The search for the Golden State Killer, one of America’s most hideous serial killers, is over.
On April 26th, 2018 James Joseph Deangelo was apprehended at his Sacramento home for crimes attributed to the Golden State Killer, aka the East Area Rapist/Original Night Stalker (EARONS). The 71-year-old is allegedly responsible for 12 murders and over 45 rapes throughout the 1970s. Though it has stalled at times, this case refused to be forgotten. Numerous detectives, authors, and reporters worked tirelessly to track down the man responsible. And it seems their efforts are finally being rewarded.
I remember as a 10-year-old watching the Unsolved Mysteries episode that covered this case. For weeks I was afraid to fall asleep at night, knowing he was still out there somewhere. Since then I made a point to listen to any podcast I could find about the Golden State Killer. Numerous shows have covered this story so there was lots of opportunities. I was always looking for more information and insight on who it could be. Well, now that my search is over I wanted to share the best ones with you. Most of these are in multi-episode series. There is just too much information to squeeze into one.
If you want a comprehensive look into one of America’s monsters, read on my friends. Then, give these shows a listen.
Casefile really went above and beyond with this case, breaking it up into 5 full length episodes. As always, the coverage is concise and to-the-point. The narrator is very respectful to those involved. He sticks to police reports and interviews from both victims and witnesses to present everything known thus far about the elusive East Area Rapist. Check out this podcast for a deep look into some of the many heinous crimes committed by Deangelo throughout the 1970s, as well as the leads police had to work with up until April 2018. Hearing from the people involved really brings this terrifying case to life. Don’t miss the follow up episodes for the well deserved and much appreciated conclusion to this case.
Once Deangelo was apprehended, the host released two powerful interview episodes. The first features Jane Carson-Sandler, a, EAR victim and Carol Daly, the detective who came to investigate Carson-Sandler’s attack. She would go on to play an integral role in finding the Golden State Killer. The second episode talks with Paul Holes, a cold case detective dedicated to this case for decades. He gives insight about the evidence they have on Deangelo and what is to come in the case.
Unresolved is a great show that presents the criminal’s timeline of events in an orderly fashion. To cover this case the show broke it up into three parts. They begin with the Vasilica ransackings (some of Deangelo’s earliest criminal activity) then move on to the rapes and break-ins of the Original Night Stalker in the 1970s. The second episode focuses on the years of the East Area Rapist and the police’s failed attempts to identify the perpetrator. The third and final one tells the story from 1979 and on. Here we also hear possible leads the police were investigating and hopeful for at the time. Like Casefile, there has been a recent follow up episode addressing Deangelo’s arrest that I recommend for the answers we have so far to questions left at the end of this series.
For a slightly lighter take on the case (as light as you can be with a serial murderer/rapist) give Martinis & Murder a listen. This two part series was actually the first story to be covered by this duo, but after getting their drinks flowing they already sound like seasoned pros. The hosts recount GSK’s path of destruction from Northern to Southern California throughout the 1970s and how his terror and anonymity effected the entire community. They dissect his crimes and motives as well as their featured drinks from trusted bartender Matt. The second episode covers how his criminal activity evolved over the years and theories of who they believed he could be. Check this series out for a comical yet informative review of the GSK case.
Criminology dedicated their entire second season to the unsolved case of the Golden State Killer. Before they could finish up the series, he was apprehended! That doesn’t mean there is no more reason to listen. I would say just the opposite. The hosts stop at nothing to uncover all that is known about this criminal and his 1970s reign of terror. Interviews with victims, investigators and community members help bring this story to life. The last few episodes include present day information about the arrest and court appearances of Deangelo as they happen. The interesting turn of events gives this show a unique view of the case. It is definitely one you won’t want to miss.
This is the story behind Michelle McNamara’s top selling book I’ll Be Gone In the Dark–the true crime account of the Golden State Killer. It is not the tale of your average true crime author as McNamara is anything but. Her dedication to and obsession with this case oozes from conversations with her featured in this three part podcast. The show includes multiple interviews with almost everyone involved with the book. Patton Oswald, her husband, does a great job of recounting the time she dedicated to her work. He also covers the obstacles that rose after her untimely death. This podcast debuted in preparation for the launch of the book which has gained national notoriety–especially since the killer’s arrest. I highly recommend both the podcast and book itself.
Originally for this list I wanted to stick to shows produced prior to Deangelo’s arrest to help portray the story the way I (and many others) learned about it. However, the ladies at MFM released a very special episode THIS WEEK that I just had to include. The show features journalist investigator and author Billy Jensen, who helped with I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. They also interview now-infamous Paul Holes! Thanks to the arrest, he is risen to celebrity status for the true crime community. The group reviews the timeline of events leading up to Deangelo’s arrest and what has happened since. They cover what to expect in this case and how familial DNA could play a part in capturing future offenders.
This episode will get you up to speed on the case. It’s a great way wrap up your own personal EARONS investigation.
This episode is more focused on McNamara’s book. The ladies of MFM discuss with book with Patton Oswald, lead researcher Paul Haynes, and investigative journalist Billy Jensen in this special episode. The group covers the ways the author went above and beyond in her research and investigation, and how that comes through in her writing. You’ll want to get your own copy of this book if you don’t have one already. It is an interesting story that helps make the conviction that much more satisfying.
That will wrap up my favorite podcasts that cover the Golden State Killer/EARONS case. Thank you so much for reading. I hope you learned something and found at least one new show and/or episode to listen to. I also need to thank to podcasters who work so hard to create these lovely shows featured here. Without them my days would be infinitely less interesting and I would have nothing to share with you all. We would also know much less about this creep!!
What is your favorite Golden State Killer/EARONS episode?
I know these are not the only shows out there to cover this case. Do you have a favorite that I missed here? Let me know what you think about these shows as well the case itself. I am truly fascinated by the entire chain of events and so thankful that this killer has been identified and will finally face justice. I could discuss it all day, so don’t be shy! Leave a comment below or send me an email here.
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