Addicted to Love: The Sunset Strip Murders
The Woman Who Loved Too Much
Bundy, was born Carol Mary Peters on 26 August 1942, the second
child of Charles and Gladys Peters. Like everything that was
unpleasant in Carol's life, she idealised her parents and her
childhood. It would take psychiatrists many hours of talking to
break through Carol's insistence that she had experienced a happy
childhood. She could only recall the happy moments when her
parents had behaved lovingly toward her. Carol described memories
of Christmas and the efforts her parents had made to make it a
special time for their three children, despite a lack of money.
She also remembered a time when her father had pretended that the
tooth fairy had visited her room as she slept, by making
footprints with a doll's muddied feet.
memories of her mother initially portrayed her as a glamorous and
beautiful woman who exuded a magic that Carol had always wished
she shared. The description she gave of her mother's death was
somehow unreal, sounding more like a scene from a daytime soap
than from real life. According to Carol, her mother had suddenly
complained of feeling unwell and told Carol to call her father
from work. He took Gladys to the hospital and returned many hours
later, alone. When he walked in the door, he told Carol that her
mother was dead. Carol would recall that she screamed and ran to
him. Her father held her tightly as they wept together.
take some time before the reality of Carol's childhood was
uncovered. The truth painted a less pretty picture. Her father was
an alcoholic who moved his family from town to town in his work as
a movie-theatre troubleshooter. Her mother was a hairdresser who
had at one time been stand-in for tap-dancing star Ruby Keeler.
an unattractive and awkward child, unable to live up to her
mother's expectations. At the age of eight, for some reason
unknown to Carol, Gladys cut her off completely. Carol came home
from school one day to find herself locked out of the house.
Despite her tears and pleas to be allowed in, Gladys told her to
go away because she wasn't her little girl. It had only been the
intervention of her father that changed Gladys's mind. Carol was
allowed to come home, but from that day onwards Carol's mother
treated her as if she didn't exist.
would not allow Gladys to hit the children, as she would go
berserk, thrashing them with a belt relentlessly, until someone
dragged her off them. Carol's younger sister Vicky recalled an
incident that indicated Carol had learned early in life to refuse
to acknowledge the cruel acts of the object of her love. According
to Vicky, Gladys had beaten Carol severely around the face and
body with a belt while Carol sat in a chair reading a comic book.
By refusing to acknowledge the pain her mother had caused her, she
was able to remain in control of the situation. Carol had already
discovered the superior position of being the victim who could
forgive the transgressions and weaknesses of her abuser, a
position in which she would learn to thrive.
her father's need to control his children with physical abuse,
Carol could not face the idea that her father had not been loving
toward her. She would convince herself that her father's beatings
were never harsh, but were always meted out in fair proportion to
the seriousness of the offence.
night of her mother's death, her father, instead of comforting
Carol, as she preferred to remember, had told his young daughters
that they would have to take their mother's place in his bed.
Although they were not sure why, they were both too scared to go.
They played a game to decide who would go, Vicky lost, and at the
age of eleven, was introduced to oral sex. Later, it was Carol's
turn. Despite her tears and protests, her father sexually abused
his daughter. According to Vicky, their father's sexual abuse
would continue until he remarried eight months later, Carol would
recall the first and last time as being the only occurrences. She
would always remember her father as being a good man who had loved
her, she could find nothing bad to say about the man who had
beaten and abused her.
her father began molesting her, Carol began running naked through
the streets at night. By the time she was fifteen, she had learned
the power of sex and the appeal of her large breasts. Through
promiscuity, with high school boys and the school bus driver,
although not sexually satisfying to herself, Carol found she could
get the attention she craved, if only for a moment.
remarried, Charles began to beat Carol more regularly, humiliating
her constantly, and telling her that she was fat and stupid. Only
a few months after the marriage, Carol came home to an empty
house. The cat was dead and her father's shotgun case lay on the
bloodstained living room floor. When her father returned, he told
Carol that he had wanted to kill the whole family, starting with
his wife, but she had wrested the gun from him. Carol and Vicky
were sent to foster homes, then to their grandmother in Michigan.
In less than a year, their father reclaimed them from an uncle in
Indiana and took them back to California.
seventeen, to get away from her father, Carol married a fifty-six
year old man, Leonard, but soon left him because he was a drunkard
and had wanted her to prostitute herself. Soon after, she met
Richard Geis, a thirty-two year old writer of pornography and
science fiction. He had found her to be a convenient companion,
with a pathetic eagerness to please. Believing her to be an
intelligent and witty woman, Geis encouraged her to pursue her
writing talents. She wrote a short story, which was published in a
mainstream magazine. She began to write a novel but stopped after
writing only twelve pages. She put together one issue of a science
fiction fan magazine. Then she took up cartooning, but despite
having talent, gave it up.
Carol's father hung himself. Geis believed that Carol took the
responsibility for both her father's death and his sexual abuse of
her. By this time Carol's pattern of martyrdom in the face of
abuse from others was well set. She began to have sex with women,
but this would not end her role of victim. Carol went through a
period where she fluctuated between men and women, if a woman hurt
her she would turn to a man, then when he hurt her, she would turn
to a woman. In time, she tired of this game and returned to her
relationship with Geis.
to Oregon and were living together when Geis found out that she
was sometimes sleeping with other men for money. Although Geis
recognised that Carol was in need of help, he did not urge her to
seek counselling. Instead he paid for her to go to nursing school
on the condition that she maintained good grades. She attended
college in Santa Monica, where they were living at the time. She
was judged class valedictorian and qualified in 1968. It looked
like Carol would sort her problems out and get on with her life.
Dick and Carol would maintain their friendship for many years.
marriage to Grant Bundy, also a nurse, had been fairly stable
until after their first son, Chris, was born. From that time on,
their relationship became steadily worse. Carol claimed that he
belittled her and shoved her around, which escalated to regular
beatings. At one stage, she left Grant to have a lesbian affair,
but came back after squandering thousands of dollars on her lover.
