'Golden State Killer' suspect faces victims, families at court hearing

Victims of a notorious Northern California serial killer and rapist traveled to California's capital city Thursday to get their first glimpse of the man facing charges in connection with the long-ago attacks.

Nearly a dozen victims and survivors showed up for a brief, routine court hearing in the case of Joseph DeAngelo, 72, who authorities say is the “Golden State Killer.”

Jane Carson-Sandler, who traveled from Hilton Head, S.C., was one of dozens of women who claim to have been raped by DeAngelo, a former police officer.

"I hope he suffers and dies in jail," Carson-Sandler said. "But I hope he knows that he has not won, that we have the power and control now."

Jane Carson-Sandler, of South Carolina, who was raped by the so-called Golden State Killer in 1976, wears a t-shirt with a message to her attacker in Sacramento, Calif., Thursday, July 12, 2018, outside the Sacramento County jail after she and other victims and survivors attended a brief court hearing and saw the accused attacker, Joseph DeAngelo, for the first time. (AP Photo/Don Thompson)

Jane Carson-Sandler, of South Carolina, wears a T-shirt with a message to her alleged attacker, in Sacramento, Calif., July 12, 2018.  (Associated Press)

She wore an orange T-shirt with a message to the suspect on the back that said: "Victim survivor thriver ... See you in court."

Carson-Sandler is believed to have been DeAngelo’s fifth rape victim out of dozens, the East Bay Times reported. She was raped in October 1976, when authorities were pursuing a suspect known as the “East Area Rapist,” the Sacramento Bee reported.  

“I want all of the women to know that they can be victim survivors too. ... It’s a process.”

- Jane Carson-Sandler, victim

“I want all of the women to know that they can be victim survivors too,” she said, according to the Times. “It’s a process.”

DeAngelo is also charged with killing 12 people across California in the 1970s and '80s. He is also suspected of raping 51 others between 1974 and 1986, the Bee reported.

He was arrested in April at his home in Citrus Heights, Calif., about 20 miles northeast of Sacramento.

FILE- In this June 1, 2018, file pool photo, Joseph James DeAngelo appears in Sacramento Superior Court, in Sacramento, Calif. Three victims of the notorious Northern California serial killer and rapist say they are feeling relief after flying to California's capital city to see the alleged attacker behind bars for the first time. They were among nearly a dozen victims and survivors who showed up Thursday, July 12 for a routine court hearing in the case against 72-year-old former police officer DeAngelo.(Jose Luis Villegas/The Sacramento Bee via AP, Pool, File)

Suspect Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, appears in Sacramento Superior Court, in Sacramento, Calif., June 1, 2018.  (Associated Press)

Carson-Sandler said she started crying and felt angry and anxious as she sat in the Sacramento County jail courtroom, until she was comforted by Debbi Domingo, whom she calls a "sister survivor."

Domingo traveled from Texas to see the man charged with killing her mother, Cheri Domingo, and Cheri’s boyfriend, Greg Sanchez, in Santa Barbara County.

The women all went to lunch together after the hearing and planned to keep in touch throughout DeAngelo's prosecution.

"Seeing him locked up, that's been the goal all along, all these years that we've been searching for closure," Domingo said of DeAngelo, who looked at the judge during the two-minute hearing while keeping his back to the victims.

The hearing was continued until Sept. 5.

One of the youngest victims, Margaret Wardlow, said she was raped at age 13. She traveled from San Diego and called seeing DeAngelo "intense."

"It's frightening," she said. "I thought, this is the guy that came into a 13-year-old's room and raped her. How do you do that to a kid?"

Defense attorney Diane Howard declined comment after the hearing.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Amy Lieu is a news editor and reporter for Fox News.