Very Scary People HLN

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HLN’s Original Series Very Scary People is kicking off its third season with a two-hour deep dive into the infamous Golden State Killer case on May 2 at 9 pm ET/PT.

In this exciting new season, host Donnie Wahlberg will cover some of the most frightening killers in recent history and provide new insight into the history, psychology and motives behind each elusive criminal. Although these killers may have a plethora of documentaries that already address their crimes, HLN’s six-episode Original Series offers new information about each case (including exclusive interviews and rare footage) that will both shock you and deepen your understanding of how these killers function in and out of society.

The season three premiere of Very Scary People delves into the 40-year-long journey of catching the notorious Golden State Killer after he terrorized the state of California with burglaries, rapes, and murders from 1973-1986. As the first hour of the episode unfolds, Very Scary People examines the dual life of Joseph DeAngelo: a police officer and family man who played the role of “Mr. Mom” for his children while his wife worked as a lawyer, and an insidious man who committed heinous crimes all over the Golden State for 13 years.


DeAngelo worked as a burglary unit police officer in Exeter from 1973 to 1976. During those years, DeAngelo was assigned to investigate the numerous ransacking reports and burglaries that were occurring in Visalia, a town just 10 miles away from Exeter. The culprit, dubbed “The Visalia Ransacker,” was never caught and eventually disappeared in 1976. Then, beginning in the same year, Sacramento was tormented by the “East Area Rapist” until 1979— the same span of time in which DeAngelo had moved to the area. Finally, in 1979, DeAngelo relocated to Los Angeles and the “Original Night Stalker” began invading the homes of Southern Californians and murdering as many as 10 people over the course of seven years.

While all of these crimes initially appeared to be unrelated to one another, certain characteristics of the attacks (i.e., the choice of victims, crime scene aftermath) began to overlap and investigators from Northern and Southern California started to pool their evidence together. Despite their best efforts, the case went cold. Then, four years ago, cold-case investigator Paul Holes masterminded a plan to use Forensic Genealogy to trace DNA from the crime scenes back to possible descendants of the Golden State Killer. His task force ultimately narrowed down the suspect pool to one potential match: Joseph DeAngelo. He was arrested on April 24, 2018 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on August 21, 2020.

This episode of Very Scary People features rare photos and home movies of DeAngelo as well as interviews with people in his life that are not normally in the spotlight. In particular, DeAngelo’s former fiancé Bonnie Colwell shares her experience of the night he tried to elope with her at gunpoint, and a woman who used to babysit for DeAngelo when she was 14 discusses the time she spent in his home while he was committing his monstrous crimes. Paul Holes is also interviewed alongside several other investigators that were on the case over the last 40 years.

You can catch the season three premiere of Very Scary People on HLN this Sunday, May 2 at 9 pm to 11 pm ET/PT! To stay up to date with all of HLN’s new shows, you can follow their Instagram (@HLNOriginals), Twitter (@HLNTV), and Facebook (

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