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A woman who was once engaged to the Golden State Killer showed up in court on Wednesday to support the serial killer and rapist’s victims as they made impact statements ahead of his sentencing later in the week.
Joseph DeAngelo, 74, admitted responsibility in June for victimizing 87 people at 53 separate crime scenes spanning 11 California counties in a plea deal that allowed him to dodge the death penalty. As part of his sentencing process, victims and their relatives have been granted the opportunity to confront the killer publicly. Victims and survivors have been taunting DeAngelo all week, often by alluding to his reportedly small penis, calling him "weak" and "powerless" and "worthless scum."
One of the survivors — Jane Carson-Sandler, who was attacked and raped by DeAngelo in her Citrus Heights home in 1976 — even brought DeAngelo’s ex-fiancée Bonnie Colwell to irk him.
Shortly after DeAngelo was arrested in 2018, it was reported that he told one of the women he sexually assaulted, "I hate you, Bonnie,” fueling speculation that his violent and cruel crime spree may have been fueled by animosity toward Colwell, who broke off an engagement with him when they were young.
That break-up was addressed in court on Wednesday.
“When she saw who you really were, she was done with you,″ Jane Carson-Sandler told DeAngelo in court on Wednesday. “I can see that 'I hate you, Bonnie’ was a result of your frustration, because you lost control over her. But she bears none, none of that responsibility for your violent choices, and we consider her one of us — the sister-survivors of your malicious attacks.”
Colwell and DeAngelo dated for about a year after they met in college in 1970. While dating, she observed him killing several animals. Colwell ended their engagement and their relationship in 1971 after she became annoyed with his continued persistence to help him cheat on a test. Two weeks later, she awoke to DeAngelo tapping on her bedroom glass. He pointed a gun in her face and demanded they elope.
“Even a gun pointed at her face could not make her choose you,” Carson-Sandler said in court on Wednesday.
During Carson-Sandler’s victim impact statement, Colwell stood nearby and even pulled her mask down so her identity could be known. Because she is not a victim of DeAngelo's spree, she was not granted the ability to speak.
“If Bonnie were able to speak, Joe, she would want you to know, Joe, that as just a teenager 50 years ago she broke her engagement to you when she realized that you had become manipulative and abusive,” Carson-Sandler, whom DeAngelo raped after tying up her then-3-year-old son, told the serial killer.
DeAngelo is scheduled to be sentenced Friday and is expected to get life behind bars without parole.
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