Golden State Killer Joseph Dengelo was sentenced to life in prison

A former California police officer known as the infamous Golden State Killer said he was "really sorry" before he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Friday.

Joseph Diangelo, 74, who confessed to 13 murders and dozens of rapes, terrorized victims in the 1970s and 1980s.

"When a person commits atrocities, he needs to be locked away as he can never harm another innocent person," said Michael Bowman, Sacramento Supreme Court judge.

Before the sentencing, DeAngelo, dressed in an orange prison uniform and white shirt, removed from his wheelchair and removed a white face mask. He told the relatives of his victims, many of them sitting in the spacious room, "I listened to all your statements, every one of them, and I am really sorry for everyone I have hurt."

Last June, DeAngelo pleaded guilty to raping more than 50 women and killing 13 people. As part of the plea bargain, he also confessed to crimes for which he was not charged.

Bowman imposed 11 consecutive life sentences without parole, in addition to life imprisonment and another eight years. The judge said that the court statements made by the victims and their families "will always be with me."

"I was impressed by their courage, grace and strength - all qualities that are clearly lacking," Bowman told the accused.

"This is the absolute maximum penalty that the court can impose under the law," the judge added. "Although the court does not have the authority to decide on where to imprison the accused, survivors have spoken: It is clear that the defendant does not deserve any mercy."

Victims and family members applauded, and moments later, the masked accused was removed from the university's large dance floor where the verdict was pronounced to allow for social distancing.

Prosecutors demanded the imposition of the maximum penalty as they remembered de Angelo's "voiceless" victims and their "unspeakable" suffering. They referred to the killer as the bogeyman, the devil, the madman, and the monster who would never walk the streets again.

Defense attorneys read letters from friends and family of the accused in which they described Diangelo's father as a strict military man and a woman minister who had abused the accused as a child. Her niece wrote that DeAngelo saved her life after she was physically abused by her father.

"His horrific crimes are unspeakable and changed the lives of our victims forever," Contra Costa County Prosecutor Diana Picton said in a statement after the verdict. "I want to affirm the strength that our victims and their families have shown over the years, and their courage this week to share the pain and torment they have endured over the years in a public session."

Orange County Attorney Todd Spitzer said that victims - whether in heaven or here on earth - are now "freed from the restrictions that they and their loved ones have been forced to endure since their intersection with Satan."

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