44, of Goleta, and in the July 27, 1981, slaying of Gregory Sanchez, 27, and Cheri Domingo, 35, of Goleta.
- Tulare County: One count of murder in the Sept. 11, 1975, slaying of Claude Snelling, 45, during an attempted kidnapping of the victim’s daughter from their home.
- Ventura County: Two counts of murder in the rape and slaying of Charlene Smith, 33, and slaying of Lyman Smith, 43, of Ventura between March 13 and March 16, 1980.
- Orange County: Four counts of murder in the Aug. 21, 1980, slaying of Keith Harrington, 24, and rape and slaying of Patrice Harrington, 27, of Dana Point; the Feb. 6, 1981, rape and slaying of Manuela Witthuhn, 28, of Irvine; and the May 5, 1986, rape and slaying of Janelle Cruz, 18, of Irvine.
DeAngelo’s rapes and eventual murders followed the same pattern. He would tie up couples he surprised while they slept, then assault the woman as the man lay helpless. He would place dishes on the man’s back, warning that he would kill them both if the dishes rattled.
He was sentenced in August after an extraordinary four-day hearing with emotional testimony from many of his victims or their survivors.
DeAngelo eluded capture for four decades before he was finally unmasked in 2018 with a pioneering use of DNA tracing.
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