One day after authorities arrested a Sacramento area man alleged to be the otorious “Golden State Killer” and “East Area Rapist,” national media trucks lined up outside the home of the suspects ex-wife, hoping for more insight into the man who decades ago left a reign of terror across the state.
The woman who knew Joseph James DeAngelo best, his ex-wife, didnt answer the door Thursday morning to her Roseville home. But a neighbor said that from the day Sharon Huddle moved into the upscale suburb of Sacramento with her three young daughters in 1997, there was always trouble.
“He would come by on a regular basis and scream and yell from the driveway and never step inside,” said the neighbor, who didnt want his name used. “He and Sharon would get in epic shouting battles. It was a very volatile relationship when he came over and it was not good. It was just very toxic.”
From time to time, the neighbor would walk outside his front door and tell DeAngelo to “cool it.” And as much as he wanted to confront him more directly, hes glad he kept his distance.
“He was just unstable and used a lot of profanity and had a really bad temper and it was ugly to see.”
Huddle, an attorney, was also not at her office Thursday in Roseville, where the doors were locked and the lights were off.
The neighbor said his own three children are about the same ages as DeAngelos three daughters, who were born in the early to late 1980s and are in their late 20s and 30s now. Despite his childrens protests, the neighbor forbid his children to play with DeAngelos girls.
“It was apparent from the start this was a very unstable household,” he said. “Its our responsibility as parents to protect our children and Im glad I did.”
The last time he saw DeAngelo was about a week before his Tuesday arrest. He had come to help his youngest daughter, who lives with her mom, work on her car. The day he was arrested, police cars appeared at Huddles house, but the neighbor said she wouldnt let them in and spent several hours talking to them on the sidewalk. DeAngelos oldest daughter and grandson live with him in Citrus Heights.
In the 21 years that Huddle has lived on the block, she apparently never talked to neighbors, certainly not about her ex-husband who is accused of murdering 12 people and raping more than 45 women. “No wave, no hello, no nothing,” the neighbor said.
“It makes you wonder whether her behavior was because of him,” the neighbor said.
The neighbor grew up in Carmichael, a prime target of the East Area rapist in the 1970s when the neighbor was a teenager.
“Family and friends were sleeping with guns, locking door and windows, not letting kids go outside and play,” he said. “It was serious stuff and it happened on a regular basis.”
While the idea that he had interactions with a man accused of such a heinous crime spree is shocking, he said that its not surprising given what hes seen from his front door.
“Im thankful nothing happened here,” he said.
Staff writer Mark Gomez contributed to this report.