After a two decade separation, the wife of the suspected Golden State Killer Joseph DeAngelo has filed for divorce.
Sacramento news station KOVR reports that Sharon Huddle filed for divorce from 73-year-0ld DeAngelo in July. DeAngelo has been in jail for the last 10 months, accused of committing 13 murders and 50 rapes during a decades long spree of terror. He was arrested in April with the help of DNA gathered from an online genealogy database.
Huddle and DeAngelo were married in 1973 and separated in 1991. The news of the recent divorce filing is significant because it means that Huddle would be permitted to testify about the years she was married to DeAngelo when the Golden State Killer (also known as the East Area Rapist and the Original Night Stalker) was at his most active.
Attorney Mark Reichel explained to Sacramento's Fox 40 what the change in marital status could mean for the trial.
"I think this is a treasure trove for the prosecution now," Reichel said. "She can really be a domestic diary of the daily activities of this person. The DA's office can subpoena her. She loses her right to say no. She can't talk about communications but she can talk about observations. 'He wasn't home this night. This night he came home with these clothes. This night he took the truck.'"
DeAngelo is believed to have burglarized hundreds of homes before progressing to rape and murder in six different counties across California in the 1970s and early 1980s. He is alleged to have been a particularly sadistic and violent killer and rapist and was known to taunt his victims by calling them after assaulting them. The cold cases came back into the spotlight last year with the publication of Michelle McNamara's I'll Be Gone in the Dark. At around the same time as the book's release, investigators were able to match DNA samples taken from a crime scene in 1980, to DNA submitted to a free, online genealogy website called DNAmatch by a relative of DeAngelo's.
Huddle and DeAngelo have a divorce hearing scheduled for March. DeAngelo's next court appearance on rape and murder charges will be April 10.