Charlie’s Cafe is where the Golden State Killer liked to eat. Good on them for putting up with the lousy patron. Leave an extra few bucks for the staff – they dodged a bullet. PS: Sac County jail, he apparently LOVES cheese.
When I have a hard time writing, I know it’s usually because my feelings aren’t clear. I’ve been trying to write this about three hours now, but my thoughts are all over the place. I will say Sacramento provided a glorious Mothers’ Day; nice sunny day, warm (not hot) and folks have been in a happy mood. I went to the Zoo and watched all the families (animal and human) enjoy the morning.
I decided to come up for tomorrow’s hearing. It won’t last long. Maybe just a few minutes. But I wanted to see him: face to face. I figured I could use a few days away to think, write, sleep and be up-and-at-em first thing tomorrow morning. I arrived here in great spirits – it’s only as the time has gotten nearer that I’ve felt the heaviness come over me.
Friday night was awesome! I grabbed this off Twitter so I hope @BillHarticon won’t mind. Bill and Kim have been following the case while chasing these adorable twins (and some more kids at home). I had the best time learning from Bill about different aspects of the case – including the community. He knows who knows what about all things and the best sources of solid, reliable information (from whom I call the GSK Squad – all the folks out there who have kept this case alive).
It was an uplifting evening – I love me some kid time – and the hugs and smiles from the whole family made me feel so good.
This is where things get a little weird. Well, I made it weird. I wanted to understand the “lay of the land” as it were – from where Sharon Huddle worked, to DeAngelo’s house, to Charlie’s Cafe and how far away all that was from San Juan High School where both Huddle and my parents went to school (a coincidence some think isn’t a coincidence).
I started with Sharon’s office. Maybe she’d be in on a Saturday. I figured she’s likely hiding during the week, leery of reporters. As I made my way on Sunrise Boulevard (as busy as Wilshire in LA in my humble opinion), the traffic and visual noise settled down as I approached Roseville. The cement jungle of stores and traffic settled into trees and greenery.
Her office was nice enough but she was nowhere to be found. I peeked in the windows but there was really nothing to see. I am of two thoughts about Sharon: she either knew he did it or she was completely caught off guard. I’m struggling to believe the latter. I suspect if she knew, she would never want her kids to know and so the secret would die with her and her estranged husband.
Next stop was DeAngelo’s house. When I saw it the first time, I went with the 20/20 team and because I wasn’t driving, I wasn’t particularly oriented to areas of Sacramento that I know. It was a very short drive from her office to his house.
I pulled up to 8316 Canyon Oak Drive in Citrus Heights and was immediately satisfied with two changes made since I was there two weeks ago: the grass is nearly dead (sorry neighbors, I realize it looks ugly but it makes me happy) and his neighbors finished their side driveway and the RV is there to block their view of his nasty house. I delight in thinking this would have pissed him off royally.
I have been intrigued by a photo I plucked off @ShelbyCrompton’s Twitter (thank you Shelby!). When I spoke to the neighbors last time, they referred to this “coring” of the backyard. The police were using metal detectors and finding a great deal buried in the ground. From the photo below, you can see what they described as “cores” is spot on – each core supposed bore fruit. Evidence. Prosecution gold.
You are looking down on his house in the center. Zoom in and you’ll see all the holes from things the investigators dug up. As I understand it, for the Sacramento murders, we want to find guns that match the ballistics from the bullets taken from Katie and Brian Maggiore in 1978. The neighbors said they took out a lot of evidence and I remember hearing guns were found.
Next stop was Charlie’s Cafe. I was going to go in and talk with the owner, but the cafe is a morning joint and it was after closing. From what I read about the owner, I would have enjoyed meeting her.
Finally I headed to San Juan High School. I’ve seen it before but it was much smaller. I can’t believe how big the school has gotten. It was harder to access than I planned. It lives on Greenback Lane and that is a large, well-traveled thoroughfare.
My mom and dad met at San Juan High School. The photo below is the two of them at the Senior Dance (that’s based on my mom’s memory so there’s a 50/50 chance she’s right). They are the second couple from the left.
I am not convinced there’s any connection between my family and DeAngelo’s. Sharon graduated years after my mom and dad had left and moved to Berkeley. She’s over a decade younger than they are, so that further reduces the chances of a connection.
That was the extent of my adventure.
I’ve always thought that Sacramento was so huge – and it is – but it’s amazing how close things are when you actually start talking about neighborhoods.
Sunday, Mothers’ Day
Today, I decided to do one of my most favorite things: visit the Sacramento Zoo. I understand folks don’t like to see animals caged, but I’ve long believed allowing folks to get close to animals that are different, treasured and endangered, helps educate folks and generate a love of nature. The zoo had roses set around the park and I grabbed a red one. I acted like a lunatic talking to animals and other people’s children and generally had a good time.
As soon as I got back to the hotel, a feeling of dread set in. I think the idea of coming up here was easier than the reality. In a few hours, I will see the scum of the earth. I’ll provide an update tomorrow.