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Golden State Killer Suspect Pleads Guilty To More Than A Dozen Murders – NPR

Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo (center) pleaded guilty on Monday in Sacramento, Calif., to 13 murders and other related charges.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP


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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo (center) pleaded guilty on Monday in Sacramento, Calif., to 13 murders and other related charges.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and a clear face shield to protect against the coronavirus, former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. pleaded guilty on Monday to 13 counts of first-degree murder. The string of murders in the 1970s and ’80s terrorized California, and the suspect who committed them became known as the Golden State Killer.

DeAngelo, 74, sat in a wheelchair as he rasped out “yes” and “I admit” to the charges, after prosecutors described the grisly circumstances of each crime. Otherwise, he hardly spoke and did not look at the victims’ families.

“Mr. DeAngelo is acknowledging his guilt for the heinous crimes he has committed,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton. “There is really nothing that could give full justice because he has committed horrendous acts and murder up and down the state of California. But at least we can now begin the process — after decades — to bring some closure to families.”

The hearing took place in a makeshift courtroom within a ballroom at Sacramento State University, NPR’s Eric Westervelt reports from the scene. The chairs in the gallery were spaced 10 feet apart for social distancing, attorneys wore face shields, and sheriff’s deputies wore black face masks.

The long-unsolved murders grabbed headlines anew in 2018 when law enforcement officers announced they had identified DeAngelo as the suspect using DNA from a publicly available genealogy website to crack the case.

In Hunt For Golden State Killer, Investigators Uploaded His DNA To Genealogy Site

Investigators used the DNA evidence from one of the murder scenes to create a profile of the killer, which they then uploaded to the genealogy website. That site linked the killer’s profile to a distant relative of DeAngelo. Investigators then confirmed the link by collecting DeAngelo’s DNA from his car door and a discarded tissue, according to The Associated Press.

DeAngelo’s attorneys struck a plea deal with prosecutors that means DeAngelo will avoid the death penalty. California has not executed an inmate since 2006. In March 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order instituting a moratorium on the death penalty in the state. DeAngelo will face consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole.

Easy DNA Identifications With Genealogy Databases Raise Privacy Concerns

The use of genealogy data to find a murder suspect has raised privacy concerns. People who decide to have their DNA analyzed by popular services are potentially giving away data that could point to their relatives and their descendants.

“The police currently [are] using these techniques to find … [murderers] and bad people,” researcher Yaniv Erlich told NPR’s Rob Stein in 2018. “But are we OK with using this technique to identify people in a political demonstration who left their DNA behind? There are many scenarios that you can think about misuse.”

HBO's 'I'll Be Gone In The Dark' Brings The Golden State Killer To The Small Screen

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Golden Here's

Here’s why the Golden Gate Bridge sings in San Francisco now – CNN

(CNN)You can hear it, no doubt, while sittin’ on the dock of the bay.

San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge is “singing” and its neighbors aren’t quite sure if they love it or hate it.
Residents in the Bay Area said they can hear sounds from the 83-year-old bridge as far as three miles away.
The “musical tones” coming from the bridge are a result of a project “designed to make the bridge more aerodynamic under high wind conditions and is necessary to ensure the safety and structural integrity of the bridge for generations to come,” a Golden Gate Bridge district spokesperson told CNN.
Shirin Kermani and her family have been frequent visitors of the bridge for the past five years under several different weather conditions, but she’s never heard a sound like this before.
“Even when we were walking up toward the bridge from around Battery East and Lincoln Boulevard, we heard something very sad,” Kermani said. “Like a loud didgeridoo or meditation song being played all around us.”
Though others have said the sound is annoying, Kermani said she found them peaceful.
Part of the project includes replacing handrails on the west sidewalk with new, thinner vertical slats so that more air can flow through, according to the Bridge District spokesperson.
“We knew going into the handrail replacement that the Bridge would sing during exceptionally high winds from the west, as we saw yesterday,” he said.
Ray Ryan, who has lived in San Francisco since the 1990s, told CNN he first noticed the “haunting yet kind of beautiful” noise Friday afternoon while his friends had heard it last weekend.
Ryan said his family argued over what the tones are comparable to and have boiled it down to a sound similar to a train or an organ.
He tweeted the City and County of San Francisco looking for an answer for the sounds and was met with an apology.
“Sorry this is happening,” San Francisco 311 replied.
For the neighbors who aren’t so thrilled with the sounds, the Bridge District spokesperson said the new design is necessary to keep the bridge safe.

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