The infamous Golden State Killer, whose murders are depicted in the new HBO docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark, pleaded guilty on Monday to his crimes, according to Entertainment Weekly. He is otherwise known as Joseph DeAngelo, a 74 year-old former police officer accused of 13 murders and 50 cases of sexual assault throughout the 1970s and 1980s in California. By pleading guilty, DeAngelo will not undergo the death penalty and is expected to spend the remainder of his life in prison. His sentence hearing will be held in August.
He was finally caught in 2018 when the DNA found at a crime scene matched with a relative of DeAngelo’s genetic profile available online. The pursuit to find and capture DeAngelo is addressed widely across many media forms, including HBO’s new docuseries I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. The series is based on Michelle McNamara’s bestselling true crime novel under the same name. The author spent a long time attempting to unveil the Golden State Killer’s identity, but sadly passed away before seeing the killer revealed and arrested. The book was completed after McNamara’s sudden passing in 2016, as noted by Los Angeles Times. Her investigation gave birth to a six-part docuseries which premiered Sunday.
Widower Patton Oswalt spoke out Monday afternoon about the guilty plea. View his tweet, in response to I’ll Be Gone in the Dark’s director Liz Garbus (Lost Girls), below:
The most important people at the #GoldenStateKiller hearing today are the survivors. All present, all staring directly at that zilch of a human being, and he can’t return their gaze. That’s what I’m focusing on. https://t.co/1lqZSIyt14
— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) June 29, 2020
Garbus talked to Entertainment Weekly saying, “We didn’t know when we started the documentary that we would know who he was. The first day of actual production, the night we went back to our hotel, was the day that Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. was arrested. So that was an incredible coincidence of timing for us, and also changed the course of how we would tell the story.”
The director furthered about both honoring McNamara’s novel with the series while also respecting the people who came forward about the DeAngelo. Garbus notes how emotional the project is and how delicately it must be handled. As reported by Entertainment Weekly, Garbus says, “The survivors and victims — talking to them and having them relive the worst moments of their life, some of them talking for the first time. It was a deeply emotional project for everybody who worked on it.”