When Carol's eyesight, which had never been good, deteriorated
further, the friction between the couple became worse. Grant
became more violent as the prospect of looking after their two
boys and a blind Carol, who could no longer work, became a
reality. Finally in January 1979, Carol fled with her children to
a shelter for battered women.
later she found an apartment in Valerio Gardens apartment house in
Van Nuys, a suburb in the San Fernando Valley, where she moved
with nine-year-old Chris and five-year-old David (not his real
Jeanette and John "Jack" Murray, the managers of Valerio Gardens,
first met Carol Bundy, she was thirty-six years old, overweight,
with cropped brown hair and thick glasses. Although Jeanette had
been aware of her husband's philandering since the early days of
their marriage, she knew that he liked blondes with long legs.
Carol Bundy was definitely not Jack's type. She was not concerned
at the number of times Carol called upon Jack to fix things in her
apartment, nor did she worry when her husband took Carol to her
doctor's appointments and the Social Security office; after all
Carol was just a single mother down on her luck.
Murray had been born in Australia and had come to America to make
it as a singer. Although he had great potential, with an excellent
voice and good looks, his arrogance and self-importance tended to
destroy every opportunity that came his way. He and Jeanette had
married in 1974, just ten days after they met. Shortly after their
first anniversary, their first child, Jessica was born, followed
two years later by their son Bryan.
Jack had found a new audience for his old stories. As he repaired
the wardrobe doors, he told Carol romantic tales of his time in
the Australian army and his service in Vietnam. Carol, almost
blind and alone, was flattered that this attractive man would want
to waste his time talking to her. On his next visit, Carol told
him of her ex-husband's ill treatment of her, and made a show of
trying to put on a brave front about her blindness. Jack showed
her the sympathy she had wanted, and was soon offering to help her
out. He even suggested that she seek a second opinion about her
eyesight. By Jack's third visit, she had made certain to have a
supply of his favorite beer in the fridge. They quickly fell into
bed, and Carol Bundy fell in love.
short time, Carol's crush on Jack was bordering on obsession. She
would follow him around all day as he worked around the complex.
If he were in the office, she would be there. As soon as she heard
his van turn into the driveway, the phone calls would begin with
requests for Jack's assistance with a million and one jobs that
needed doing. Often he would call Carol from an empty apartment,
and she would walk down the driveway, white cane in hand, and meet
him. Within minutes, they would be in bed. Sometimes, when Jack
took her to the doctors, they would make love in the back of his
van. Despite the fact that making love usually meant giving Jack
pleasure with oral sex and very rarely satisfying her, she still
believed that he cared for her.
months went by, Carol became more and more infatuated with Jack,
she had never been happier. In this euphoric state of mind, Carol
spent many hours fantasizing about the wonderful life she and Jack
would lead. She even imagined them having a child together, in
reality impossibility as she had been given a tubal ligation after
convinced that Jack must love her. If it hadn't been for him, she
would not have known that she was entitled to disability benefits
and a housekeeper. And it was because of Jack that she sought a
second opinion about her eyes and found that her eyesight could be
surgically restored. And wasn't it Jack who had found a real
estate agent to advise her on how much settlement she should
expect when Grant sold the house?
looking after her and she was convinced that they shared an
intimacy that Jack and Jeanette had never enjoyed. Carol believed
him when he told her that it would be a couple of years before he
could leave Jeanette. She understood when he asked her to be more
discreet and not to follow him around or call him. She looked
forward to the times he would call her to arrange for sex in the
back of the van. Carol was happy to loan him money occasionally,
after all he had done so much for her, and it gave her a hold on
him. How could he leave her when he owed her money? Carol had to
ignore the negative realities of her relationship with Jack or she
would be forced to take action. Then she would be alone,
abandoned, unloved. Anything was better than that.
October, Carol had her second eye operation. Being able to see
again made Carol realise that her affair with Jack hadn't made her
as beautiful and glowing as she had felt. She was still fat and
ugly. Jack, on the other hand was handsome and charismatic. Any
woman would envy her in having such a man. During this time, while
still receiving her regular disability payments, the settlement of
$25,000 for the sale of her house came through. Carol felt rich
and embarked on a huge spending spree. She spent $4000 on new
furniture and appliances bought new clothes and spent a fortune on
beauty treatments and visits to the hairdressers. She also bought
gifts for Jack including a VCR and a new desk for his office. This
was not the first time Carol had spent uncontrollably. While
married to Grant, she would run up huge credit card bills, which
would place enormous pressure on their already strained finances.
Not long before Carol left him, Grant had cut up her credit cards
after she had spent more than a month's wages on Christmas gifts
for the boys.
attempt to further tie herself to Jack, she opened a joint safety
deposit box with him, in which she deposited $13,000*. In
November, Jack told her that Jeanette had cancer and he couldn't
possibly leave her until all of the doctors' bills had been paid,
Carol gladly gave him $10,000*. When this didn't make his
commitment to her any stronger, she attempted to make him jealous
by having an affair with Jeanette's younger brother Warren.(*
These figures were given by Carol during her testimony and may not
necessarily be a correct accounting of the amounts, which would
explain why they do not add up)
before Christmas, Carol, desperate to have some romantic time
alone with Jack, organised for them to spend a weekend in Las
Vegas. She told him that it was a reward for all the help he had
given her. Things did not go as she had planned. They checked into
the Continental Tower Hotel and watched a dance show together.
