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.