The Truth About The Golden State Killer's Ex-Wife, Sharon Marie Huddle

Most narratives about Sharon Marie Huddle seem to focus on one question: How could she be married to a serial killer for decades and never know the truth about him? It seems like a lot of implied blame to heap on one person the world knows little about. After all, police departments up and down the West Coast struggled to even connect the dozens of crimes Joseph DeAngelo committed between the mid-1970s and 1986, much less come close to catching the man responsible, as Distractify reports. But when it was revealed that one of the most sought-after serial killers this nation has ever produced was, to the world at large, just a regular family man, it tends to spook us. 

What secrets might we uncover if we were to dig a little bit deeper into our own families? For Sharon Huddle and her three daughters with the man known as the Golden State Killer, it's a question that's much more than hypothetical.

No fairytale marriage

When Joseph DeAngelo was finally caught in 2018, it was the culmination of years of investigation that went back decades and traced a deadly path through numerous quiet, suburban communities across the state of California. Known at various times and by various law enforcement agencies as the Visalia Ransacker, East Area Rapist, and the Original Night Stalker, the man The New York Times says committed "13 known murders and nearly 50 rapes," was almost disappointingly ordinary — at least outwardly.

In a timeline ABC News constructed to pair events in DeAngelo's life against his known crimes, the first entry is dated as 1973. That was the year DeAngelo began a career in law enforcement with the police in Exeter, California. It was also the year he married Sharon Marie Huddle. The two had met when she was studying law at California State Sacramento, says All That's Interesting. Huddle did indeed eventually become an attorney and the two raised their daughters, appearing as normal as any other young family. But trouble was brewing.

Police believe the first crimes (known as the Visalia Ransackings, per All That's Interesting) occurred in 1974, just a year into their marriage. Within a few years, the two were reportedly not even sharing a bedroom. Still, the marriage, as well as the crimes, continued.

Escalating crimes and a failing marriage

As the '70s turned into the '80s, DeAngelo's crimes escalated from burglary to rape and, eventually, to murder. According to the Daily Mail, Huddle claims that her husband lied to her throughout the marriage, making up excuses and lies for why he needed to be out at night. By 1979, DeAngelo had been fired from his second police job and began to work for a supermarket chain, says the Los Angeles Times, a job he held for decades. The last murder attributed to DeAngelo took place in 1986.

Though Huddle may never have known what her husband was capable of, there was still trouble in the marriage, which had effectively come to an end in 1991 when the pair legally separated. They remained married until after his 2018 arrest, however.

For obvious reasons, it can be hard to find much information on Huddle or the couple's daughters. As of 2018, Heavy reports that Huddle's law license was still active and she was believed to still be practicing. Her daughters, understandably, appear to have deleted most of their social media accounts.

Sharon Huddle breaks her silence

In a statement excerpted in the Daily Mail following DeAngelo's arrest, Huddle's pain is tangible. She shared that she now lives with trust issues and severe PTSD and that she "will never be the same person." She went on to explain that "I now live everyday with the knowledge of how he attacked and severely damaged hundreds of innocent people's lives and murdered 13 innocent people who were loved and have now been missed for 40 years or more."

Mercifully, Huddle's grown daughters seem to have thrived despite the nightmare they've likely endured. One was on a PhD track, reported Distractify in 2020, and another is a doctor. Huddle herself is now a grandmother.

In June of 2020, DeAngelo pleaded guilty to 13 counts of kidnapping and 13 counts of murder and was sentenced to life in prison. Here's hoping DeAngelo's family –and those of his victims and their families — have now found some measure of peace, knowing he'll be behind bars for the rest of his life.