In just over seven hours of prosectors recalling the crimes of Joseph James DeAngelo, the man known as the Golden State Killer, only spoke in a frail voice to acknowledge his guilt. For the victims and the family members of victims, Sacramento Count District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert says the moment was emotional and raw --- the product of a 40-year search for the man responsible.
As a prosecutor, Schubert helped lead the charge to solve the county's most notorious cold cases, including ones associated with the East Area Rapist, one of the nicknames given to the Golden State Killer. She says that happened before anyone in law enforcement even knew DeAngelo was a serial killer.
Schubert, who grew up in Sacramento, says she remembers the terror the East Area Rapist inflicted on the community.
Schubert says she knew DNA was going to be the tool that would help law enforcement catch him.
DeAngelo was ultimately caught after DNA taken from a rape kit many years ago was uploaded to a family genealogy website. From there, investigators were able to hone in on DeAngelo as a suspect after eliminating other family members who didn't fit the genetic profile. He worked in the areas at the times the crimes were committed and investigators believed the suspect was either ex-military or law enforcement. DeAngelo was both.
When I asked how she felt knowing she was a huge part of ensuring DeAngelo finally answered for his crimes, Schubert downplayed her role.
Schubert insisted that it's never been about her. It was always about the victims.
She ended our conversation with a warning to anyone who committed a violent crime and left their DNA behind.