The 12 Best Documentaries About Golden State Killer

Sep 12, 2023 | Best Of, Crime

It’s been almost 40 years since the Golden State Killer brutally attacked and terrorized California, but his reign of terror is still remembered vividly by many. Now, a new wave of films and documentaries are emerging to tell his story, shedding light on the horrific events that took place during the late 70s and 80s. From gripping true-crime dramas to heartbreaking personal stories, these documentaries offer a unique insight into the life and crimes of this criminal mastermind.


1. The Golden State Killer: It’s Not Over (2018)

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, a horrific series of crimes terrorized a community. Women were brutally raped and men were murdered in cold blood. The perpetrator remained elusive, leaving fear and chaos in his wake.




2. Unmasking A Killer (2022)

Experience the intense journey of those who tirelessly searched for one of America’s most notorious criminals, known as the Golden State Killer. For four decades, this unidentified man terrorized and traumatized communities in California through a series of violent attacks and brutal murders.




3. Golden State Killer: Main Suspect (2018)

Stephanie Gosk, the acclaimed NBC News investigative journalist, presents a compelling and revealing two-hour special that delves into the life of Joe DeAngelo. Through never-before-seen interviews with those who knew him best, this documentary offers a gripping portrayal of the man at the center of a decades-long manhunt.




4. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark (2020)

The Golden State Killer, a notorious serial killer who terrorized California in the 1970s and 1980s, has captured public fascination for decades. In this gripping documentary series, based on Michelle McNamara’s detailed investigation and book, viewers will be taken on a journey through the chilling crimes and elusive hunt for justice surrounding this infamous killer.




The Best Free Documentaries About The Golden State Killer


1. Golden State Killer: Life & Crimes of the Infamous Criminal | Prime Crime | A&E

The Golden State Killer’s reign of terror may have lasted four decades, but his capture brought an abrupt end to the era of fear he had created. In 2019, investigators deciphered a series of cold cases that revealed the identity of the killer who had evaded justice for so long. The documentaries about this criminal career have been captivating viewers from all walks of life. The stories recounted in these documentaries are heartbreaking, but also inspiring as they demonstrate that justice still prevails.

2. The Golden State Killer

Journey to the West Coast and discover the story of a masked marauder who terrorized California for almost four decades. Tracy Smith’s Emmy-winning report on “48 Hours” dives deep into this notorious case, revealing the shocking truth behind the man they called The Golden State Killer. Tune in now to Pluto TV to watch Tracy’s exclusive investigation unfold before your eyes. Don’t miss the chance to find out what happened and why this mystery has remained unsolved for so long. Prepare yourself for a wild ride as you uncover the facts, and try to piece together the truth about one of the most terrifying criminal cases in history.

3. Unmasking the Golden State Killer: dark investigation into Joseph DeAngelo

Joseph DeAngelo was an unassuming, elderly man to all his neighbors. Little did they know that this 72-year-old was once on the run from authorities as one of the most notorious criminals in California history. Dubbed “Crazy Joe” by his neighbors, DeAngelo is now accused of being the Golden State Killer – a serial murderer and rapist who eluded capture for decades. His reign of terror spanned the 70s and 80s, leaving a trail of victims disrupted by horror in his wake. Thanks to some cutting-edge detective work however, this heinous criminal may finally face justice after all these years.

4. 13 YO Uses True Crime Skills to Survive The Golden State Killer | The Cases of Margaret, Kris & Jane

The clock ticks closer to 6:30 AM on the fifth of October, 1976. Jane Carson’s heart begins to race as a heavy blanket of fear covers her entire being. She is staring into darkness with a blindfold over her eyes while clutching tightly to her three year old son in the fragile safety of her home. Just moments after sunrise, Jane became victim #5. Her perpetrator had already attacked four other women – all in the same manner, leading to the terrifying nickname “Golden State Killer”.

5. Golden State Killer victim shares story of empowerment

Linda O’Dell was a young woman of 22 when terror struck her home on May 14, 1977. The East Area Rapist had broken into her and her husband’s home, assaulting Linda in the most horrible way imaginable. This vicious attack would leave an indelible mark on her life that cannot be erased. Since then, the Golden State KillerThis content has been flagged as inappropriate. If you believe that this is a mistake, please contact our customer support team for further assistance. Thank you.

6. How They Caught The Golden State Killer

A big thank you to Paul Holes, Billy Jensen, Brett Williams, Dr Connie Bormans and Dr Doc Edge for their amazing work on this project. We would also like to extend our appreciation to Verogen and Family Tree DNA for giving us access to film in order to create the documentary about the Golden State Killer. It has been an honor working with such incredible minds and experts in the field. We look forward to telling a more complete story about this unsolved case and we appreciate everyone’s support along the way.

7. The Golden State Killer Documentary

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., born November 8, 1945, was not just a criminal; he was an artist. His brush strokes created a portrait of terror and fear that spanned California for over a decade, leaving behind a legacy of destruction and heartache. From the San Joaquin Valley to Santa Barbara County, DeAngelo left behind an intricate web of crimes as he changed his alias from the Visalia Ransacker to the East Area Rapist, and eventually to the Night Stalker. His victims were not just robbed of their possessions and security; instead, they were left with a dread that would never truly go away.

8. The Golden State Killer Unmasked After 50 Years | SERIAL KILLER | Joseph James DeAngelo

This series unravels the truth behind one of California’s most notorious serial murderers. We follow the thirty-year journey of Joseph James DeAngelo as he commits a string of burglaries, rapes, and murders across California. From his position as a police officer in Auburn to his eventual arrest in April 2018, we look at how this case was finally closed – not just for the victims and their families, but for everyone affected by this heinous crime.

9. Hunt for the East Area Rapist

More than three decades after the East Area Rapist struck terror into California, a new piece of evidence has come to light: a strange memento taken from one of his victims. In this episode of Crime Watch Daily, we explore the story behind this disturbing relic and examine whether or not it might be the key to finally bringing the Golden State Killer to justice. From the detectives who were on his trail in the 80s and 90s to those working tirelessly to crack the case today, we uncover a gripping story of survival, terror, and hope.

10. Golden State Killer

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. was a notorious criminal, an unstoppable force of evil who wreaked havoc upon California in the 1970s and 80s. His victims were defenseless and helpless against his crimes – 13 murders, 51 rapes and 120 burglaries that shook Californians from one end of the state to the other. He was a former police officer, making his rampage all the more terrifying, as it was almost impossible to anticipate or stop him. His reign of terror finally ended in 1986, but his legacy remains a chilling reminder of what can happen when an evil force is allowed to run free – even if only for a short time.

11. Surviving the Golden State Killer | Full Episode | Hometown Tragedy

He was known by many: the Golden State Killer, the East Area Rapist, the Visalia Ransacker. Dubbed the Original Night Stalker in 1976, his reign of terror began when he assaulted 10 women in Sacramento County. It didn’t take long until he escalated to far more violent attacks; by 1979 it was estimated that no less than 50 women had been subjected to his horrific assaults. The sheer brutality of this predator left the area reeling, and they were relieved when his reign of terror finally stopped.

12. Joseph James DeAngelo: The Golden State Killer

The mysterious figure of the Golden State Killer left a devastating trail of destruction for more than four decades. During this time, authorities were unable to capture him despite numerous crimes he committed. It seemed as if the perpetrator had an uncanny ability to remain invisible and hidden. That was until technology finally caught up with him after 44 years of eluding justice. This criminal stands as one of the most infamous in American history, and his story is now being explored in a series of documentaries, allowing viewers to gain an insight into this dark and violent period.

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David B