Then Jack's mood changed and he left her alone while he went to
gamble. He did not return until it was time to catch their plane
dropped her off, she walked the rest of the way home. Later a very
angry Jeanette was at her door to return her suitcase, which she
had left in Jack's van. In an attempt to bring her affair with
Jack out into the open, hoping that it would force Jack to leave
home, Carol broached the subject of Jeanette's cancer. She was
shocked when Jeanette told her that she had never had cancer. When
she confronted Jack, he admitted that he had used the money to pay
off his van. She was furious but was quickly appeased when he
assured her that he still intended to leave Jeanette, but just not
nothing had changed by Christmas, Carol still held hope for her
and Jack. She bought gifts for him and the children. He promised
to spend some time with her on Christmas day. She waited all day
for him to appear but, when she saw him drive away in his van, she
decided to take action. She went to see Jeanette and offered her
$1500 if she would leave Jack. Jeanette told her that she would
agree if that were what Jack wanted. Carol went home and anxiously
waited for Jack to return. When he did, Jeanette told him of
Carol's offer. Carol stood in the driveway anticipating a happy
result, instead Jack told her to stay out of his life. There was
no way he would let her come between him and his family.
later, Carol remained unrelenting in her pursuit of Jack. She
dressed up to go to the "Little Nashville Club", a favourite haunt
of Jack's, in the hope that Jack would tell her that he hadn't
meant what he had said to her, that he had been pretending for
Jeanette's benefit only. When she arrived she found Jeanette and
Jack together. Her fantasy of marriage to Jack disappeared before
her eyes as Jack, smiling and happy, danced with Jeanette. Her
depression sank to even greater depths, but that was to change
when she saw a handsome blonde man smiling at her from the other
side of the room.
saw that he was the only other person there that was over-dressed
like herself, Carol read it as a sign that they were meant for
each other. He was a perfect gentleman with a cultured voice.
During the course of the evening, he made no sexual advances
toward her and treated her like a lady. After taking her to
another bar for more dancing, he left her with the promise that he
would call her. Carol had never before met anyone as charming as
Doug Clark and she couldn't wait to see him again.
The 'Perfect' Gentleman
had been born Daniel Clark in 1948 in Pennsylvania where his
father Franklyn, was stationed in the Navy. He was the third son
of five children. In the third grade, he decided that he wanted to
be called Doug instead of Daniel. The family moved regularly, from
Pennsylvania to Seattle, Berkley and Japan. In 1958, Franklyn had
retired from the Navy as a lieutenant commander. In 1959, he moved
with his wife, Blanch, and their five children, Frank Jr, Carol
Anne, Doug and Jon Ronlyn, to Kwajalein, an atoll in the Marshall
Islands, where he took up a civilian position running the supply
department for the Transport Company of Texas. Blanch worked as a
two years living in Kwajalein, living a life of colonial
privilege, in a housing estate that was built specifically for the
many American families who worked on the atoll. When they returned
to America they lived in Berkley for a short time before moving to
India. The Clarks lived in a manner reserved for only the very
wealthy back in America, with a number of servants who would wait
dutifully on the children and parents alike.
Americans living in the area described the Clark family as
pleasant people who kept to themselves. As for Doug, none could
remember any startling behaviour problems, although they had found
that if Doug was ever in trouble for any of the usual childhood
pranks, his father would defend him aggressively, refusing to
acknowledge his son's responsibility for his behaviour.
both Walter and Doug were sent to Ecolat, the International School
in Geneva attended by the children of UN Diplomats, international
celebrities and European and Middle Eastern royalty. Unlike his
brother Walt, who was popular and outgoing, Doug was considered
sullen and arrogant and made few friends. He did not do well with
his studies, as he couldn't be bothered to do the work or complete
assignments. Doug Clark claimed that he had developed his
preference for kinky sex while living in Geneva.
brag to his classmates of outrageous sexual exploits with the town
girls, whether they wanted to hear it or not. Despite the fact
that Doug's parents had been called to the school on a number of
occasions because of his bad behaviour, including drunkenness, the
theft of a bicycle and the writing of an erotic letter to a female
teacher, and his subsequent expulsion, his parents would claim
later that Doug had never shown any signs of behavioural problems
as a child.
brother Walt would disagree. He would claim that Doug had always
lied to his parents and got away with it. He would also claim that
while in Geneva, Doug would interfere in every relationship he
formed with girls. He wasn't sure what he said to them but they
would always refuse to see Walt again after Doug had talked with
expulsion, sixteen-year-old Doug was sent to Culver Military
Academy in Indiana. Frank, Jr. and
Carol Ann had already left home by this time and Walt was sent to
a boarding school in Arizona; Jon Ronlyn joined him there later.
Doug's parents continued to move around the world, first to
Venezuela, then Perth, Western Australia.
intelligent, Doug was happy to scrape through his schooling with
minimal effort. He was involved in a number of sports and played
saxophone in the dance band. In the three years that he attended
the Academy, Doug did not have any close friends, instead he hung
around with a group of kids who shared Doug's disdain for
authority and had a distinct "don't give a damn" attitude. He
would brag of his family's wealth and his sexual exploits
oblivious to his friends' annoyance and boredom. The fact that
most of his classmates refused to mix with him and would often
avoid contact with him all together, did not seem to bother Doug.
behaviour and attitude led to many meetings with the school
therapist, Colonel Gleeson. Despite the fact that Gleeson had
written many letters informing the Clarks of their son's bad
conduct, they showed no concern. In the time he was there, he only
received one visit from his mother. The only visit his father made
occurred while Doug was on holiday.
most teenage boys, Doug and his classmates were obsessed with
teenage girls and the fantasy of sex, but for Doug it was much
more than fantasy. He would often bring a girl to his room where
he would record their moans and groans as he had sex with them. He
would then replay the tapes to his classmates, revelling in their
seventeen, Doug claimed to have met the love of his life. Bobbi
was fourteen when they met at a Culver dance, where Clark had
taken her away from another boy. Despite his claims to have been
in love with Bobbi, he would take photos of them having sex and
pass them around the school, enjoying the notoriety that they
at the age of nineteen, Clark graduated from Culver and went to
live with his parents, who were now retired and living in
Yosemite. When he was drafted, he enlisted in the Air Force in
radio intelligence to ensure that he would not end up in the front
line in the Vietnam War. He would first go to Texas and then
Anchorage, Alaska where he was given the job of decoding Russian
military discipline in Anchorage reminded him of Culver and he
resented his senior officers' corrections, but the city nightlife
made up for it. He spent most of his time in the many dancer bars
where he would nurture his ego as he left each night with one of
the dancers hanging on his arm. Before his term was up, Doug left
the air force with an honorable discharge, a National Defense
Service Medal and his benefits intact. What the events were that
led up to this are unknown as Doug's story is different every time
he tells it, and the Air Force won't reveal anything. Doug claims
that he had been witness to the murder of a black man by a white
man and had fled when he was called in for questioning.
