SACRAMENTO — Before he was accused of being the Golden State Killer, Joseph DeAngelo was seen as an “average Joe.”
Bill Helms recently bought a collection of second-hand tools from an old coworker and friend. Each wrench was meticulously hand-engraved in cursive with the name of the man who once owned them — Joe DeAngelo.
“This is a framing square and it’s got his signature on it too,” Helms said.
Helms worked next to DeAngelo for 11 years as a mechanic.
“I knew what Joe was thinking before he even thought it,” Helms told FOX40.
The two men talked about boats. They worked the night shift. They even pushed each other to lose weight.
“We actually had a bet one time. It was a weight losing bet,” Helms said.
A few days before DeAngelo was arrested and named the suspect in the notorious decadeslong crime spree he came over to the house Helms shares with his girlfriend, Lynn Butler.
Butler is still haunted by that visit on their front porch.
“It was this chair right here and after he hugged me he pointed to this chair here and told me to sit. ‘You’re gonna sit right there,’ that’s how he spoke to me,” Butler recalled.
She called him “disrespectful.”
“I looked up what a sociopath is and that’s exactly what Joe is,” Helms said.
The couple feels the Joe DeAngelo they knew, the man who sold Helms the tools, is a different person from the man they now see on TV, accused of committing 12 murders and 50 rapes.
“If he did it he deserves to go down,” Helms said.
FOX40 requested an interview with DeAngelo at the Sacramento County Main Jail. He declined and the jail said the only person allowed to visit him has been his attorneys.
The District Attorney’s office told FOX40 the site for DeAngelo’s trial still has not been determined. He faces murder charges in multiple counties up and down the state. He is expected to appear in court again on September 5.