With Joseph DeAngelo — the man who has now pleaded guilty to many of the charges linked to the crime spree —set to be sentenced next week, Schubert’s office announced a push on Tuesday to gather stories from the community about that scary time in Sacramento.
“Everyone that lived through that time has their own story,” Schubert said.
In particular, the DA’s office is seeking out people who lived in the area in the mid-1970s and wants to hear their stories about how the crimes impacted their families. She also wants people to share their feelings about how DeAngelo was arrested – and how they feel now that he has been convicted.
Victims like Rose Thomas have shared their stories over the years hoping it would help police track him down. DeAngelo attacked her in her own home.
“I went to call the police and while I was calling the police he jumped through the window, mostly naked, and had a thing over his face,” Thomas said.
For years that masked man remained elusive. His chilling whisper still haunted Margaret Wardlow four decades later.
“He’d ask like ‘Do you want me to kill your mother?’ In a harsh whisper,” Wardlow said.
Cutting-edge DNA technology helped investigators track him down and exposed the magnitude of his crimes. In June, DeAngelo pleaded guilty to the majority of the crimes on live television. Schubert says she felt overwhelmed seeing him and hearing the horrific details and so did the general public.
“Even if you had no exposure to this crime in that time frame, people walked away raw. Because it was like how can this one human being do these things,” said Schubert.
For Schubert, asking people to come forward is not to investigate more of his crimes, but bring a sense of closure.
“I think giving them a voice hopefully will help the community kind of heal,” she said.
But she says it’s no coincidence it comes before his sentencing, as it is fresh on people’s minds.
People willing to share their stories are urged to email them to EAR.GSK@sacda.org.
The DA’s office says the stories may be shared publicly, but only initials will be attached.
DeAngelo is set to be sentenced starting on Aug. 18 and ending on Aug. 21. He’s expected to get life in prison without the possibility of parole.