over $5000, Doug planned to drive from Alaska to the Mexican
border, but stopped when he got to Van Nuys, where he moved in
with his sister Carol Ann, who was living with her abusive
husband. At twenty-four he met, and later married,
twenty-seven-year-old Beverly in a North Hollywood bar. Beverly,
blonde and heavy, saw herself as fat and ugly but felt that Doug,
with his big dreams and ambitions, would always try to build her
bought a car-upholstery business, which Doug ran while Beverly had
a job and did the books on weekends. Doug insisted that he was the
one with the intelligence, not her, and refused to listen to any
advice she gave about the business. Whenever they would begin to
get ahead, Doug would quickly lose it. During the seventies, the
business began to falter so they sold it. To pay off debts, Doug
worked in a gas station and as a security guard before he began
buying goods at auctions to resell at swap meets. Beverly had the
job of loading and unloading the truck because, in Doug's opinion,
he was a better salesman than she was.
Beverly could not say exactly what went wrong in the marriage, she
did say that Doug was lazy. She would not consider the fact that
he liked to wear her underwear as any more unusual than his desire
to try wife-swapping or three-way sex. As Beverly gained more
weight during their marriage, Doug spent less and less time at
home, preferring to go to bars. According to Carol Ann, Doug drank
heavily and would become overanxious and angry when drunk. Beverly
would deny this, even though she had persuaded Doug to join
Alcoholic's Anonymous as a condition of them staying together. He
stayed away from alcohol for two years.
ambitious but could not commit himself to the work that was
required to achieve the success he longed for. It had been
Beverly's suggestion that Doug apply to work for the city as a
steam-plant trainee. He agreed and actually completed the
four years after they were married, Doug and Beverly separated and
later divorced, although they remained close friends.
began work at the Jergen's factory in 1979. His duties as
stationary engineer required him to tend the large boiler. While
not a job befitting his level of education, he enjoyed the sense
of power controlling the three-story structure gave him. He had
been lucky to get this job, as his work record from his first job,
after his training was completed, was not impressive. Somehow he
managed to escape being sacked, when in 1975 the manager had found
Doug to be a disruptive influence and wanted him out, but he was
still there when he applied for the job at Jergen's.
February 1980, Doug set fire to his car outside the Jergen's
factory, while he was working night shift, in order to claim the
insurance. He later bragged to Carol that the real reason was to
time he met Carol he had developed quite a talent for insinuating
himself into the lives of fat, unattractive women who would
willingly give him free rent, food and money in return for the
attention he gave them. When the women demanded more in return, he
would quickly leave them and move on to the next lonely woman.
Birds of a Feather
had been correct in her expectation that she would see Doug Clark
again. It had only been a couple of days since their first meeting
when he called her at home. Delighted to hear from him again,
Carol did not protest too much when he insisted on joining her and
the boys for dinner, even though she normally preferred not to let
the boys know about her male friends. Despite her misgivings, the
boys enjoyed having a man in the house, so much so that both Chris
and David happily sat on Doug's lap for a cuddle after they had
finished playing. As Doug tucked them into bed, he told Chris and
Spike that he would be spending the night. Carol enjoyed his
masterful manner and made no attempt to contradict him.
remembered their first night together as being incredible. Doug
had been considerate in his love making, seeming to genuinely
enjoy pleasuring her. His constant whispering of how much he
enjoyed her and what a wonderful and intelligent woman she was,
had been like music to her affection-starved soul. By morning she
was fully primed for the next round in Doug's game. She awoke to
find him looking down on her with a with a lost expression. Right
on cue, Carol insisted that he tell her what was wrong.
Reluctantly, he confessed that he was having problems with his
landlady and wondered whether he could move some things into her
apartment. Of course that was fine with Carol. As he left, he
wondered if he could ask one more thing of her. Could he have a
pair of her underpants? His explanation that it would help him to
remember her while he was away somehow overcame Carol's initial
abhorrence. He made it sound so romantic. When she brought her
large cotton underpants to him, he quickly gave them back because
they were far too big. She soon got over her hurt at his rejection
as she marveled at her luck in finding such an adorable and
handsome man. She hoped he would return to her soon.
newly burgeoning affair had not quenched her impassioned love for
Jack Murray. She continued to send him flowery love letters, in
which she told him that she was willing to wait for him as she
knew that deep down he really loved her. However, further attempts
to manipulate him into leaving Jeanette ended with him telling her
to leave Valerio.
Reluctantly, Carol found herself a two-bedroom apartment three
miles away in Lemona Avenue. Jack, with Jeanette following closely
behind, moved Carol's furniture into her new apartment, then left
with a promise that he would call her. His call never came,
although he would drop in to have sex with her as often as three
times a week. With each visit, he would let Carol know of some
item that he needed, which Carol would buy for him. Some times he
would ask her to lend him money. As long as he would keep coming,
Carol would gladly continue to hand over her cash to him. She
skilfully buried any resentment she felt toward him to the point
that even she could not tell it was there.
Jack took an instant dislike to each other when they met at The
Little Nashville Club. This delighted Carol as she thought that it
was inspired by jealousy. Carol, using her well-used ploy,
confessed to her new lover the abuses she had suffered at the
hands of her ex-lover, Jack. When she told him about the money she
had given Jack and the gifts she had bought him, Doug became angry
and insisted that she should stop. He attempted to talk her into
closing her joint account, but she forgot. By reacting with
indignation, Doug had played right into Carol's hands. She was now
convinced that Doug cared for her and was a better man than Jack.
Carol would willingly ignore the fact that Doug did not pay his
share of the rent or pay for his food. Any resentful thoughts were
quickly subdued with the rationalisation that her new job as a
vocational nurse at Valley Medical Center allowed her to easily
afford the extra costs.
would not admit to herself that her relationship with Doug was as
one sided as hers and Jack's had been. He would talk incessantly
about himself and showed no interest in anything Carol had to say.
