Sharon Huddle, an attorney, is the estranged wife of Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., 72, a former police officer and Vietnam War veteran who is accused of being the notorious California serial killer known as the Golden State Killer and East Area Rapist.
Also dubbed the Original Night Stalker and the Visalia Ransacker, the serial killer is alleged to have committed 13 known murders and at least 45 rapes between 1975 and 1986. DeAngelo was arrested Wednesday morning, April 25, 2018, and he was charged with four murders, two of them in Sacramento and two in Ventura.
That has a lot of people wondering about DeAngelo’s family, including his estranged wife, who is also known as Sharon Marie Huddle. You can see a more recent picture of Sharon Huddle practicing in court here. (If you’re interested in reading more about the suspect’s parents, you can check out this article.)
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Huddle Married DeAngelo in the 1970s
It appears from archived newspaper articles that DeAngelo was married one time, to Sharon Marie Huddle, in 1973. Huddle, an attorney, and DeAngelo divorced in 1991, according to Fox 40.
However, other reports say the couple is technically still married, however estranged. “A law enforcement source tell me the suspected East Area Rapist, Joseph DeAngelo, is still technically married, though estranged from his wife,” Tom Miller, a KCRA reporter, wrote on Twitter.
An old wedding announcement in The Sacramento Bee newspaper, which you can read in full above, confirmed the marriage between Huddle and DeAngelo, which took place in the fall of 1973.
The wedding announcement says that the Auburn First Congregational Church served as the setting for the marriage of Sharon Marie Huddle and Joseph James DeAngelo Jr.
It states that she is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence Huddle of Citrus Heights and his parents were Mrs. Jack Bosanko of Garden Grove and Joseph J. DeAngelo of Korea.
According to California marriage records, Sharon was 20 and DeAngelo was 27 when they married:
2. Huddle & His Wife Have Three Children & a Neighbor Described the Suspect as Having Anger Pouring Out of Him
Sharon Huddle and Joseph DeAngelo have three children, all daughters, together, according to a family member’s obituary. His first daughter was born in September 1981, his second daughter was born in November 1986 and his third daughter was born in May 1989. Authorities allege the serial killer’s murders stopped in 1986, although it’s not clear why.
According to online records, one of DeAngelo’s daughters is a doctor in the Midwest. Another of his daughters is a PhD candidate at a university. The latter daughter is a graduate teaching assistant who wrote online that her research “is centered around understanding how unique message characteristics affect information processing in online environments.”
This daughter, who once worked for her mother’s law firm, also has done volunteer work in the community, including helping with youth baking projects for 4-H and preparing events for the American Lung Association. She’s taught or assisted in teaching a slew of courses at a California university in communication, public speaking, and media messaging.
His daughters have deleted some of their social media accounts.
In a press conference on the case, authorities confirmed that DeAngelo has adult children and was married, but they did not provide other details of his family other than to reveal that they have interviewed some of his family members. They did not specify which ones.
One neighbor, Cory Harvey, told the Sacramento Bee that DeAngelo lived with a daughter and granddaughter, and she thought he was divorced.
Grant Gorman, who grew up in the neighborhood where DeAngelo lived, told the Bee that he “avoided playing with one of DeAngelo’s daughters while they were young” because DeAngelo had an anger management problem.
“This guy just had this anger that was just pouring out of him,” Gorman said to the newspaper. “He’d just be yelling at nothing in the backyard, pacing in circles.”
3. DeAngelo Was Engaged to Another Woman Once & His Wife’s Law Firm Specializes in Family Law
According to archived newspaper articles and public records, DeAngelo appears to have been engaged to be married in 1970, but he did not marry that woman, although the circumstances are unclear. Her Facebook page says she currently lives in Sacramento. DeAngelo and that woman both attended Sierra College. An engagement notice ran in the local newspaper, but the marriage appears not to have materialized.
Some witnesses had reported hearing the emotional attacker utter the word “Mommy,” although others thought it was actually “Bonnie,” the name of the woman he was once engaged to, according to Slate Magazine.
Sharon Huddle, the woman DeAngelo did marry, has a law firm that specializes in family, divorce and real estate law, according to its page on Yelp. The Yelp page featured a scathing but unverified review about Huddle.
According to the California State Bar, Sharon M. Huddle has an active license to practice law in that state. She was admitted to the bar in 1982, was inactive for 8 months in 1987, and then was active again. She practices in Roseville, California, and has no disciplinary actions on her license. She attended McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.
A story on the Sacramento Family Court Report website described how a judge’s decision “demeaned, disparaged and ridiculed” Sharon Huddle and her client. According to the article, “Huddle was subjected to similar treatment by controversial Judge Peter J. McBrien during a family court trial in March, 2006.” Another judge allegedly said Huddle received harsh treatment because she “wasn’t an insider. She wasn’t a pro tem,” the article reports.
Miller, of KCRA, reported on Twitter: “Seeing some rumors on social media that the suspected East Area Rapist’s family turned him in. Just checked with @sacsheriff and am told that’s ‘100% unequivocally not true.'”
4. DeAngelo’s Brother-in-Law Thought He Was a ‘Good Father’
DeAngelo’s brother-in-law, James Huddle, told Oxygen.com that he thought DeAngelo was a good father.
“Oh my goodness. Wow. I’ll have to process this,” he told the site of DeAngelo’s arrest. However, he also revealed that DeAngelo once brought up the serial killer.
“He actually asked me about it once. He said, ‘What do you think of that East Area Rapist? What would you do, Jim?’” Huddle said to Oyxgen. “(The case) was a big deal at the time. We were all concerned about our families.”
5. DeAngelo Worked as a Police Officer & Authorities Got Their Break From New DNA Evidence
DeAngelo worked as a police officer in Exeter, California in the early 1970s, the sheriff said, and he worked for the Auburn Police Department through the late 1970s, although he was fired in 1979 “after he was charged with stealing a hammer and dog repellent from a Citrus Heights drug store,” The Auburn Journal reported.
“In 1978, a couple was shot and killed while walking their dog in Rancho Cordova. Evidence left at the scene was indicative of the EAR/GSK,” the FBI’s wanted poster reads. “After this crime, the EAR/GSK committed rapes in Stockton, Modesto, Davis, and the East Bay Area of California. Between 1979 and 1981, he was involved in the rape and murder of several individuals, including couples, in Southern California. These victims were tied up in the same manner as the Sacramento area rapes and their homes were also ransacked. After July of 1981, no additional incidents related to the EAR/GSK were reported until the rape and murder of an 18-year-old girl occurred in Irvine, California, in May of 1986. This was the last known incident related to the EAR/GSK in California.”
Authorities revealed the break in the case came from newly developed DNA evidence. According to authorities, they got their big break in only the past week. Sacramento County District Attorney Anne Marie Schubert said it came through “DNA evidence that was examined at the Sacramento County crime lab. Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said authorities used “discarded” DNA from DeAngelo to make the arrest.
The cases he’s charged in are the 1978 murders of Brian Maggiore and his wife, Katie, and the 1980 deaths of Charlene and Lyman Smith. It’s believed the serial killer also slew Alexandria Manning, Dr. Robert Offerman, Patrice Harrington, Keith Harrington, Manuela Witthuhn, Cheri Domingo, Gregory Sanchez, Janelle Cruz, and possibly Claude Snelling.