Mary Payne is joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Paige St. John of the Los Angeles Times to discuss the Man In The Window podcast.
The Man In The Window is a podcast that recounts the story of the Golden State killer and delves into the people around the accused killer, Joseph DeAngelo.
Paige was assigned to the Golden State Killer case the day Joseph DeAngelo was arrested. Paige shares with Mary Payne that while she was doing background on the story, she began to realize that the victims were being treated unfairly, and in some cases, were silenced. This led to a lack of public and personal acknowledgment of the true trauma that the victims experienced. Mary Payne is shocked to learn that at the time these crimes took place, rape was only considered a property crime and the punishment was 3 years at most; half of the offenders walked out of the court and back onto the street.
Giving Voice to the Victims
Paige makes a point of talking to the male victims and highlighting the ones that were willing to talk. Male victims weren’t acknowledged in the media but there were 29 of them who were bound and left in bed, where they were taunted by the rapist for hours while their wives/companions were raped and tortured. In some police reports the male victims were categorized as a witness. Paige is currently uncovering suggestions that in some of the attacks the male was the original target, in order to “steal the honor” or harm certain men he’d had altercations with.
Locks Don’t Stop Criminals
Paige explains the importance of knowing your neighbors and how, while she was interviewing people, it amazed her to find out how little people knew about the person they lived next door to. This leads Mary Payne and her to discuss how different times are now compared to how they were during the time of these crimes. These crimes took place when a sense of a community was more relevant than it is in present times. Paige believes that it is good to develop a sense of community and expressed that locks only slow down a break in but for true safety, it is better for a person to have eyes and a sense of awareness.
Who is Bonnie Ueltzen?
A person of interest in understanding the Golden State Killer is Bonnie Ueltzen who was the former teenage fiancé of Joseph DeAngelo. She is significant because in multiple crimes the accused killer called out her name or uttered phrases like, “I hate you, Bonnie”. Bonnie had previously never given an interview due to the value of her privacy. However, after much persistence, Paige was able to get her to agree to speak aloud. There were things that she’d never told anyone, for instance, the time her fiancé came to her window with a gun to abduct her. Bonnie’s father was able to talk Joseph down and leave but they never spoke about it again although it continued to affect Bonnie throughout her life. It had only been in recent therapy sessions just prior to Paige’s interview with her, that Bonnie had begun to discuss the trauma she experienced.
What is Next
Paige is finishing up the Man In The Window story. She is looking at the uses of DNA and the cold cases that it is closing. She is looking more at the declining health of Joseph and the fact that he is 74 years old. There is a fear that if he dies prior to the trial, there will be questions left unanswered.
Find Paige at:
Twitter – @paigestjohn
LinkedIn – Paige St.John
I’ll be gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara