01 June 2018

The Trial Of A Monster, Pt 5: Judge Rules: Some Affidavits To Remain Sealed From Public



This afternoon Joseph James DeAngelo once again appeared in front of Judge Michael Sweet, appropriately locked in a cage like an animal.

The juicy bits of the hearing regarded evidence procured from a search of DeAngelo's home during the days following his April 24th arrest, and whether or not said evidence would be unsealed and released to the curious public.

DeAngelo did not attend a closed hearing yesterday, wherein Judge Sweet spent hours listening to long-winded arguments from the defense about exactly what information should be redacted from the warrants before public release.

Sweet's decision today may be a tad disappointing to those morbidly curious of the search results: no information concerning the actual search will be released*. Portions of the overall affidavits, however, will be made public, including law enforcement's methods of tracking DeAngelo. Evidence related to any of DeAngelo's sexual assault charges will also remain sealed from the public, due in part to the inevitable odds of creating prejudice among potential jurors. On the plus side, details of his alleged murders - up to at least twelve, for those counting - are to be unsealed, although just how much of said evidence will be redacted remains to be seen, at least for now... the documents are expected to be released later this afternoon.

It has been suggested that the aforementioned search of DeAngelo's home yielded the discovery of possible trophies which the Golden State Killer kept from his victims - a disturbing hobby popular among serial killers. News of these trophies naturally roused interest among long-time followers of the case, who have long speculated whether the notorious serial rapist had kept items taken from the scene of his crimes, which could include anything from victims' driver's licenses to locks of hair - essentially, any evidence that would be conclusively damning.

But mum's the word for the time being, and those devoted followers patiently waiting to learn just what was found in DeAngelo's house will have to retain what's left of that patience for Lord knows how much longer.*

DeAngelo is slated to return to court on July 12th.

*edit: It appears I was mistaken. The link below contains (50 or so pages in) a laundry list of the "trophies" DeAngelo kept, includinlots of jewelry, most of it seemingly personal with inscriptions like "Love forever [REDACTED] Xmas 72," a photograph of [REDACTED] in a bikini, plenty of driver's licenses and photographs of more redacted names (including one high school photograph, YIKES), a .357 Magnum revolver (!!!), victims' HOUSE KEYS, prescription painkillers, and a "blunt object" containing blood, tissue, and hair from murder victim Janelle Cruz.

I suggest checking it out. Some truly disturbing stuff.


*****UPDATE: WARRANT DOCUMENTS RELEASED*****

Well, that was fast. 171 pages of arrest/search warrant documents have been released, so if you're curious enough, make yourself a pot of coffee and find a comfortable spot to sit for however many hours it takes to peruse the tome. Be prepared, of course, for massive redactions.

The documents can be found here.


12 May 2018

The Trial Of A Monster, Pt 4: Supervillain Origin Story?

source: https://dorkland.blogspot.com

It is often shown in movies and books and Netflix original Marvel series that the simplest but most prevalent battle is the one of Good versus Evil. The Good consists of the heroes - the protagonists, who at least appear to be brave and virtuous. Comprising the Bad, meanwhile, are the villains - the antagonists, who are evil, cruel, unjust and unrelenting. They are heartless and merciless. They cackle maniacally. But usually it is suggested - revealed, really - that behind the villain, in the pit that once housed a heart, cower the remains of a troubled and damaged soul. There was a time in every fictional bad guy's past when he or she was at least some semblance of a good person, and then something terrible happened - the trigger, the catalyst... the supervillain origin. That's how it is with the big-baddie in almost every Hollywood blockbuster, and although it's a simple way of explaining evil, it can sometimes be grounded in reality.

Bearing that in mind, it's interesting - and revealing - to examine the childhood of Joseph James DeAngelo - decades before he would become the East Area Rapist.

The DeAngelo family moved around quite a bit in the 1950s, as Joseph DeAngelo Sr. served in the United States Air Force. At one point, the family had been residing around an Air Force base in Germany. It was here that a ten-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo and his seven-year-old sister Constance were playing in an abandoned warehouse, when the unthinkable happened.

According to Constance's son, Jesse Ryland, while DeAngelo and his sister were in that abandoned Air Force warehouse, two airmen wandered in and raped Constance right in front of her brother.

"That's pretty crazy for a kid to see his sister be violated," Jesse Ryland told BuzzFeed News. "Maybe that was the start of Joe going wacko." When DeAngelo and his sister informed their parents of what had transpired, they were told, bafflingly, to keep it to themselves.

