Golden State Killer survivor tells Joseph DeAngelo how the aftermath of his attack won't leave her
Your honor. I'm gay hardwick. Formerly, of stockton, california. While living there in the first home my husband and i purchased. Together. Where we had so much, hope for our. Future. On march 18th. 1978. Joe d'angelo. Attacked us. While we were sleeping. He kidnapped, me from my bed. He raped me repeatedly. He sodomized. Me. He forced oral. Copulation. He stole the few precious, pieces, of jewelry that i owned. Which were gold rings, given to me by my brother. And my parents. To commemorate. My graduation. From college, the year before. I was the first girl in my family to graduate, from college, and so those, pieces, were important, to. Me. He ate from my refrigerator. And he drank two beers. While i lay bound, and blindfolded. Unclothed. And freezing. On the hardwood, floor in front of an open door in the cold march, night. He ransacked, our home. And in between, he tormented, me. With threats of death, for me and my loved one should i make a sound or resist, in any. Way. The aftermath, of this attack, has been with me, for 42, years. That's a very long life sentence. For somebody, who had done, nothing. To deserve such hatred. And violence. And desecration. Of my body. To illustrate, the lasting, impact. Of this event. I have. Three clean, sheets of paper. Here. All three. If they, represent, lives. Have unlimited, potential, in this world. These paper lives. Might serve. To hold the written formula, of a life-saving. Scientific, breakthrough. A beautiful, poem. A soul-moving. Watercolor. Certainly, they would carry. Words of love and comfort, and encouragement. And shared memories. To their families, both the younger, and the older. Generations. This life. Paper number one. Was never. Touched by joe d'angelo. To this day, it remains. Clean and, pristine. And able to. Sweep itself. Clean of all of its previous, endeavors, and start, new ones if it chooses. It served. The world to its fullest capacity. And still has much to give. This life. No it's okay. Paper number. Two. Was murdered. By jodi angelo. It's a life violently, taken by him. While satisfying. His. Perverted, sadistic. Urges. This life might have contributed. So much to our world. Brought love and comfort and those shared memories. To its grieving, family, members. But instead, this life. So full of potential. Was turned into a broken, dream. Stolen, from us all. By this monster. Leaving a void. The size of the soul. In the lives of all of those. That love that. Soul. This paper. Represents, my life. On march 17. 1978. It looked like this. Ready to take on my hopes and dreams. My aspirations. At the age of 24. I was working as a marketing, director, and a broker. For a real estate development, firm. I had a lucrative, income of my own. I was independent. And i had a bright future. I was deciding. Whether i might go back and get my. Mba. Or whether i might go to law school. I was in love with. A young attorney. My man from kentucky, here. And our future, seemed, limitless. But then on march 18th, joe d'angelo, broke into our home and using his tactical, police training he was able to wake us from a deep sleep. With a blinding, light in our eyes. Under threats of imminent, death from his 357. Magnum. Pointed at our heads we were bound and blindfolded. And you already know the rest of the story. I survived. Those repeated, attacks. The hours of terror. The understanding. That during those hours, there was a purely, evil, presence, in our home a diabolical. Depraved, mumbling, and weeping. Being, in human, form. Finally, he was gone. And though i had been certain that i and my loved one would die we did not.
