Today was a big news day in the Karma department. An arrest was announced in the Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker case. Joseph James DeAngelo, age 72, was arrested at his home in Citrus Heights, California. DeAngelo is thought to be responsible for the shockingly brutal murders of 12 people and raping 45 between the years 1976 and 1986.
In further Karmic news today, “America’s Dad” Bill Cosby was convicted of sexual assault. I think the Universe is saying it’s sick of all this shit. The lid of Pandora’s Box can be pried opened, you freaks, and sunlight can disinfect and disempower your secrets.
Less than two years ago, on June 15, 2016, the FBI and local law enforcement announced a national publicity campaign and a $50,000 reward in hopes of bringing the Golden State Killer to justice.
Said Sgt. Paul Belli of the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department: “Our lifelines are people who give us information. It all boils down to people helping.”
It turns out that help may have come in the form of a suggestion from a “civilian” to use a genealogy website to track the killer/rapist’s DNA to locate relatives and then work backward. In fact, that is what authorities did. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2018/04/26/break-golden-state-killer-case-came-dna-genealogy-website/556297002/, and https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/26/us/golden-state-killer.html
DeAngelo was a cop during part of the time he was inflicting a reign of terror in numerous California cities, until he was fired after being caught shoplifting a hammer and dog repellant. Of course he was cop. What a surprise.
An article in the New York Times notes that Sacramento District Attorney Anne Marie Shubert has been central to the efforts to find the killer, and central in convincing people that this cold case was worth pursuing. Wow. How does that work?! I can’t even imagine a prosecutor in Oakland County, MI, doing anything to seriously advance the legitimate investigation of the OCCK murders at any point, back in the day or now.
Nor can I imagine the FBI or local law enforcement getting out ahead on the OCCK case and launching a NATIONAL publicity campaign in an attempt to solve these murders. But then again, in the Golden State Killer case, there was no cover up and no high level members of society set to be exposed as pedophiles in the wake of a legit investigation. And how about doing something with the DNA that you DO have in the OCCK case, something similar to what was done here? (And fast.) Make it a point to read the articles about the use of a genealogy site to track down the killer, and ask yourself why this was never considered in the OCCK case?
The contrast between how the Golden State Killer case has been handled and the OCCK case couldn’t be more obvious and depressing. If you have turned this into a “DNA only” way to solve these murders, DO something about it! If you let the evidence degrade and mishandled it over all these decades, tell the public. The Michigan State Police were the keepers of these cases. The Oakland County prosecutors over the years haven’t touched the case, and it’s pretty easy to guess why. You don’t get to keep this thing an “open” case forever, with no explanation to the public.
One of the common themes of the many communications I have had with people over the past decade is that police blew them off after asking the local public to come forward with information in the mid 2000’s in the wake of Ted Lamborgine and Richard Lawson’s arrests and convictions for child rape. And sometimes worse than blowing people off–representatives of the Michigan State Police were rude and borderline threatening to some of the people who called in with tips. I have numerous emails from people detailing their treatment and I have no reason to disbelieve them. At one point, one of the state police told a retired detective that his idea to go to the public with very, very specific information about a Pontiac LeMans “would generate too many useless leads.” A Pontiac LeMans from that era with a trailer hitch, pulled to one side and other rear end damage would spark too many calls? Seriously? At least they have been consistent. Anyone who reads a little bit of what’s online about these cases knows just how very different the Golden State Killer and the OCCK investigations are.
There will be more books and movies about the OCCK case. I guess law enforcement in Oakland County is just willing to let the shit hit the fan and hope it goes nowhere, just like it’s gone since February 1976.
Earlier this month, comedian Patton Oswalt was promoting a book about the Golden State Killer written by his late wife, Michelle McNamara. McNamara died in her sleep two years ago after spending years investigating these crimes and writing “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark,” chasing the unknown murderer/rapist. As a tribute to the efforts of his late wife, Oswald hired an investigative journalist and researcher to finish the book. The New York Times describes McNamara’s obsession with the case and the psychological toll it took on her. DeAngelo was not mentioned in this book (he was apparently totally under the radar, using all his good police training to keep from getting caught), and officials said that while the book kept interest and tips coming in, it did not directly lead to the arrest. But the arrest came on the heels of the publishing of the book. Pretty wild.