Actress Molly Ringwald recalled living in fear during her childhood as the Golden State Killer lurked nearby and committed crimes close to her home.
The “Breakfast Club” star wrote in an article for Dame Magazine, detailing the Golden State Killer’s crimes and how she used to go to a Denny’s where the suspect’s mother reportedly worked.
“I lived and went to school in the east area of Sacramento, where the violent serial predator was breaking into people’s suburban homes and raping women, regardless whether children were present,” Ringwald wrote. “In 1976, when he committed his first known crime, I was living with my family at 7554 Garden Gate Drive in Citrus Heights just a few miles away. My grandparents lived in Auburn at the same time the suspect, Joseph James DeAngelo, lived and served on the police force there. Sometimes, when I visited them, they would take me for pancakes at the Denny’s where DeAngelo’s mother supposedly worked.”
Last month, DeAngelo, 72, was arrested home after a DNA sample matched that of the Golden State Killer. The notorious Golden State Killer was wanted in at least 12 murders, nearly 50 rapes and 120 home burglaries from the late 1970s to the mid-1980s. DeAngelo worked as an officer in the Auburn Police Department from 1976 to 1979. He was fired after he was arrested for stealing a can of dog repellant and a hammer from a drug store.
Interest in the cold case was renewed following the release of the late author Michelle McNamara’s crime novel, “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.” McNamara’s husband, actor Patton Oswalt, and her friend, Billy Jensen, published the book after her death. It reached No. 1 on The New York Times’ best-seller list last month.
Ringwald recalled hearing about DeAngelo’s arrest and being shaken by the series of crimes that haunted her as a child.
“I’m relieved that this particular monster was finally caught, a proof that in some way our justice system still functions. I may not have been an anxious child, but I confess I have grown into an anxious adult. I stay up late scrolling through the news wondering when we will all be able to exhale and just live our lives,” she concluded.