A Concord woman recalls the terrorizing moment she encountered the Golden State Killer 40 years ago and how his arrest is bringing her closure.
Jenine Cortopassi was just 25 years old when she was brutally attacked by the infamous serial killer in the fall of 1978. She and her husband were asleep in bed when a man in a ski mask woke them up, said he had a gun, and forced her to tie up her husband.
"We did everything we could to stay alive," Jenine said. "I had a baby. She was a year old. He broke into our home."
Police say the masked man may have been hiding in the closet somewhere and waiting until the Cortopassis slept.
She said he threatened to maim their child before sexually assaulting Janine, leaving her traumatized for years.
"For the longest time, if I went into a store and there was a ski mask, I had to walk out," she said. "If I heard emergency sirens, I would get this visceral response with goosebumps and actually almost be in panic."
The family quickly had to move out of their Concord home and settle in Fresno, but the Golden State Killer did not only ruin their lives, it almost destroyed the Cortopassi’s marriage.
"I've been in counseling. My husband and I both went through counseling," Jenine said. "It rocked our marriage for a little bit at a time. I was frightened he would hunt me down again."
Since Joseph DeAngelo was arrested Wednesday, Jeanine claims that fear is gone.
"It was surreal," she said. "I've wanted this day for so long. I have a sense of closure that this perpetrator will not be harming anyone else and that had been my prayer all along."