Killers Keep Secrets: The Golden State Killer’s Other Life
In April 2018, the long-unsolved Golden State Killer case burst wide open with the shocking arrest of 72-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer. But no one was more stunned than the people closest to him: his family.
In this spellbinding firsthand account, Jim Huddle, DeAngelo’s brother-in-law, shares the true story of the man charged with brutal, brazen rapes and murders.
From 1974 to 1986, the Golden State Killer (also known as the East Area Rapist, Visalia Ransacker, and Original Night Stalker) terrorized Californians with as many as 50 rapes, 13 murders, and countless other crimes from stalking to burglary. The perpetrator slipped through law enforcement’s fingers again and again, leaving cases cold, victims without justice, and the public in fear.
All the while, the Golden State Killer was hiding in plain sight. DeAngelo wove a web of deception, hiding his secret life for decades and fooling even those closest to him into thinking he was a normal person. But in this reflective tale, Jim shares the strange behavior that stands out, giving clues to DeAngelo’s dark secrets.
To Jim, DeAngelo was his sister’s husband, a man he trusted with his children, a man he thought he knew for 48 years. Walk through Jim’s memories of DeAngelo, from their shared hobbies to red flags in DeAngelo’s behavior that stand out sharply in hindsight. Jim also dispels myths about serial killers, and shares the similarities between DeAngelo and other infamous serial murderers. Find out what it was like to be charmed by a serial killer who escaped justice for over thirty years.
My thoughts: This book is about the now-becoming-familiar Golden State Killer, but from another angle. It’s written by his ex-wife’s brother, who spent a lot of time with him over the years, decades and considered him family. It comes from his point of view, and is interesting in that respect. Unfortunately, once it goes over the family stuff and his personal memories of DeAngelo, etc. it runs out of gas and falls back on filler to make even a book on the shortish side. He goes over the murder cases, then really stretches things by talking about serial killers in the US, at one point listing non-white male serial killers. And a female one. I’m still glad to have read it, but it’s a bit thinner than I’d have liked on material. Advanced electronic review copy was provided by NetGalley, author James Huddle, and the publisher.
Publisher: IBPA, Members Titles -198 pages
Publication: June 30th, 2020
My rating: 3/5 Stars
The Author– Jim Huddle is a proud father of two daughters and six grandchildren. He is a California native who now lives in Nevada. As a photographer, he travels the western states following the warm weather and seeking his next best photograph. In the 70s, Jim served as a reservist in the Naval Air reserves. He travels throughout the year and enjoys boating, flying general aviation aircraft, and poker.
With the revelation of the Golden State Killer’s identity, Jim felt the story of his relationship with Joseph James DeAngelo could help others spot behavioral warning signs of potential serial criminals. He looks forward to continuing his travels.
For more details, visit https://booklaunchers.com/jimhuddle