Golden State Killer Case: Is Suspect Joseph James DeAngelo Pretending to Be Sickly Old Man?
Police believe DeAngelo is acting in a bid for sympathy from the court.
The accused Golden State Killer appeared only half aware of what was happening as he was rolled into court in a wheelchair Friday... but was it all an act?
Investigators in California say it's possible Joseph James DeAngelo is faking it.
The 72-year-old suspect was reportedly seen riding his motorcycle before his arrest last Wednesday.
Neighbors say DeAngelo kept every inch of his lawn well-manicured and built and flew model planes. A boat parked in the driveway outside his Sacramento home also suggests an energetic lifestyle.
Authorities say he is on suicide watch in the psychiatric wing of the county jail and can be heard mumbling to himself alone in a cell.
The Golden State Killer is believed to be responsible for 12 murders, 45 rapes and 120 burglaries between 1976 and 1986.
Cops say he sometimes stayed for hours at the homes he hit, and even cooked meals. He bound his victims and put plates on their bodies, telling them that if they moved and he heard the plate fall, he would kill them.
Sometimes he called victims he left alive by phone to torment them, disguising his voice with clenched teeth saying, "I'm gonna kill you."
He took his victims' wedding rings and bikini photos as souvenirs of his crimes.
Why the Golden State Killer's attacks apparently stopped in 1986 remains a mystery.
Another victim has come forward to say she hopes to testify against DeAngelo. Linda Odell and her husband were attacked in their home in 1977.
"I couldn't see his face," she told Inside Edition. "I couldn't see anything but the flashlight."
She added, "His main M.O. was the fear. It was more than a physical attack, it was the fear, the power he had over us."
There are also reports that his attorneys will legally challenge the methods used to capture him.
DNA recovered at a crime scene was entered into an online DNA database called GEDmatch. Investigators were able to trace the killer's great-great-great-grandfather and from there, they created a family tree of 1,000 descendants before narrowing it down to DeAngelo.
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