However, Our lives were never the same. This life. My life. Would never. Again be like paper number one. My life was now full of creases, and wrinkles. And no matter how hard i tried to iron them all away and press them and smooth the lines. Make it function. My life would never be the same again. There's no way my paper life. Could ever again be like that paper number one. So what are these creases, and lines. You may ask why after 42, years can't i just get over it. Ptsd. Has played a huge. Role. Some of the following. Are the effects of ptsd. First the sociological. Impacts. Of sexual, assault. That actually, influence. The development. Of your ptsd. Victim blaming, attitudes. Comments, made by elected, officials. In our country in just the past few. Years. Clayton, williams, of texas. Rape is kind of like the weather if it's inevitable. Relax, and enjoy it. Todd aiken of missouri. If it's a legitimate. Rape. Is, there a legitimate, right. The female, body has ways to shut that thing down. Rick santorum. U.s senator, former u.s, senator. And candidate, for. President. Rape victims, should make the best of a bad situation. Richard murdoch, of indiana. Even when life begins in that horrible, situation, of rape that's something, god, intended. Not the attacker. The blame is not placed on the attacker. Jody. Lobenberg, of texas. In the emergency, room, they have what's called rape kits. Where a woman can get cleaned, out. Lawrence lachman, of maine. If a woman has the right to an abortion, why shouldn't a man be free to use his superior, strength. To force himself, on a woman. At least the rapist, pursuit, of sexual, freedom, doesn't, in most cases. Result, in anyone's. Death. These are widely published. And circulated, quotations, and you can see, these individuals, saying these words, on youtube if you just google them. Expressions, of ignorance, such as these. Are so damaging. To rape victims, like me. And they serve to dismiss, rape as some kind of boys will be boy's, transgression. Even as i was writing my statement. Our present administration. Through betsy devos. Has enacted, into law, changes to the title ix protections, for students k-12. And college, campuses, that force victims of sexual assault to face their attacker. And be cross-examined. Which will most likely result in fewer rape victims, being willing to report, these crimes because they don't want to be traumatized. A second time. The trusted, adviser, that's allowed to question. These students. Can be for example. The attacker's. Disgruntled, parent. None of the new procedures. Are trauma, informed, in any way. Victims, are guaranteed, that they may change classes, or dorms to avoid their attacker, but again these are victims. Not the accused. Being forced to make adaptations. What if this was your college or high school, student. This is. Just where we are in 2020.. We haven't come a long way. Interestingly. My personal, experience, has been that if i describe, our attack as armed robbery. Bound and held at gunpoint. People are usually, supportive. They're so glad you weren't killed. They're understanding. That. They would have been also, lucky to survive, if they had been held at gunpoint, and robbed. They don't ask. Why didn't you fight back and stop the robber and save your money. Because they would have followed directions, to save themselves, too. But when it's rape at gunpoint, often the response, is i never would have let that happen. Really, there wasn't, anything you could do. Just recently, someone. Asked me. How did you come to know this. Person. Which feels like. They must. Think, i have been engaging, in some kind of risky, behavior. To bring this on myself. Where were. You. What were you doing. What were you wearing when this happened. Are still so commonly, asked. Then there's my personal, favorite. Well at least you weren't hurt. There are also those. Who just don't believe what happened really occurred. Or that i must be mistaken. And you can see the doubt in their eyes, i don't know why that is but it does, happen. And my conclusion. Is that it's just. Plain. Too disturbing. For their mind to have to believe the terror, and the truth of it. Because, then. If it could happen to me. It could happen. To them, it could happen to anyone. Besides. The sociological. Impacts that contributed, to my ptsd. There's the very real, physiological. And psychological. Changes, brought about by the trauma of joe d'angelo's. Attacks. There are the feelings, of needing to always be hyper. Alert. Nightmares. Sleeplessness. Flashbacks. Social, anxiety. Inability.
To Be. Or stay alone. Imagine. Not being able to enjoy a quiet moment by yourself. I became. The black hawk helicopter. Of all parents. I remember an incident, two decades, after my attack, where i thought i was fully recovered. My husband and four children were in monterey, on vacation. But i had returned, to attend a mandatory. Evening class for my credentialing. Program. I was actually looking forward to some personal, time alone. I had purchased, chinese, takeout and i was ready for a well-earned, quiet evening in our home. But as i sat down on the couch. In my pjs, to enjoy my food and watch a movie. My eyes strayed to the kitchen counter where there was a roll of duct tape sitting. And there were measured lengths set out ready for use. And my triggered response, to this was the certainty. In my mind. That there was someone in the house ready to bind me with these tapes. I didn't know where they'd come from. And i ran to my car in terror in my pjs, and i fled to my dad's house. Shaking, trembling. And where i spent the night in my father's care in my childhood, bed. While my takeout, was left to spoil, on her family room table where i left it. And this was two decades, later. As it would turn out i would later learn that while i had left earlier on vacation, with three of our kids my husband had come along a few hours later. Staying to coach a junior basketball, league. For one of our kids, not yet having uniforms. He had used the duct tape. To fashion, numbers for their t-shirts. And what i had seen were the remnants, of his efforts. But for me returning to attend my class it was the kind of stupid, brain triggering, event. That could still plague me so many years later. There are chemical, changes, in the brain. That can damage. The hippocampus. The neural and endocrine, systems, are affected, the body has higher levels of cortisol. Adrenaline, rushes. Cortisol, has widespread, action and its dysregulation. Affects, other neural systems. Leading. To my inappropriate. Fear reactions, and persistent, mild depression. And that can sometimes. Escalate. I still don't know how much, my immune system has ultimately, been damaged. These things don't ever really go away. Just when you think you're okay, a triggering, event can occur. And you find yourself, right back in the middle of a panic attack. Or an unreasonably. Aggressive, response, to something relatively, minor. Or a series of unexplained. And unrelenting. Nightmares. Ptsd. A rewiring.
