Golden State Killer victims share stories before sentencing

U.S. & World

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (CNN) — Families and friends who lost loved ones to the Golden State Killer had their day in court Thursday. They spoke directly to the man who they say changed their lives forever with his brutality.

As Joseph DeAngelo continues to sit expressionless loved ones powerfully remember the Golden State Killer’s 13 murder victims.

“You spent decades to be heard today. Don’t rush,” Judge Michael Bowman told the victims.

Childhood friend Jill Morrill remembered Charlene and Lyman Smith.

“I cannot allow myself to think of all they endured in death, but we know of the unspeakable horror they suffered,” said Morrill. “And for what?”

Morrill was still wearing the friendship ring Charlene gave her 60 years ago.

“In my world closure does not exist. This is a despicable event that never leaves you,” continued Morrill. “I am not able to extinguish someone as if they never existed and move on with my life.”

Lyman’s daughter, Jennifer Carole, confronted the man who brutally killed her father.

“The walls were splattered with blood and gray matter,” described Carole. “I didn’t realize it then, but our lives would change forever. Sorry, we’ve all said that it sounds like this throw-away statement. The problem with changing forever is you don’t know what the change is going to mean. You don’t know what you lost.”

And Drew Witthuhn spoke on behalf of his sister-in-law Manuela who was raped and killed while home alone.

“Manuela was stripped of any and all human right with final intent and only to be considered from this convict’s warped and inhumane sense of things as nothing more than scrap to be later removed and discarded as if she never lived at all,” Witthuhn said.  Having absolutely no value.”

Michelle Cruz understands there will always be questions unanswered in the rape and murder of her 18-year-old sister Janelle.

“I wonder if he remembers Janelle, my sister, fighting him off,” Cruz asked rhetorically. “She was fighting for her life. My question is why. Why? He brutally beat my sister beyond recognition and because of this she had a closed casket funeral.”

Carole rose above her anguish, expressing gratitude to those who made this moment possible.

“It’s been so important how you’ve been with us,” said Carole to Judge Bowman. “So, thank you.”

“You’re going to make me cry,” expressed the judge.

“Go tell the kids your a good dad,” Carole added.

Thursday was the third day victims impact statements were heard in court. Today the judge will sentence DeAngelo. He’s expected to be sentenced to life in prison without any chance of parole.

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