"I hate you, Bonnie!"
Those words, called out by the Golden State Killer during one of his sexual assaults, provided a key clue and even a potential motive for his years-long crime spree, according to a report.
Joseph DeAngelo, a 72-year-old former cop charged with the notorious California killings and rapes, was once engaged to a woman named Bonnie, the Mercury News in San Jose reported.
Paul Holes, a retired Contra Costa County investigator who has been involved with the case for decades, said this could explain some of the crimes that terrified California in the 1970s and '80s.
“Most certainly if he’s making the statement, ‘I hate you, Bonnie,’ while he’s attacking another female, he is what we call an anger retaliatory rapist," Holes told the VC Star in Camarillo. "Instead of directing his anger at what’s making him angry, he’s directing it sideways onto someone else to be able to satisfy that anger."
DeAngelo's ex-fiance "Bonnie" is apparently a woman who broke his heart, according to The Daily Mail. She spent years writing a blog called OldBroadAbroad, and her name is now Bonnie Ueltzen, although she used to go by Bonnie Colwell. The two met when they were both students at Sierra College in Rocklin, and the couple's wedding announcement appeared in a newspaper in 1970.
Ueltzen went on to marry a successful accountant, and recently moved back to Sacramento. Police have been unable to make contact with her, the Mercury News reported.
When investigators were looking for the killer, they used the Bonnie clue to help narrow the search.
“We always thought there was a Bonnie significant in his life, it could be a mother, a wife, a girlfriend, a childhood crush,” Holes said, according to the Mercury News.
“With this particular guy, I believe there’s a significant event that made him angry and stayed inside him,” Holes added. “That anger would manifest itself over and over, whether a Bonnie situation or a couple of situations. Different things are making him upset.”
DeAngelo went on to marry a woman named Sharon Huddle in 1973. They had three children, who are now all in their late 20s or 30s, the VC Star reported. The couple is estranged and the marriage was ugly, according to neighbors.
“He would come by on a regular basis and scream and yell from the driveway and never step inside,” neighbor who did not want to be identified told the VC Star. “He and Sharon would get in epic shouting battles. It was a very volatile relationship when he came over, and it was not good. It was just very toxic.”
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.