Of My central nervous system. As, my psychiatrist. Described, it. Contributed. To a lot. Of these creases, and wrinkles, in my life. Other things. Such as trust issues. Body image issues. Lost opportunities. That i just didn't have the energy, to pursue, any longer. Such as law school. Or graduate, work. Are also a part of my wrinkled. Life. I left my career because i could no longer cope with the stress and anxiety, of traveling, and being exposed, to so many strangers, on a daily basis. In order to do my job. I stayed home for 10 years. Where i felt safer. Finally, at the age of 42. I entered a teacher, credentialing. Program. And became an elementary, school teacher. At least i wasn't afraid of, children. I used all my energy to keep my dream of marriage, and family, strong. And i built the best second career i could for 21, years before retiring. But it shouldn't have been this hard. I shouldn't have had to make constant. Adaptations. To compensate, for the wrinkles, and the creases. On my life's page. My choices, should not have been impacted. By this devastating. Event in my life. It's taken all my energy, to make this page, function. And achieve. Still i've written a good life on it. A happy, family, on my page. And i've been married to, a saint of a man here for 41, years as of. Yesterday. Through it all he has supported, me emotionally. Physically, financially. And in every other imaginable. Way. Through our life together. Because that's what a real man. Does. Around 2012. Nearing the end of my teaching career. I was suddenly contacted, by paul holz who was an investigator. With contra costa county. This was when i learned about the murders, that had been committed. And their connection, to the east area rapist, attacks. I had never heard from my local san joaquin county law enforcement, again at all. Since the week of the attack in, 1978. Was a terrible, shock. But i agreed to cooperate, with him the best i could as he convinced, me that the case was solvable. Previously. Ironed out wrinkles, in my life. Resurfaced. As i dredged, back through my traumatic, memories. In an effort to help law enforcement. Find the perpetrator. Of these crimes. If stockton, law enforcement, would do nothing with my, case. Maybe this guy from contra costa, could. In my heart, i never could get over the feeling that my attacker, was still living among us. Enjoying, his life scot-free. While i struggled. To make the most of my damaged, life's page. And he was. It wasn't easy to dig back 35, years and it caused both my husband and me additional. Anguish. But if he could be caught i reason, it was worth it. Then came the arrest. No one from my jurisdiction. Had the decency, to let me know. That joe deangelo. Had been arrested. My two adult daughters, found out from the news media. And called me. Again, another traumatic, development. Then ensued, these past two years of realizing. That victims, in some jurisdictions. Are kept fully apprised, of the developments, in the case. While my experience. Has been deflection. By my local officials. Refusal, to press the very charges, joe d'angelo. Has now admitted, to. And massive, communication. Failures. Every contact, with my local officials, up to the announcement, of the plea deal. Has been initiated, by me. Not an email, or a phone call. Unless in response, to my own efforts to stay informed. For the past two years i've had to advocate, for myself. And inform, my own deputy, district, attorney, of developments, in the case. That she had not been informed, of. But thanks to the strong network of survivors, in sacramento. Ventura, and contra costa, i was. All of these things have affected, my life by causing additional, stress and anxiety. As i clearly saw how victims were treated differently, depending on their jurisdiction. And i've. Had more conversations. Lately it's not just san joaquin county. It's other outlying, counties. Too. The lack of cooperation. Between jurisdictions. That has been mentioned by many members of law enforcement, such as carol daly and detective, crompton. Was real in the 1970s. And my experience, is that it is still quite evident today. Don't get me wrong. I am pleased at the final resolution. Of this case, the guilty pleas and the admissions, of guilt, that are so very important to all of us survivors.
