For 30 Years He Lived Among Us

In Silicon Valley it’s not cool to be old. It should be, but it isn’t. What’s old? 40. 50. For sure 56 is and that’s how old I am. Who knew it would be the arrest of DeAngelo that would out me to my co-workers! I have an 18 year old still living at home so at least I’m hip (except saying hip isn’t hip) and I can name every One Direction guy. I can also move it to Uptown Funk (don’t tell the kids it reminds me of The Time from Purple Rain). 

For thirty years he got to live his life.

He watched TV, raised three daughters, saw the arrival of his grandchild. He ate hamburgers (without cheese, we aren’t trying to kill him – please see quote from Charlene at Charlie’s Cafe). I keep thinking about this because for those of us who had family members killed, 30 years is a long time. It’s enough time to forget how they smelled and how their skin felt. It’s enough time to stop thinking of them every day.

Ironically, as a rape survivor, I fear time works differently.  Thirty years is not enough time to forget how he smelled. Not enough to forget how he felt. And certainly not enough time to stop thinking of him every day.

A call with a stranger breaks my heart.

I had the honor today of talking with a woman who thinks she was raped by DeAngelo. She was watching 20/20 when she first learned about the arrest. She saw DeAngelo for the first time. These are my words describing her reaction, but it was like her body memory kicked in. She knew that was the guy. There’s part of her that needs evidence to support her intuition and memory, but the rest of her is sure.

But here’s what else can happen in 30 years. It makes me sick because her story is like many others. Her file has been lost. The evidence was destroyed. There might not be a way to know if he was her attacker. Why? Probably because the statute of limitations expired and the municipality wanted to clean out things that were no longer needed. Meanwhile, she has lived in fear. As a 20-year old young woman, she believed she had only one option: to change her name and move away. She’s lived in a form of self-imposed isolation, afraid he would find her.

Thirty years is about 1,500 hamburgers consumed. Thirty years is 60 property tax payments, 90+ birthday celebrations with his daughters, at least 120 fishing trips, and based on two cans a day, more than 20K cans of beer. DeAngelo didn’t suffer.

But thirty years for just one woman has meant constant fear, anxiety and separation from the home she knew.

This bastard needs to suffer.


3 thoughts on “For 30 Years He Lived Among Us

  1. I love that you are enjoying parts of life and good people as a result of your path crossing w that horrific psycho. One day at a time. You go girl. Enjoy hearing about your walk. Really do.:)

    1. I’m glad you are seeing the upside too! I had no idea the second half of this journey would be so good.

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