It's not uncommon for a comic book supervillain to have something of a bastard for a father, and Joseph DeAngelo Sr. certainly fit the bill, as he was allegedly prone to physically abusing his wife and children. And his villainy didn't end there. The father of the Golden State Killer ended up leaving his family after retiring in South Korea, at which point he started a new family with three children, two of whom he had named Constance and Joseph James, Jr. - the same names once given to his daughter and son back in America.

It's easy to assume that the sum of the tragic events plaguing Joseph James DeAngelo's childhood had a severe impact on his psyche, potentially sparking a sick fascination with rape and a tragic detachment from compassion and humanity.

Tragedy and trauma, of course, do not excuse heinous behavior. Make no mistake: this new information is nothing more than a plausible explanation for DeAngelo's crimes, not an excuse. This should be evident from the fact that Constance DeAngelo suffered as well - far worse even than her brother - yet she managed to remain resilient and carry out a normal life.

It should also be noted that a sea of speculation surrounds the case of the East Area Rapist, and this recent discovery is no exception: whether or not the aforementioned tragic events contributed to DeAngelo's violent crime spree is at this time pure speculation, yet to be confirmed, if it ever will be.

But Lord knows that once the inevitable Golden State Killer movie gets greenlit, Hollywood will have a field day with this.

10 May 2018

The Trial Of A Monster, Pt 3: Not-So-Many Words From The Santa Barbara DA

Today at 2:30 PST, or 5:30 for us Atlantic kids, Santa Barbara County DA Joyce Dudley stood behind a podium for the briefest press conference in the history of brief press conferences.

"Violent cold cases never grow cold for victims or their loved ones," she opens with. "In fact, most of them spend their lives feverishly seeking answers and desperately hoping for justice."

Unfortunately, those answers weren't going to be given today.

The DA spends the next maybe seven minutes dishing out a tray of greasy nothingburgers, as she gives us no more than the bare essentials - all of which were things we had either already known or had come to expect. Nevertheless, some of it was satisfying to hear.

After a breakdown of the events of the last two weeks, she feeds us the following slab of raw, unsalted burger: "Joseph DeAngelo is a suspect who must be presumed innocent unless and until he is found guilty." These words are obvious and true, of course, and that's how the Justice System works - "innocent until proven guilty" - but that doesn't make those words necessary. We know he's "presumed" innocent. We know he'll have to be tried in court before he's hung by his thumbs. But the evidence can't be denied - every DNA sample collected and compared, a 100% match. Every piece of DeAngelo's life history, all of the little events scattered about his personal timeline, fall cozily into the gaps on the timeline of the Golden State Killer (or, in the case of Santa Barbara, the Original Night Stalker). Loose ends have been tied. Strange behaviors explained. Almost every pause in the Golden State Killer's crime spree seems to coincide with a significant moment in DeAngelo's life - we recently learned that in 1979 DeAngelo was fired from the Auburn Police Dept. after being caught stealing a hammer and dog repellent. Not two months later an attacker appeared in Santa Barbara, more than three hundred miles due south of the East Area Rapist's Sacramento stomping grounds. The recent findings suggest the possibility that he may have fled the Sacramento region in fear that his firing from the police might put him on the radar, and that he could soon be suspected of something much larger than petty shoplifting. It's there, in Southern California, that eight people die by his hand over the course of nearly two years - and then everything stops in July of 1981, for nearly half a decade. Why the quiet five years? In September of 1981, DeAngelo's first child is born.

See how it all adds up?

Sort of silly, then, to even bother chirping "presumed innocent."

But the speech isn't all snooze-fodder, when DA Joyce Dudley announces that she has decided to file against Joseph James DeAngelo four counts of first degree murder, with special circumstances. "Each of the four counts carries multiple allegations," she explains. "Each of the four counts carry the potential for a sentence of life without possibility of parole, or the death sentence."

Good news all around.

After that, she takes a few questions, pointing out first that she "cannot and will not discuss any of the facts or the evidence for any allegations made against Mr. DeAngelo."

The first question, naturally, is evaded. The inquiries which follow are insignificant, eliciting from DA Joyce Dudley answers we already know: the four aforementioned counts, which were actually two duo-killings, are Debra Manning and Robert Offerman, and Cheri Domingo and Greg Sanchez. Both attacks happened in Goleta, the first on the night of December 30, 1979 and the latter on July 27, 1981. (That would be the last sighting of the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker for nearly five years, as mentioned earlier.)