Although this changed dramatically after he read an article about
true loving being expressed by the fulfilment of your lover's
fantasies. He wanted to explore this idea further, so encouraged
Carol to share her deepest fantasies and he did the same. As they
lay in bed in the darkness, Doug, with his purring voice, would
tell Carol of his most secret fantasies and Carol would be sure
that she had finally found the deeply intimate relationship she
had always wanted.
favourite choice of Doug's fantasies was where he captured a young
girl and kept her locked away as his sex slave, although she much
preferred herself as the captured slave. Together, Doug and Carol
indulged her fascination for bondage and domination. Doug enjoyed
testing her seemingly non-existent sexual limits. Before long, the
fantasies began to include murder. He told her that it was fun to
kill and that any woman who really loved him should be willing to
kill for him. Carol was more than willing.
would pass in and out of Carol's apartment, keeping her on edge as
he first drew close then withdrew again and disappeared for days
at a time. Each time he returned he would bring new fantasies,
which gradually became more graphic and sordid. With each increase
in intensity Carol, aware that Doug was watching her reactions,
would be sure to react positively, even giggling when he told her
of a past girlfriend's fascination with necrophilia.
period of Doug's absence, Carol answered an ad in the personal
column. Art Pollinger was a stereo company executive with a
$100,000 a year income. He was looking for a decent and
marriageable woman. Unlike Jack and Doug, he was not much in the
looks department, weighing four hundred pounds, nor did he treat
Carol badly. He saw her as an intelligent woman and an immaculate
housekeeper who he would have liked to marry in the future. Carol
soon confided in Art the sexual abuse she had suffered at the
hands of Jack Murray, and the fact that she had a joint
safety-deposit box. The next day he took Carol to the bank to
withdraw her money. There was nearly $6000 dollars missing. Jack's
signature appeared twice on the entry slip. Although Carol was
devastated by Jack's deceit, she made excuses for him to Art.
Finally, at Art's insistence she took the money out and placed it
in a checking account where Jack could no longer get at it.
Carol and Art stopped seeing each other. Carol had been too
addicted to the emotional roller-coaster ride she enjoyed with
Jack and Doug to give a healthy relationship a chance to grow. She
would later look back and wonder how differently her life would
have turned out if she had chosen differently.
Carol decided to buy a new car after gaining her driver's licence
again, Doug chose a 1973 blue Buick station wagon. It was bigger
than any car she had ever driven and her lack of peripheral vision
made it difficult for her to drive it, but she bought it any way.
One afternoon in April, as Carol attempted to park the Buick, a
buck knife fell from the sun visor into her lap. Doug told her
that he kept it for protection against strangers. He suggested
that, for the same reason, she should buy herself a gun. Together,
on April 24, Doug selected two guns from a Van Nuys pawnshop. They
were to be registered in Carol's name as Doug told her that he had
once done time for robbery. It was a lie, but to Carol it would
make him seem even more desirable.
weeks later, on May 16, Carol picked up the two guns. They were
.25 calibre Raven automatics, only small guns which, to Carol,
looked like toys. With three boxes of ammunition she and Doug
drove to Balboa Park in Encino. While Doug sat in the car and test
fired the guns into a telephone book, Carol stood 25 feet away to
see how loud the gunfire sounded. She told Doug that it had been
no louder than the pop of a balloon.
picture of Doug with a gun in the back of his jeans caused Carol
to see him as a heroic figure, strong and masterful. She was now
totally immersed in the role of Doug's love slave. Doug now had
what he would later describe as his own "Stepin Fetchit." Carol
would cook for him, clean the house, do his laundry and dishes and
even buy him clothes. There was nothing she would not do for him.
was deeply aware of the changes in his mother. Doug completely
dominated her and she seemed to like it. He screamed at his mother
to get Doug out of the house. She slapped his face. Where she was
once protective of her children with the men in her life, now she
was the opposite. Doug and Carol regularly beat Chris. Carol would
tell herself that she was only taking the black leather, studded
biker belt to Chris to save him from Doug's brutality, but she had
done so with as much fervour as Doug had.
willing submission to Doug's demands was complete by the time Doug
demonstrated to her how he could kill Chris by sticking a knife in
his back right through to his heart. Chris stood helplessly as
Doug described in graphic detail how he would kill Chris, as his
mother listened impassively. She did not stand up for her son as
he hoped she would. He realized that his mother had chosen Doug
over her own children and withdrew emotionally. He began to cry
easily and suffered from headaches. Doug told him he was a faggot.
David had been terrified as he watched Doug punch his older
brother in the kidneys and the stomach, one of many incidents that
Chris would later be unable to recall. Chris had felt for some
time that he and Doug were in a battle for his mother, now he knew
that he had lost.
had completely lost the last remnants of her self-respect. The
more contemptible Doug's treatment of her became, the harder she
would work to try and please him. When Doug told her that he
didn't want to have sex with her anymore because she was very
unattractive, she was shattered, but still did not end the
relationship. Instead she would go with him when he picked up
prostitutes and sit in the back seat as the women tried, usually
unsuccessfully, to arouse him orally.
continued to move in and out of her apartment, he would blame her
mood swings and possessiveness as the reasons he had to escape.
What Carol did not know was that he had tried many times to
replace Carol but had been unsuccessful in his attempts to attach
himself to another woman. The only reason he had returned at all
was because no one else was as willing to oblige his fantasies as
Carol was. He had moved in with a new girlfriend, but she kicked
him out after only two days, forcing him to move back to Carol's
flat. Through this new girlfriend, he met another girlfriend, one
that was large-busted and overweight.
the heavy girlfriend went to dinner together a number of times but
she refused to sleep with him. He took her to an orgy at a house
in Hollywood, where she sat at the bar until he was ready to go,
then decided to invite him home to stay. The sight of him in a
pair of green silk women's underpants sent her into a fit of
laughter, spoiling any plans Doug may have had of having sex,
although he did spend the night with her. In the morning, he left
a gun on her television. Making the excuse that she needed to
return his gun, she agreed to see Doug again. Doug was sure that
in this new girlfriend he had found another meal ticket but she
refused to see him again after he suggested that they should kill
her ex-boyfriend together. Doug was far too weird for her liking.
