I Used to Hate Him, But Now I Just Resent Joseph DeAngelo

The El Paso shooting has just happened and I am heartsick. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to learn I’m anti-gun – particularly when it comes to using them to kill one another – but I even feel like it’s not a fair fight when hunting. I don’t mind hunting, but use some skills darn it. I’ve fired a gun. It’s unforgiving. [Sunday morning: another mass shooting overnight. Hard to get out of bed. But I had a comment about guns for legit protection and I agree. There are horrible moments in life when you need to protect someone or save yourself. Damn.]

As the August 22nd hearing grows near, I’ve realized I’m really starting to resent these quarterly treks to Sacramento just to watch an aging monster, age. This thing is moving at a snail’s pace and honestly, there’s no story here anymore. He’s been caught. He’s been vilified in the media. The survivors have proven their resilience. The investigators can finally sleep. Even his family must have figured out some way to get up every morning knowing the horrific legacy he’s left them.

So yes, I’m way over it.

I resent he hasn’t just died and given us all an out; allowing us to go on living without his god-awful name ever having to be mentioned again.

I resent he’s taking up space.

I resent my taxes are paying for him.

I resent he’s going to cost our state tens of millions of dollars.

I resent politicians – whoops, I’m sorry – district attorneys who will use this as leverage in their next election.

I resent this gives any fuel to the death penalty debate.

I resent watching his female attorney look at him like he’s a small boy who’s lost his way.

I resent that we have to shut our mouths in court because “decency” and “rules” as if this was in any way related to how he behaved.

I resent family members and survivors are living with the dread of having to testify.

I resent every trauma he caused, every person he hurt, every life he stole.

I resent the years we all lived in fear because he could still be out there.

I resent every damn breath he takes.

Yes, I’m going to be there. My expectations are minimal. I’m much more excited about seeing my kid (who lives there now) than being ushered into that tiny jailhouse courtroom in the August heat.

Stay tuned.

10 thoughts on “I Used to Hate Him, But Now I Just Resent Joseph DeAngelo

  1. For me as well, the pace of this (pre-) trial is highly frustrating. Undoubtedly, it must feel even worse for a survivor.

    As for the “there’s no story here anymore” part, you’re probably right. Although I am holding out hope that DeAngelo will make a confession at some point. I know this is probably naive, but as we say in German, “Die Hoffnung stirbt zuletzt”, “hope dies last”.

    At the least, what will happen during a trial is that pretty much all the evidence will be made public, including all the stuff that is currently only known to law enforcement. Not that it is needed – the DNA samples in themselves are enough to seal this case beyond any reasonable doubt. But I gotta admit, it will be immensely satisfying for someone like me, who has obsessed over this case for well over a decade, to get more info. I’m wondering if it’s just a form of voyeurism, but I do believe it goes beyond that. The thing is that, basically, I’ve spent so much time studying this crime series over the years and become so emotionally involved that I feel affected by it as well (albeit, of course, in a much, much less direct and hurtful way than a survivor like you).

    On that note, if I may ask: Would you, as a survivor, be at all interested in hearing DeAngelo’s account of his crimes? Where he first saw Charlene and your Dad, how they were “selected”, how he confronted them, the exact sequence of events, et cetera … Do you believe that knowing these things might help you in achieving a form of closure, or is it something that you have no use for?

    I hope you have a good trip and a wonderful visit with your kid.

    1. I do wonder why. Isn’t that super human of me? But I realized I need to make up my own answer and move in. Spending any time in that guy’s head is unhealthy.

  2. @ Susannah Peareth-Kinston: “It shouldn’t be the Onus on  the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt it should be the onus on the defence to prove that they didn’t do it.”

    Sorry, but I’m gonna have to strongly disagree with that, because your suggestion is extremely dangerous.

    The presumption of innocence is an international human right under the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 11. In the history of our Western culture, it is one of the cornerstones of jurisprudence going all the way back to Roman law (“in dubio pro reo”). Without this principle, there is no fair trial and there is no justice system worth the name.

    Yes, the drawback is that trials take more time. But the upside is that, if an innocent person is accused of a crime (which, unfortunately, happens fairly frequently), they have a decent chance of being acquitted.

    Trust me: if you were ever wrongly accused of a crime (and of course, I hope this never happens to you), you’d be very glad that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty – and that the onus isn’t on you and your lawyer to prove that you didn’t do it!

  3. I resent the fact that all over the world even here in Australia- the accused (defendant) is seemingly treated better than the victim/s. It shouldn’t be the Onus on  the prosecution to prove beyond reasonable doubt it should be the onus on the defence to prove that they didn’t do it.

  4. When he was caught, oh, man… what a feeling! Now, I remind myself that’s all I wanted when he remained at large, because he will be handled in a most civilized manner now, while affecting survivors and family members in very difficult ways, and all while draining precious resources. I certainly shouldn’t advise anyone on how to feel about it, and the realities you wrote of do irk me as a bystander, as well, but I always remind myself of how he didn’t evade capture. I’m so darn grateful for that. And I’m in awe of those, like you, who will face this grueling process head-on without the thought of missing a beat. I hope you have a wonderful visit with your kid.

  5. That was a cathartic read. I hope it was cathartic to write. You have every right to feel resentful, and, woman, our views on politics and life are so close. Your writing always makes me feel less alone in the sea of red that is Texas. Take care.

    1. Thank you. Gonna be a rough week ahead so I appreciate your support here. I think Texas is on the verge of change. I hope so.

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