FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) — Joseph James DeAngelo accepted his plea deal by admitting he killed more than a dozen people in the 1970s and 80s.
The now 74-year-old admitted to 13 murders and more than 160 uncharged crimes, including rapes, which happened too long ago to prosecute.
“I’ll tell you that the community in Tulare County the city of Visalia is keenly aware that the tragedy and the nightmare that befell the state, began in Tulare county,” Tim Ward the Tulare County District Attorney said.
The terror starting in the mid 70’s. DeAngelo was then dubbed the Visalia Ransacker.
Part of his deal included pleading guilty to killing Claude Snelling at his Visalia home and admitting to the attempted kidnapping and rape of Snelling’s daughter the same night.
Are also admitted to the attempted murder of a Visalia police officer he shot at during a takedown attempt. Ward said the community is still impacted.
“For many, it’s a nightmare they would wish to forget but yet a memory that will not fade away,” he said.
DeAngelo’s string of vicious murders and assaults spanned six county’s. DNA evidence finally linked him to the crimes in 2018.
“This has been an unprecedented and historic multi county prosecution,” Anne Marie Schubert the Sacramento County District Attorney said.
The six DA’s involved decided to offer a plea deal of life without parole, saying they’re trading the death penalty, for death in prison.
“They deserve to see the defendant die in prison as a convict and not simply the accused,” Gregory Totten the Ventura County District Attorney said.
Survivors will be given a chance to give victim impact statements prior to DeAngelo’s sentencing, which will happen on August 21.