May, Doug finally succeeded in his quest. He had met a new
girlfriend at the Viking Bar in North Hollywood. Like Carol, she
was unattractive and overweight with low self-esteem and had
succumbed to Doug's first night seduction, just as Carol had. Doug
was soon invited to spend the night and by June 3rd, he moved into
her apartment where she lived with her two children her two
Carol scraped the side of the Buick while attempting to park it
outside her Lemona Avenue apartment, Doug was furious, telling her
that she was incompetent and a bad driver. On the 31st of May,
Carol decided to buy herself a new car, a blue 1976 Datsun 710,
although she kept the Buick station wagon for Doug. That night
Doug took the new car for a test drive. In the morning, the
gearshift was fractured and there was an indentation on the
passenger-side door panel. He told Carol that he had been cleaning
his gun when it had discharged, ricocheting off the shift and the
door. Carol did not believe him. The next day she applied to have
custody of Chris and David transferred to their father, Grant
Bundy. On 9 June, Grant took the boys and sent them by plane to
their paternal grandparents.
hadn't worked out for Doug with his new girlfriend and he wanted
to move back permanently with Carol. As soon as the boys were
gone, Carol began looking for a new apartment closer to the
Jergen's factory so Doug could walk to work.
Trail of Death
had been aware that Doug had done more than fantasize about murder
when he arrived home one night in late April 1980, covered in
blood. There was blood on his blue denim jacket, in his teeth and
all over his hands. Carol took him into the bathroom and told the
boys to go back to bed. The next morning, she told Chris and Spike
that Doug had been in a motorcycle accident, but they had seen
Carol clean Doug's bloodied knife. Carol pretended to believe
Doug's story that he had been with a girl in the car when her
boyfriend had attacked him. Doug had used his knife against his
attacker and narrowly escaped death. The next day, Carol noticed
spots of blood in the Buick.
scene was repeated a week later. Doug told Carol that he had
killed the boyfriend who had attacked him the week before. Carol
told the boys that someone had tried to steal the car and Doug had
heroically fought off his attacker.
late April, Charlene, a twenty-two-year-old prostitute, narrowly
escaped death. She had been in the supermarket parking lot on
Sunset Boulevard near Le Brea Avenue when she saw a man in a blue
station wagon pull in. As she approached him to see if he wanted
sex, she noticed that he was masturbating and began to walk away.
He called her back and they agreed that she would give him oral
sex for forty dollars. They drove away together. He stopped the
car in De Longpre Avenue. She refused to get into the back seat
with him. He said his name was Don or Ron, had blonde hair and
blue eyes and a moustache. As she lowered her head towards his
crotch, she noticed he had long smooth hair on his hands and a
very small penis. Before she could begin, the man held her down
and put a knife to the back of her neck.
struggled to get away, he stabbed her repeatedly. Somehow she
managed to get hold of the knife blade and they both lay there,
neither one able to do anything. He told her that "this is your
last round baby" as he pressed his fingers onto her windpipe.
Barely able to get her breath, Charlene pushed with her feet as
hard as she could and propelled herself out of the car. As she lay
on the sidewalk bleeding, the man threw her jacket and shoes after
her. Charlene had been lucky to escape and later identified Doug
Clark as her attacker.
eleventh of June 1980, Janet and Andy Marano were looking for
their daughters, Cindy and Gina. The girls had run away from home
again. It had become a regular occurrence over the past year since
they had moved to Huntington Beach. It was the second marriage for
both Janet and Andy and the merging of their two families had been
difficult. Between them they had six children: Janet had three
girls, and Andy had two girls.
now 15 and Gina 16, had done well at their previous school where
they were both popular and enjoyed success in all their
endeavours. The change of schools had seen the girls' grades
plummet, as they spent more and more time "hanging out" with
friends at Huntington Beach. Their parents, devout Christians, had
attempted to uphold their parental authority with a firm hand and
strict punishments. The girls' rebellion deepened. They were soon
skipping school and running away from home for days and weeks at a
time. Late that night, Janet and Andy gave up their search and
went home, determined that they would find the girls the next day.
same night, according to Carol Bundy, she came home from work to
find a note from Doug telling her that he had dropped by and would
talk to her later. Making the excuse that she needed the Buick to
do some shopping, Carol went to his current girlfriend's apartment
to swap cars with Doug. Having her own set of keys, she unlocked
the Buick. On the back seat, she found what looked like a duffle
bag full of dirty clothing. When she looked inside, she discovered
that it was filled with bloodied clothes, a blanket and paper
towels. Forgetting about her plans of shopping, Carol took the bag
with her into the Datsun and headed home. On her way she stopped
at a laundromat and washed the clothes, a green tube top and a
little maroon striped dress. The blanket was so bloodied that she
threw it, along with the bloodied paper towels, into the rubbish
morning, she tried to contact Doug at work but wasn't able to
speak to him. Her first contact with him was when she called him
at his girlfriend's place, after 7 o'clock that night. When they
met up a few days later Doug told her everything that had
been cruising down Sunset Strip in the Buick, on the afternoon of
the eleventh, when he had seen Cindy and Gina sitting at a bus
stop. He stopped the car, rolled down the passenger side window
and tried to talk the blonde Cindy into getting in with him.