But My point is that i know many of the victims, personally. And we all know that some of us have not been treated, equally. We can, and we should do better. More wrinkles. Increases. That i've had to deal with. Finally, i want to discuss, the absolute, gut punch it was. After the arrest to learn that i'd been brutalized, and raped by a full-time police, officer. I've always had great respect, for our officers, and the work they do that endangers, their lives every day. I've managed to continue, to trust in them. To learn that d'angelo. Sworn to serve and protect, used his training and skill set. To terrorize. And rape and murder for years was staggering. Not only that but, this devious, psychopath, pursued a bachelor of arts degree in criminal, justice. Not to serve and protect, others. But to enable, him. To be a very prolific. Self-preserving. Criminal. He sought employment, in the field where he would be least likely to be suspected. And the ultimate detroit, betrayal, he built a family. Structure, around, himself. To further disguise. And hide, his evil, bloodthirsty. Diabolical. Pursuits. And i feel so badly for his daughters. And his granddaughter. This epiphany. Exposed, his betrayal, not just of me. But of every single person in this. Room. Who has devoted, their life to law enforcement. And the legal system. He has purposely. Defecated. On almost, every single, tenet and principle. That normal people would hold in the highest, regard. I find it so ironic. That d'angelo. Sits in these proceedings. One after another. Relying, on the very, professionals. The judge, the attorneys, and officers. To protect, and defend, him. That he has betrayed. And disgraced. I have one final paper to share with you. This one was once. A clean, crisp. Blank page full of possibilities. That might have benefited, the world. But it's today, a toxic, steaming, evil, mass of human waste. Best kept sealed, tightly. And there's no, excuse, for this. So i get that he may have been an abused, child. You know that he experienced, sad things in his life. That he had to move around a lot. That his fiancee, jilted, him. You know but. A lot of people. Go through bad times, and they don't decide, to be serial, rapists, and. Murderers. I and many others like me were traumatized. Within an inch of our lives. And we did not decide to become, serial, rapists and murderers. For two years now. I've witnessed, d'angelo. Devolve. Dissolve, and decompose. Through his sheer will. Into, this seemingly, puny. Coward, before us. Today. During this time he's somehow, been allowed to liquidate, his home. And his personal, assets, and transfer, them to his family. It's my view, that instead. All of those assets, should have been impounded, by the state of california, to defray the costs of his legal proceedings, and his incarceration. He has bargained for, and obtained the removal, of the death penalty, though if there was ever anyone more deserving, of death i can't imagine.
Who. I'm certain that there is method in his madness, and that his plan is to weaken himself, in order to be assigned, his, life without parole sentence. In some prison nursing, home for old murdering, psychopaths. Where he thinks he will be treated more like a patient, than an inmate. It is my fervent. Prayer that the court and the department, of corrections. Will see through his ruse. And realize, that he has been treated, more than fairly. He deserves, the fullest longest sentencing, that this court can muster, along with the recommendation, that he be located. As far, away, from. His victims, as possible. My wish would be that he serve his death in prison, sentence. Within the cold walls of pelican, bay, as far away as possible. Because. All of us survivors. Deserve the peace of knowing, that d'angelo. Is gone for good. We survivors. Can continue, to try and smooth out the wrinkles, in our lives. And as my fellow survivor, trish, quoted recently. Try to make the rest of our lives, the best, of our lives. We deserve that opportunity. This. Is opportunity. That was turned into. Ugly choices. And when i was making this paper sculpture. And i ran it through my paper, shredder. Doing that to joe's life felt pretty good. Thank. You.