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.