Unwilling to go alone, Cindy convinced Gina to come with her. He
stopped the car in a deserted car park and forced Cindy to "go
down" on him. He told Gina to look away. He grabbed the gun, which
was hidden between the seat and the door, and shot Gina behind her
left ear. As Cindy sat up, he shot her in the head. Neither of
them was dead, so he shot them both again: Gina in the head and
Cindy in the heart.
pushed them both down onto the floor and drove to a garage in
Burbank which he rented. He had arrived there at about 4:00 p.m.
and parked his car across the driveway in front of the garage
door. There was no one around so he covered the bodies in a
blanket and dragged them inside. They bled on the floor and he
walked through the blood with his work boots. Suddenly, Gina
lifted her arm. Doug thought he might have to shoot her again, but
she died soon after. He laid both the girls out on an old mattress
he had on the floor. He cut up the leg of the pink jumpsuit that
Cindy was wearing. He played with the girl's bodies, laid them
together and pushed their faces into the others vagina, then he
pushed his penis into Cindy's mouth and vagina and sodomised Gina.
eight o'clock, he left and returned to Carol's apartment to leave
her a note. Carol would think only of the fact that Doug had told
her, and not his other girlfriend, about the murders. Doug had
chosen her to be his partner. She would have the honour of helping
Doug to fulfil his fantasies. He went back to other girlfriend's
apartment until about ten-thirty, then borrowing her camera, he
returned to the garage. When he was finished, he wrapped the
girls' bodies in the blanket and put them back into the car. He
dumped their bodies down the side of an embankment on the Forest
Lawn on-ramp of the westbound Ventura Freeway near the Disney
studios. His girlfriend heard him come home a couple of hours
following Saturday night, 14 June 1980, Carol rang the Van Nuys
Police department. She was put through to Officer Heinlein at
Northeast Division's Homicide office. Carol, using the name Betsy,
claimed that she believed her lover was responsible for murdering
the two girls. She told him about the clothes she had washed but
they said they didn't match what the girls had been wearing. When
she asked whether one of them had been shot twice in the head,
Heinlein would not divulge any details of the crimes. Heinlein and
Westbrook, who was listening in on another phone, thought that she
was a crank and failed to take her seriously. Before Carol could
give them any further information, they were cut off at the
switchboard. They assumed she had hung up.
that night Doug came home and told Carol to watch the news. One of
the lead stories was about a man named Vic Weiss, whose body had
been found in the trunk of a Rolls Royce parked in the garage of
the Sheraton Universal hotel. Doug claimed that he had done the
killing earlier that day, as an initiation into a Mafia hit group.
To add further credence to his story, he told her that he had not
placed the body in the car.
Sunday, Doug suggested that they go for a drive. Carol told police
that he had discussed the possibility that he might have to kill
her. He drove to an area near Foothill Boulevard and stopped by a
rugged ravine where, he told Carol, he had dumped the body of a
young blond prostitute after he had shot her. It had been on the
night that he had taken the Datsun for a test drive. When the girl
saw the gun, she screamed and kicked the gearshift, which is how
it came to be broken. He had stripped her, keeping her underpants
for himself and giving the rest of her clothes to an
eleven-year-old girl, who lived in the apartment across from Carol
and had become embroiled in some of Carol and Doug's sexual
escapades. When the recent victim's body was later found, she was
identified as Marnett Comer, a seventeen-year-old runaway from
Sacramento who had been working as a prostitute on the Sunset
Carol and Doug were both addicted to talking about murder. Despite
the fact that Doug no longer bothered with even the occassional
compliment or kind word, Carol still placed herself as a doormat
at his feet. Telling herself that she was a warm giving person who
sacrificed everything for her man, she seemed unable to understand
how her controlling and manipulative role of victim only served to
feed her abuser's anger.
June 1980, Carol went with Doug for their first joint kill. At
Hughes Market on Highland Avenue in Hollywood, they saw a blonde
woman wearing cowboy boots, a little maroon dress and a bolero
jacket with red hearts on it. Doug called to her. At first she
ignored him, but after a few more attempts to get her attention,
she agreed to get in the car. She looked about seventeen and said
her name was Cathy.
was sitting in the back seat with her .25-caliber Raven in her
purse. She introduced herself as Barbara. The plan was that if
Carol was going to go ahead with the kill, she would say 'Boy, am
I having a blast', if she didn't Doug would get the oral sex he
wanted. When Cathy and Doug had fixed the price at $30, he drove
behind the gas station on the corner of Franklin Avenue and
was not able to give Doug an erection. He looked at Carol and
shook his head letting her know that he didn't want her to kill
Cathy. Instead he tried to get to his own gun, but found that
Cathy was in the way. With his left hand, he gestured to Carol to
give him her gun, which she did, but to Doug's disgust, she had
given it to him pointed in the wrong direction. Aware that
something was wrong, Cathy tried to sit up. Doug shot her, but she
did not die instantly. Expecting Carol to panic, he told her to be
cool. But Carol was not panicked. She sat calmly in the back seat
watching the proceedings with interest.
told her to get into the front seat. Cathy's head rested on
Carol's lap, bleeding all over her blouse. Using the paper towels
Doug gave her, Carol began to clean up the mess. Using Doug's
denim jacket to hide Cathy from other motorists, Carol struggled
to undress the dying woman. Doug drove onto the Hollywood Freeway,
heading north toward the country. They turned off near Magic
Mountain amusement park. Still in darkness, they arrived at a dirt
road with a stream running alongside it. A mile further up the
gravel road, they stopped and pulled Cathy from the car, dragging
her for about twenty feet. They left her lying in some bushes
without even being certain that she was dead.
arrived home about five in the morning. The next day, a Saturday,
Doug drove the Buick over to Carol's apartment. She went with him
and his other girlfriend's son who had come with Doug, to a car
wash on Van Nuys Boulevard to wash out the wagon. Doug told the
boy that the blood was from a cat he had run over the night before
and taken to the vet. That night while at a drive-in with his
girlfriend, Doug repeated the cat story to when she complained
that the car smelt of raw meat. She became angry that he had taken
her son out with Carol Bundy. This was enough for Doug to decide
to end his relationship with this particular woman.
to tell Carol later of the killing he did that night. He had seen
three prostitutes working together: a black girl, a thin blonde in
a pink dress, and another plump blonde. He was unable to get any
of them to get in by themselves, so drove on. Coming back a short
while later, he found the blonde in the pink dress standing alone.
