Sacramento, Calif. — Jennifer Carole drove up from Santa Cruz to be in a Sacramento County courtroom Thursday to face the man police say killed her father and stepmother when she was just 18 years old.
Southern California investigators say Carole's father, Lyman Smith, and stepmother, Charlene Smith, were killed by the East Area Rapist in 1980. Knowing the trial will take place in Sacramento, Carole is ready and looking forward to justice.
"Why them? Why were they randomly selected? Why their house? Why did you pick my dad and stepmom," Carole replied, when asked what questions she wants answered.
Carole has been writing about her experience since Joseph DeAngelo was arrested for being the suspected East Area Rapist. Her most recent blog post is titled "Top Five Reasons Having the DeAngelo Trial in Sacramento is Pure Gold."
Carole said reason number five is because Sacramento is affordable. Carole is not talking about the trial itself, she's talking about for the survivors. With victim compensation and many survivors knowing each other now, it doesn't cost as much to come to Sacramento to see the trial.
"The scope of the amount of damage he did is enormous and it's inconceivable at the same time. I don't believe any of the survivors expected how wonderful it would be to be together like this," Carole said after the hearing Thursday.
Her fourth reason is for the "excellent journalistic reporting" Sacramento has had during the case so far. In her post, Carole said, "I have met reporters who are conscientious, connected, and genuinely interested in us (the people featured in their stories) and how this criminal has changed the community."
Her third reason is because, "Sacramento extended law enforcement deserves it." Even though the crime she's connected to happened in Southern California, Carole said Sacramento has earned the right to host this case.
"I'm pretty grateful that I get to see this in my lifetime. That they caught the guy and they have him locked up," she exclaimed.
Her second reason for having the case in Sacramento is that many survivors can attend.
"Lives weren't ruined. People are resilient. Women are amazing. Men are amazing. Lives weren't ruined. They were changed. They were affected, but they weren't ruined," Carole said.
Lastly, her first reason is the case belongs to Sacramento.
"It's very small town. Even in Sacramento. That's why the case, the trial belongs here. If you were in Barnes & Noble a few weeks ago, that was amazing. You saw community support for arresting this guy. And it was great. I am really glad this community is going to get a chance to do this with us. I'm just so grateful to do the trial," Carole said.
Continue the conversation with Madison on Facebook.