SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Golden State Killer, a former police officer in California who eluded capture for four decades, faces his victims in court Wednesday on the second of four days of hearings before he is sentenced to life in prison.
Joseph DeAngelo has admitted to 13 murders and nearly 50 rapes between 1975 and 1986. All told, he admitted to harming 87 victims in 53 separate crime scenes spanning 11 California counties in a plea deal that spares him the death penalty.
The reign of terror mystified investigators until they used a new form of DNA tracking to arrest him in 2018.
Sixteen of his rape victims confronted him Tuesday. Victim after victim lined up to describe DeAngelo as a “sick monster,” “horrible man” and “subhuman” who changed their lives during a long reign of rape and murder that earned him the nickname Golden State Killer.
The daughter of one rape victim gave him an obscene hand gesture and cursed him Tuesday during the first of four days of hearings in Sacramento County Superior Court.
Today, more survivors from counties across Northern California recalled how the attack changed their lives.
The first survivor to speak on Thursday called herself a "survivor thriver" after enduring the trauma after DeAngelo attacked her. She remembered how he bound both her and her son.
"I was frozen in fear beyond description, but I was focused on my son. Where did you put my son? What were you going to do to him?" said Jane Carson Sandler, Golden State Killer survivor.
She even brought a a friend with her, Bonnie, who she says broke off her engagement to DeAngelo when she was a teen.
"She bares none of that responsibility," said Sandler. "We consider her one of us."
DeAngelo did not react to her being in the room.
Many emotions were brought out as survivors stepped up to the podium to tell their stories.
"The aftermath of this attack has been with me for 42 years," said Gay Hardwick. "Our lives were never the same."
Hardwick recounted multiple times when lawmakers and others put the blame on the victim of rapes, bringing up quotes from congresspeople and even Title IX rules for college campuses.
Watch Hardwick's full statement:
Anger was a prominent emotion in many statements on Thursday.
Robert Brooks from Alameda County said in his statement that "it would be a waste of time to stand before DeAngelo" and that he "does not deserve to be part of this society. He does not belong on this planet."
One victim said that she was disturbed by the fact that he lived freely for so long and that "he deserves nothing."
A few of the statements asked for DeAngelo to be sent to Pelican Bay.
Anger was not the only emotion presented, though. Many survivors told DeAngelo and the court of their resilience.
"You victimized me, but I am not a victim," said Joanne Miyao, a Santa Clara County Golden State Killer survivor.
Watch the statement of a survivor who was 13 when she was raped by the Golden State Killer:
One of the youngest victims of DeAngelo spoke at the hearing today as well. She was 13 years old when she was attacked by the Golden State Killer.
"No 13-year-old should have to find out what a rape kit is," said Mary. She also mentioned that she found out she was ovulating at the time, so steps were taken to try to prevent pregnancy as well.
Mary said that friends and family were supportive of her, but she also saw the pain in their eyes when they looked at her. While she did struggle, she was always hopeful that DeAngelo would be caught and is still optimistic about life.
"I have a full second half of my life ahead of me, and you've got what you got," she said to DeAngelo.
Golden State Killer survivors confront Joseph DeAngelo during the second day of victim impact statements
More survivors will tell a Sacramento County judge on Thursday how DeAngelo’s crimes changed their lives before he is formally sentenced Friday.
WATCH MORE: Before the Golden State Killer, the East Area Rapist, and the Original Nightstalker, authorities say Joseph DeAngelo began his reign of terror in California's Central Valley as the Visalia Ransacker. ABC10 breaks down the Ransacker's early days with John Vaughan, the former Visalia police sergeant who spent his career trying to catch the Ransacker, and Farrel Ward, the retired Exeter cop who worked side by side with DeAngelo.