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People Are Already Blaming the Golden State Killer’s Crimes on a Woman Who Left Him

Just like misogynistic clockwork.

golden state killer, joseph james deangelo, bonnie, incel

Content warning: murder, violence against women, descriptions of rape.

California investigators have spent 40 years searching for the man known as the Golden State Killer, the East Area Rapist, and the Original Night Stalker. Last week, they finally arrested Joseph James DeAngelo, a former police officer, suspected to be the man who, during the 1970s and ’80s, killed a dozen people and raped more than 50 women.

As you might expect, DeAngelo’s arrest leaves a lot of people wondering how a person could be capable of these sorts of crimes, and searching for a “why.” Well, some investigators and reporters have found the most predictable “why” to blame for a man’s horrendous actions: a woman.

The Mercury News has reported that investigator Paul Holes is looking into DeAngelo’s connection to a woman named Bonnie, and is “convinced that DeAngelo’s breakup with Bonnie and his reportedly ‘toxic’ marriage to another woman fueled his alleged desire to rape and kill.”

The GSK was known for breaking into homes (about 120 in total), often raping the women who lived there. If there was a couple, he would tie up the man and make him listen from another room while he raped the woman. Multiple women reported that afterwards, the GSK would cry, and one woman said he lied on her bed, weeping, begging forgiveness from “Bonnie.”

Holes believes the GSK is an “anger retaliatory rapist,” channelling his anger at one woman into crimes against others. “I don’t know what made him that way,” he says, “but you’ve got to think Bonnie dumped him, he’s not happy about that, he still had feelings for her, who knows?”

Yes, that’s right, I’m sure this man was just a totally normal dude until Bonnie broke up with him, and that’s what turned him into a sadistic rapist and murderer.

Or maybe, in a more realistic and less misogynistic version of this story, we talk about the woman who felt unsafe in a relationship with a man who likely terrified her, so she left, and bears absolutely no responsibility for what he did after that.

As for that “toxic” marriage to another woman that “fueled” his attacks, isn’t it more likely that the man known as the Golden State Killer was the perpetrator of cruelty and toxicity in that marriage, not the victim?

Let’s take a look at some of the points from the GSK’s criminal psychological profile. Based on his crimes, it was presumed that he possed some of these characteristics:

  • Engaged in deviant paraphilic behavior and brutal sex in his personal life
  • Hated women for real or perceived wrongs
  • If married, probably has a submissive spouse who tolerated his sexually deviant behavior
  • Would have been described by those who knew him as arrogant, domineering, manipulative, and a chronic liar

The Daily Beast writes that “It isn’t clear how or why her relationship with DeAngelo ended.” REALLY? It seems pretty freaking clear to the rest of us. Maybe DeAngelo never got over his breakup with Bonnie. How many of you have been through painful breakups and then never went on to murder anybody?

The article and the investigator never come right out and say Bonnie should have stayed with DeAngelo, but the clear implication is that if she had, he probably wouldn’t have gone on his decades-long murder and rape spree. That is pure incel crap, as insulting as it is wrong. Serial killers and mass shooters nearly always have a history of domestic violence before their killings. DeAngelo was dangerous, if not already abusive towards Bonnie, as well as his later wife. These women were not responsible for him, they could not “save” him, and they sure as hell weren’t required to forfeit their own safety and wellbeing for fear that he might instead direct that anger and violence at others.

(image: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.