SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KTVU) - Word of Joseph James DeAngelo’s arrest is bringing some relief and closure to the victims of his alleged crimes.
Jennifer Carole never thought her father and stepmother's killer would be caught. She thought he was dead. She’s grateful DNA helped solve their case.
“I thought he was dead,” said Carole. “That's how I could cope. I thought he was dead.”
At her home in Santa Cruz, Carole got the call she never thought she'd get from the Ventura County District Attorney. Nearly 40 years after her father and stepmother were brutally murdered. Their suspected killer 72-year-old Joseph DeAngelo had been caught.
“I have been having all feelings today so many feelings from sadness to happiness to gratitude,” said Carole.
Carole's father Lyman and stepmother Charlene Smith tied up and bludgeoned to death by a log from a fireplace inside their home. It happened march of 1980 when Carole was 18. Carole’s then 12-year-old brother found their bodies.
“This murder was a heinous crime, extremely violent,” said Carole. “Very bloody. I mean they were killed with a log that doesn't happen.”
It was an isolated crime at the time. Years later, DNA evidence linked Carole's father's killer to other murders and rapes throughout the state. He was dubbed the Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist. Authorities say DNA led to his capture.
“I knew we were going to get him,” said Carole. “As far as I’m concerned he was already caught. We just didn't have the person.”
Carole does not know the name and face. She’s mind blown that Deangelo lived not too far away in the Sacramento area.
“I’m so pissed that he's been alive this whole time,” said Carole. “He has not been living in terror. if you want to ask me what I want to happen I want him to confess I don't want to waste one more municipal dime on this trash.”
Carole said she doesn't want him to get the death penalty but to rot in jail wishing her father and stepmother were still alive for this day
“I just think of how many people won't know he was caught who deserved to know,” said Carole. “I’m so glad he's caught.”
Carole works in high tech security in Silicon Valley. She now wants to push for a federal law to require all felons throughout the country to be a part of a DNA database.