And as far as info garnered from the press conference goes, that's about it. A few minutes of unimportant, monotonic questions are given similarly monotonous answers, and then DA Joyce Dudley finally wraps it up and vanishes into the abyss.

At least the warm weather was ideal for today's Great Santa Barbara Nothingburger Grill.



DeAngelo's Santa Barbara court date has yet to be determined.



03 May 2018

The Trial Of A Monster, Pt 2: The First Ever Solicited Dick Pic

Joseph James DeAngelo in court, CBS Sacramento

Sitting alone in his bedroom, somewhere in the country, right now, some random lonely man between 19 and 45 is trying to take a decent picture of his junk. His pants lay stacked at his ankles and he is crouching, as if to pop a squat right on the carpet, struggling with one hand to maintain his balance and the other to get a good angle for the photo shoot. But he won't find a good angle, because there is no good way to take a picture of one's own penis, and the poor girl on the receiving end of said photo will unfortunately attest to that.

It's a thing women today have to deal with all the time: the unsolicited dick pic. For whatever reason, some dudes think that the disgusting heap of sweaty, hairy junk between our legs is aesthetically pleasing, and that a 1616x1212 pixel image of our man-meat is the digital equivalent of Spanish fly. To say that this is not the case and that dick pics never turn women on would be a severe understatement. Nobody will ever ask for a picture of your penis.

Unless you're Joseph James DeAngelo.

From 1976 to 1986, the East Area Rapist - recently identified as 72-year-old ex-cop Joseph James DeAngelo - wore a mask while committing his heinous crimes, which included at least fifty individual acts of rape and sexual assault. That dark mask may have hid his identity, but it didn't leave him entirely without physical identification: a large number of his victims pointed out that the East Area Rapist's penis had been unusually small. His microscopic member was often on full display the moment he appeared standing, sans pants, in the bedroom doorways of the men and women whose homes he'd just sneaked into - an act which he would also presumably commit while without pants.

Almost always the same description was given: a noticeably small penis.

DeAngelo appeared near-comatose at his arraignment last Friday, perhaps due to having been sedated, or perhaps out of genuine fear. He spoke very low, said very little, and remained confined to a wheelchair. On the morning of Wednesday, May 2nd, DeAngelo made another brief court appearance, looking just as dazed and saying even less. It was here that his public defender appealed to Sac County Superior Court Judge Michael Sweet requesting that the DA be prohibited from taking photographs of her client's body as part of a sealed search warrant. The judge essentially gave her a shrug and a let-me-sleep-on-it.

And sleep on it he has: barely twenty-four hours later Judge Sweet has ruled against the defense.

Although the exact reasons for such a physically-invasive search warrant have not been specified, the noted infamy of the East Area Rapist's less-than-impressive nether regions suggests that photographs of DeAngelo's little package could be used against him. There's at least a chance that, when provided with these images, one of his surviving victims could give it a nod and an incriminating, "That's the one."

While the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution states that defendants cannot be compelled to incriminate themselves by any means, Judge Sweet argues that because the evidence in this case is of a physical nature, "There is no Fifth Amendment privilege I can see."

Of course, even with the photographs of DeAngelo's junk, there still may not be very much to see.

30 April 2018

The Trial Of A Monster, Pt 1: Arraignment


Joseph James DeAngelo at his arraignment (dailymail.co.uk)


    It’s 1:45 on the afternoon of Friday, April 27th in Sacramento, California, when a monster is wheeled into a crowded courtroom.
    He sits in a daze, slow eyes glazed over and rising only halfway to meet his surroundings.  His mouth, agape, drips a strand of drool. At first glance you’d think him a victim – the aging codger looks tortured, frightened, out of sorts and disoriented, and he maybe is all of these; but a victim he is not.
    When addressed he responds in near-silence, barely hissing single-word replies of a high-pitch tone not unlike that of a wounded cat.
    It’s all an act. It always has been with him.

