The six-part HBO docu-series “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” explores the investigation into a serial rapist and killer, now known as the Golden State Killer, who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s. During the 1970s, he had not yet progressed to murder and was known as the East Area Rapist or EAR. By the time the EAR had left the Sacramento area for southern California in mid-1979, he had committed 50 home-invasion rapes.
The HBO documentary series is based on the book of the same name written by Michelle McNamara, who doggedly pursued leads and interviewed victims and investigators in her search for the predator’s identity (in 2018, a suspect was identified and arrested through DNA evidence — read about that here).
One of these victims, who is frequently interviewed on the HBO series, is Kris Pedretti. Pedretti was the 10th victim of the Golden State Killer, back when he was known as the East Area Rapist. Where is Pedretti today?
Pedretti Was the 10th Victim of the EAR & Was Only 15 Years Old at the Time
Pedretti was attacked by the East Area Rapist on December 18, 1976, when she had just turned 15 years old. She was the 10th victim of the predator and described it in an interview as “the most terrifying experience that I could ever imagine.”
The man believed to be the Golden State Killer due to DNA evidence linking him to the crimes, Joseph James DeAngelo, appeared in court for the first time on April 27, 2018. Pedretti attended the arraignment with her husband and told media: “I’m here to look him in the eye and tell him, no, he did not take my life. I’m still here.”
On June 15, 2020, the LA Times reported that the Golden State Killer would be pleading guilty in order to avoid the death penalty. Pedretti also spoke about that development, telling the outlet: “It’s a step forward … but it’s not what I was hoping for.” She continued, “I already know he raped me, that he was guilty, but my deeper feeling is, ‘Why?’ What is so important that he does not want shown in trial that he is willing to do this? … What is it that he doesn’t want to be known?”
Pedretti Is Now a Survivors’ Advocate Who Worked for the American Cancer Society
Pedretti turned her story into an opportunity to be an advocate for other survivors of sexual assault. She’s one of the administrators of a private Facebook group for victims and allies called “Sexual Assault Survivors! It’s Time To Tell Your Story!” She said the group “is healing for me, and healing for them,” especially since the suspected Golden State Killer’s arrest.
Jennifer Carole, whose father and stepmother were killed by the Golden State Killer in 1980, wrote in her blog about how Pedretti and former detective Carol Daly brought the group of victims together: “[they] essentially became the Den Mothers for a group of survivors who honestly never expected to come together in the way we have (Kris [Pedretti]’s backyard is my little heaven).”
Pedretti’s LinkedIn indicates that she worked as a senior manager at Relay for Life with the American Cancer Society. Her Facebook shows that she left the position in 2019. She studied management at Kaplan University from 2005 to 2008. Pedretti is now a wife, mother and grandmother who frequently posts pictures with her family on social media.