Golden State Killer Suspect to Enter Guilty Plea to Avoid Death Penalty: Reports

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The former police officer accused of being California's elusive “Golden State Killer” will plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty in California, according to a report. The details of the agreement continue to be formalized, but Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr., 74, is expected to admit to at least 13 murders and as many rapes in Sacramento County between the 1970s and the 1980s, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing a source.

It's also believed DeAngelo will admit to other crimes that he has not been charged with, because they fall outside the realm of statute of limitations, the Times reported. 

“It’s pragmatic. This makes sense. It is efficient. It is cost-effective. It is ultimately where we were going to end,” Jennifer Carole, whose father, Lyman Smith, was among those murdered, told the Times. “So what is justice for that? I’m sitting with that [question] every damn day.”

Known by many monikers, including the East Area Rapist, the Visalia Ransacker, the Original Night Stalker and the Diamond Knot Killer, the Golden State Killer is believed to be responsible for at least 12 murders, 51 rapes and 120 home burglaries. Late true crime author Michelle McNamara, who worked extensively to solve the case, coined the name the "Golden State Killer" to fully encapsulated the terror that gripped the entire state of California in the 1970s and ‘80s.

An upcoming HBO six-part series, “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” is based off the book of the same name by late writer Michelle McNamara is set to premiere on June 28. In it, McNamara chronicled her years-long journey trying to discover the identity of GSK.


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