    For the first time since the mid-1970s, Joseph James DeAngelo does not have a fence to hop over or a glass door to quietly slide open. He’s not wearing a gray cloth mask with small slits for his eyes and a hole for his mouth; his face – in all of its dumbfounded glory – is finally sweating unmasked under a light for all to see. Instead of dark clothing to blend into the night, DeAngelo dons a jumpsuit whose neon orange demands the attention of everyone. And, perhaps most importantly, he is wearing pants – no more standing menacingly in open doorways, with hairy legs and an infinitesimal pecker exposed.
    The script he had once used for over a decade has been rewritten – reality no longer follows his pen. The jig is up, the show is over – yet his act still goes on. But the bluff is called. Paul Holes, a retired investigator with twenty-four years’ experience pursuing DeAngelo, expresses doubt“No, no, no, no. This guy was moving around like a young 50-year-old. He was riding his motorcycle, bombing down the freeway at over 100 miles per hour. Stop signs are optional for this guy.”
    DeAngelo’s neighbors say they had seen him building furniture just days ago. This is a man who is only “inactive” if compared to how active he had once been, forty odd years ago.
    But you don’t have to be a neighbor or to have pursued him for two decades in order to see that Joseph James DeAngelo is full of crap. All you need to know is the long and terrible story which only recently got its much-needed happy ending.

    The Golden State Killer, the Visalia Ransacker, the Diamond Knot Killer, the East Area Rapist, and the Original Night Stalker. These were the names given to Joseph James DeAngelo – names used to describe a carnal beast terrorizing small cities up and down California in the mid-‘70s-and-‘80s. Before he played the victim being wheeled toward deserved fate, Joseph James DeAngelo had been a monster. He stalked women – teenagers, widows, estranged wives and single college girls – often for days, possibly weeks – studying their routines and learning the moments of which they were most vulnerable. After the crime was committed, authorities might find boot prints dug into the mulch outside the bedroom windows of his victims. He drove by their homes nightly, turned his head and sped away if spotted, and the very second those women, those wives, those teenage girls were by their lonesome, no friend or parent or significant other to offer potential aid and defense, he would strike.
    By the end of his spree in 1986 he had committed at least fifty rapes and taken more than twelve lives, which don’t include the ones left broken in his wake.
    None of the names or titles used to describe Joseph James DeAngelo rings quite as true as “monster.” It’s an unfortunate truth that many monsters get away, and he was one of them, having managed to evade capture thanks to a weird mix of luck and know-how. Of course, considering that the recent uncovering of his identity also resulted in the discovery that he had been a cop during the bulk of his crimes, one can see how he had given authorities the slip with such ease.
    But time caught up with the Golden State Killer. The future brought with it technologies which rendered the monster near-obsolete. As put by Michelle McNamara – a woman who spent her last living years neck-deep in an obsessive investigation of the cold case – in an open letter to the Original Night Stalker in her book, I’ll Be Gone In The Dark, “The world hummed with connectivity and speed. Smartphones. Optical-text-recognition technology. Customizable interactive maps. Familial DNA…. Virtual windows are opening all around you. You, the master watcher, are an aging, lumbering target in their crosshairs.
    It’s sort of poetic, then, that a small team of investigators would finally nab the East Area Rapist using simple yet efficient twenty-first century technology. DNA taken from an old crime scene was sent to one of the internet’s many genealogy/ancestry websites, and from there it was a cakewalk: first you get a list of relatives branching from said DNA, then you narrow down potential perps (those of the right age, sex, and residence). You surveil the top suspects, snatch some of their discarded trash, and compare DNA samples. And then voila – it’s a 100% match. The evidence is ironclad: Joseph James DeAngelo is your guy. The monster has a new name now.
    After that he’ll be apprehended, questioned, and he’ll deny everything. He’ll play victim; desperate and befuddled. Having been stripped of all his power means he’ll have to retreat somewhere – but there is nowhere to go. No more quick escapes. Only confinement. So he hides inside his own head, feigning distress, pretending to have been wronged. It’s been suggested that his sluggish behavior at the arraignment was due to him having been drugged, likely as a means of suicide prevention. But even without the help of sedatives, his behavior would have undoubtedly been no different. He still would've put on his old act, though this time changing the tone of the lead villain.
    The show must go on. Once he had acted as the predator brimming with faux-virile confidence. Reduced to nothing, he plays the part of the prey; the harmless old man. But the truth is that underneath both masks beats the heart of a coward. And when the arraignment ends on the afternoon of Friday, April 27th in Sacramento, California, the monster named Joseph James DeAngelo, bound to a wheelchair and awaiting justice, will be nothing more than a coward.