SACRAMENTO (CBS 13) — What’s arguably the biggest criminal case in California could see justice served in a highly unusual way. The accused Golden State Killer is expected to plead guilty inside a ballroom at Sacramento State University during a hearing on Monday.
Hundreds of people, including some of his victims, will be there to watch. The Sacramento Superior Court chose this venue so it could accommodate social distancing while giving survivors a chance to see the hearing in person.
Joseph DeAngelo is accused of killing 13 people, raping 50 people, and committing more than 100 burglaries. He now sits in the Sacramento County Jail awaiting trial after the first-of-its-kind 2018 arrest based on DNA submitted to a genealogy website.
Gay Hardwick has waited forty years to hear him admit his crimes. She was raped at her home in Stockton in 1978.
“I won’t be able to relax until I feel it’s signed, sealed and put away,” she said.
Hardwick wasn’t able to see her attacker decades ago, but she sees him now.
“A human shape that isn’t quite all the way human in my view,” she said.
In a rare move for the justice system, almost 200 people will attend the hearing inside the University Union Ballroom. It’s a venue almost un heard of.
“It makes sense because this is a highly highly unusual case. Probably the biggest case, easily, in California’s history,” said Mark Reichel, a Sacramento based attorney.
DeAngelo will appear in person, surrounded by high-level security. Guests will be required to wear masks, stay six feet apart and have their temperatures checked at the door.
It’s not the justice victims expected, but it’s one some accept and hope it goes according to plan.
“We’ve been told we’re not going to hear the things we want to hear. So you’re going to have questions and this case will not go away just because he does,” said Jennifer Carole, a survivor. Her father and his wife were murdered in Ventura County in March 1980.
Victims said hope for an apology is far gone and long lost.
“Are you hoping he will show remorse at this next hearing?” CBS13 asked Gay Hardwick.
“You know, I don’t really care. It wouldn’t make me have any kind of feelings of forgiveness,” Hardwick said.
It took a lot of courage for Gay Hardwick and her fellow survivors to commit to attending this hearing. It was a mix of concerns about health as well as fear there may yet another twist in this case in the hearing room Monday.