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Wife of Golden State Killer suspect offers prayers for victims, seeks privacy for family

Wife of Golden State Killer suspect offers prayers for victims, seeks privacy for family
Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., the suspected Golden State Killer, is arraigned in a Sacramento courtroom on April 27. (Associated Press)

The estranged wife of the Golden State Killer suspect asked for privacy for her family and offered prayers for the victims of the series of rapes and killings he is accused of committing.

“My thoughts and prayers are for the victims and their families,” Sharon Huddle wrote in a statement released Friday by the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. “The press has relentlessly pursued interviews of me. I will not be giving any interviews for the foreseeable future. I ask the press to please respect my privacy and that of my children.”

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Huddle was married for years to Joseph DeAngelo Jr., who was arrested in April at his home in suburban Citrus Heights near Sacramento.

DeAngelo is charged with the shooting deaths of two people in Sacramento and 10 more counts of murder in three other counties. His arrest culminated a four-decade manhunt for a serial burglar and rapist who often hit multiple homes in one night, stole mementos from his victims or taunted them later with phone threats.

Whole communities were stricken with fear as the crime wave that started in the early 1970s grew to both ends of the state and the Central Valley. Families bought guard dogs and guns and installed extra locks on their doors and windows. Authorities say DeAngelo was active in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Orange counties, where several women were raped and fatally beaten between 1979 and 1986.

One couple was found bludgeoned to death with a fireplace log in Ventura. Another was found tied up and shot to death in Santa Barbara County.

Investigators also think DeAngelo was responsible for a crime wave in Visalia that involved dozens of home burglaries, assaults and one killing. Authorities say he may have begun his criminal activity as a cat burglar in Rancho Cordova in the early 1970s.

DeAngelo worked as a police officer for small towns in California until 1979, when he was fired in Auburn for shoplifting a hammer and dog repellent. He then worked for decades as a truck mechanic, living in a suburb north of Sacramento and other communities that were fear-stricken by sexual assaults and killings now attributed to the Golden State Killer.

After his arrest, prosecutors from Sacramento, Ventura, Orange and Santa Barbara counties met to discuss where and how to put DeAngelo on trial for the slayings because the crimes cover multiple jurisdictions. No decision has been made.

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