On June 29th, 74-year-old Joseph DeAngelo plead guilty to a string of kidnappings and murders, confessing to be the serial rapist and murderer who terrorized California during the 1970s and ‘80s. For decades, families, survivors, and investigators puzzled over the dozens of crimes he committed, and now the story and late writer Michelle McNamara‘s efforts to bring attention to and solve the case are the subject of the six-part HBO series, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. Here’s what’s known so far about DeAngelo’s life, and how, with the help of online genealogical catalogues, he was finally brought to justice.
Joseph DeAngelo was born into a military family in 1945.
Joseph James DeAngelo was born in Bath, New York, and he spent part of his childhood in West Germany, where his father