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Golden State Killer's Victims Could Be Eligible For Restitution Money

Normally victims of a crime have three years to claim restitution, but a new bill may change that for the Golden State Killer's victims. 

By Will Huntsberry

After a four-decade manhunt for the Golden State Killer, it seemed justice for his victims might be out of reach. But now a new bill circulating through the California legislature could help the killer’s victims get money from a state restitution fund.

Joseph DeAngelo, the suspected killer, is charged with 12 murders and suspected in more than 50 rapes that took place across the state of California in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Normally, the victims in those cases would only have three years from the time a crime took place to seek restitution from the California Victims Compensation Board. 

The new bill trying to make an exception in this case, which was cold for decades, has already passed one legislative committee and is expected to be voted on in both houses in the coming days, according to the Los Angeles Times. It would give the Golden State Killer’s victims until the end of 2019 to apply for restitution funds.

Since DeAngelo’s arrest in April, at least 25 victims in four counties have contacted the board about compensation. The board expects that at least 50 direct victims and 12 family members would be paid from the fund, a spokesperson for the Department of Finance told the Sacramento Bee.

Officials started a tip line for victims of the Golden State Killer, also known as the East Area Rapist for crimes committed in the Sacramento area, that has received "many calls from previously unknown victims who were victimized during the period," the spokesperson said.

DeAngelo allegedly stole mementos from his victims and taunted them later with threatening phone calls, according to the Times. He once asked his brother-in-law what he thought about the East Area Rapist and what he would do to him if he met the killer, as was first reported by Oxygen.com.

The amount of money victims can receive is based on the damages—ranging from funeral expenses to income loss—they claim, according to the board’s website. In this case, it will also be based on maximum allowances at the time the crimes were committed.

In 1974, the maximum restitution was $10,000. In 1986, it was $46,000, according to the Bee.

[Photo: Getty Images]