For years, Golden State Killer suspect Joseph DeAngelo made regular visits to Charlie’s Café, a breakfast and brunch diner in Citrus Heights, California, with a customer base full of regulars—including uniformed and undercover police officers—who stop by several times a week.
Staff saw him as a moody customer who could be difficult if he didn’t get exactly what he wanted.
Manager Julie Campbell waited on DeAngelo several times, and found him to be “very grumpy, very grouchy, [and] very loud.” He was always short with her, but it seemed to help when owner Charlene Carte teasingly called him “Mr. Happy” in an attempt to get him to lighten up.
After a while, Campbell got used to his unusual requests: Tuna salad with lots of extra onion. A large glass of water, no ice.
“You better not even have a sliver of ice or he’d yell very loud and let you know,” Campbell said.
On one of his early visits to the café, Carte served him a tuna salad.
“When I came up, there was cheese all over the table. He took it off the salad and threw it all over the table,” Carte said.
She asked him what was wrong and didn’t remember him mentioning not liking cheese or being allergic.
“There’s cheese all over my salad! What are you trying to do? Kill me?” Carte says he shouted at her.
But one incident in particular left both Carte and Campbell very creeped out.
About two or three weeks before Christmas, Campbell was wearing a pair of pants that got loose and she had to hike up.
“He asked me, ‘What did you forget your belt? Can’t afford a belt?’” Campbell said. “He was joking around and said ‘I’ll bring you one.’”
A week later, DeAngelo brought in a gift bag and a belt from Hot Topic.
Campbell thought it was unusual that an older man was shopping at Hot Topic. Then it went from weird to scary.
“He said you can wear it around your waist or around your neck, whatever fits best,” Campbell said. “I thought it was his mean way of being funny or sarcastic.”
The incident came to mind for Carte and Campbell once DeAngelo was arrested, as well as another time that he pinched Carte above the waist and she admonished him for being inappropriate. But they are both still grappling with the litany of crimes he’s suspected of committing, including 12 murders and more than 50 rapes, with the man they used to see in the diner.
“He didn’t have the look of a killer,” Carte said. “Even when he touched me that doesn’t make you a rapist. It just makes you a creep.”
DeAngelo has not been charged with any of the suspected rapes. He awaits trial for the murder charges.
To see more about Joseph DeAngelo, be sure to tune into “Golden State Killer: Main Suspect,” premiering on Saturday, August 4 at 7pm ET/PT on Oxygen.