CrimeCon 2018

Golden State Killer Suspect Was Nicknamed 'Junkfood Joe' When He Was A Cop

Joseph James DeAngelo was known for his love of junk food. You know who else loved junk food? The Golden State Killer. 

One of the creepiest details about the Golden State Killer is he often would take breakings during his attacks and eating snacks like crackers or apple pie, or would stop and drink a beer.

So when true crime podcasters Tim Pilleri and Lance Reenstierna (Missing Maura Murray and Crawlspace) heard that suspect Joseph James DeAngelo had the nickname "Junkfood Joe" while working as a cop in the 1970s, it made a lot of sense.

“We heard that he had a reputation when he was a cop in the mid to late ‘70s, that he was known as ‘Junkfood Joe,’ and he would always be eating potato chips and drinking sodas,” Pilleri told Oxygen.com.

The podcasting duo heard that information from journalist Billy Jensen, who contributed to "I'll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer" and Paul Haynes, lead researcher for that book, at CrimeCon in Nashville last weekend.

Former Auburn Police officer Nick Willick told The Auburn Journal that he remembers his former coworker DeAngelo having an affinity for candy, snacks and soda.

“He was a little odd," he recalled. "He didn’t have common sense. But I never would have anticipated him being a serial killer.”

When DeAngelo got arrested he apparently still had food on the brain.

“He said in his high pitched voice that he had a roast in the oven while they were tackling him and putting him in the car,”  Reenstierna said.

Pilleri added that he seemed more concerned about the pot roast than he did about getting arrested on murder charges.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones backed up that story. He told the Sacramento Bee that when DeAngelo was arrested, he only had one comment for police: "I have a roast in the oven."

DeAngelo was charged with four murders earlier this month. Police suspect he is the man behind eight additional murders and around 50 rapes.

If DeAngelo is, in fact, the Golden State Killer, that makes a helluva lot of sense.

One of the Golden State Killer’s many creepy trademarks? Raiding his victims’ fridges.

“He also used to eat their junk food and their snacks and be really messy about it,” Pilleri said.

Why would someone do that?

“It’s Paul Haynes’ theory that the psychological torment, staying in someone’s house, eating their food, that was the primary thing that he got off on,” Reenstierna said. “The rape and the murder was secondary. He really got off more on invading people’s privacy. He was a close talker as well.”

The Golden State Killer (also dubbed the East Area Rapist) is thought to be a space invader who enjoyed making people uncomfortable, Pilleri said.

The following passage, which illustrates such a chilling moment is from "I'll Be Gone In The Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer:”  

“But he gave the husband, who was tied up in another room, a slightly different message. ‘You tell those f---ing pigs that I could have killed two people tonight. If I don’t see that all over the papers and television, I’ll kill two people tomorrow night.’ He devoured Cheez-It crackers and half a cantaloupe before he left.”

In another attack, “A green wine bottle and two packages of sausages were scattered on the back patio, about fifteen feet from the door.”

[Photo: Getty Images]

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