Her name was Exxie Wilson, a prostitute from Little Rock,
Arkansas, who had reluctantly moved to the area with her pimp
boyfriend only a week before. She agreed to go with him. They
drove until Doug found an empty parking lot behind the Studio City
Sizzler. While she was face down, Doug shot her in the back of the
head, but as she began to die she bit him. Confidant that no one
would disturb him, he dragged the woman from the car, stripped her
and took a green ring from her right ring finger. His anger with
her for biting him was still strong as he took his knife from the
"kill bag" (a bag Carol had put together containing knives, paper
towels, liquid cleanser, plastic bags and rubber gloves) and cut
her head off. Leaving the body in a pool of blood in the car park,
he placed the head in a plastic bag and threw it into the back of
leaving for home, realising that the woman's friends might be able
to identify him, he went back to where he had picked her up. The
other blonde was there, waiting for her friend. She got into the
car with Doug, unaware that the head of her girlfriend Exxie was
behind her on the floor. Near the Burbank studios, he stopped the
car and pulled out his gun. Dogs in a nearby yard heard her
screams and they began to bark. Not wasting any time, he shot her
in the left temple, which killed her instantly. He removed her
earrings and stole her cash before pushing her from the car.
travelled three miles to 240 West Verdugo Avenue, the new
apartment that Carol had begun renting earlier that day. From
there, at 3:08 a.m., he called Carol who was still living at
Lemona Avenue. Three minutes earlier, a policeman had pronounced
dead the woman found in the gutter at the Burbank Studios. Her
name was Karen Jones. She had moved from Little Rock with Exxie
and had turned to prostitution to support her little boy.
Concerned about the third girl, who had seen him, Doug returned to
the pick-up point. Unable to find her, he went back to Carol's
and Doug talked about the dead girls, Carol felt an overwhelming
psychological intimacy with Doug. For the first time she felt they
were as one, with a deep rapport, far better than the sexual bond
they had shared in the early days of their sexual relationship.
The feeling continued as they worried about the possibilities of
being traced. Doug had admitted to calling a woman who had known
Cindy and Gina, pretending to be a cop, but foolishly using his
own name. They decided that it was too dangerous to keep the Buick
and Doug sold it to a co-worker at the Jergen's factory.
Carol later played with Exxie's head at the Verdugo Avenue
apartment. Doug had kept the head in the freezer and shown it to
Carol when she dropped off some of her belongings. When she
arrived, it was sitting on the kitchen sink. Showing off, Doug
picked it up by the hair and swung it around, bragging to Carol
that he had taken it into the shower with him and shoved his penis
in the open mouth. They kept it in the freezer for a couple of
days longer while they thought of how to dump it.
bought a treasure chest made of rough wood with brass rings and
corners. She brought it back to Doug's apartment and then prepared
Exxie for the drop off. With the head still frozen, Carol made it
up with cosmetics. She thought she had done a good job, but as
usual Doug criticized her. Suddenly it occurred to him that they
could be leaving their fingerprints on the make-up. Carol got the
job of washing it all off again with detergent in the kitchen
sink. They carefully placed the head inside the chest, which they
double wrapped with two plastic bags. Once it was safely on the
back seat of the Buick, they drove through the valley looking for
the perfect drop off spot.
they found the place they were looking for. It was about a mile
west of the Studio City Sizzler where Doug had left Exxie's body.
They found an alley behind Hoffman Street, only a block from a
busy intersection. Pulling on the gloves she had worn when she
bought the chest, Carol took off the plastic bags and prepared to
throw it from the car. Doug hadn't completely stopped the car so
she was unable to throw it very far. They heard the sound of
splintering wood as they ran over it with the back tire, then with
the door still open a car pulled into the alley way. Doug turned
on Carol in anger, she was such an incompetent, she should have
seen the car, and she should have thrown it further. He spent the
rest of the night berating Carol for her stupidity and
incompetence. How could she even hope to become a murderer when
she was so useless? Carol sat quietly and listened. So much for
morning of 27 June, Jonathon Caravello found the box blocking his
parking space. He could see that it was a treasure chest of some
kind. He picked it up and bought it closer to the light.
Intrigued, he opened it and, to his horror, found Exxie's head
wrapped in a pair of jeans and T-shirt. He immediately rang the
relationship between Doug and Carol continued to deteriorate.
Carol, the eternal optimist, had been certain that living together
in the Verdugo apartment would change everything: they would be a
real couple, bound eternally by their murderous acts. Once again,
the reality did not live up to her fantasies. Doug was going out
more and more with other women. He never even touched her any more
and they bickered constantly. He threatened to pack up and leave.
The only time he was interested in any sexual contact with her was
when the eleven-year-old was with them. Carol would bring her over
as often as possible.
been secretly molesting the eleven-year-old neighbor for months
now, since Carol had first moved in to the apartment opposite hers
in Lemona Avenue. While Carol was at work, Doug would take the
girl out cruising with him to pick up prostitutes. Just before
Carol sent the boys away, Doug had the young girl approach Carol
about sex. At first she had been reluctant, telling Doug that she
thought it was disgusting. She quickly changed her mind when Doug
accused her of being jealous. They would shower together and take
turns with oral sex. The eleven-year-old recognized early that
Doug was infatuated with her and used her power over him to get
gifts and money. She had learned from previous experience that a
man being nice to her was usually a prelude to sexual abuse.
Doug and Carol continued to go out cruising together, they were
unable to find anyone willing to get into the car with them. News
of the Sunset Strip murders had made the prostitutes in the area
much more careful. They rarely worked alone after that.
Everything was beginning to fall apart for Carol. She phoned her
old friend Dick Geis to tell him about Doug and the killings. When
he told her to leave him, she made excuses as to why she couldn't.
Within minutes of hanging up, she called Geis again to tell him
that none of it was true really, she was writing a story and was
just testing to see how believable it was. Her behaviour at work
had become so erratic that the other nurses avoided her as much as
they could, and the standard of her work had dropped noticeably.
On 29 July, Carol attempted to kill herself. Sitting in the car in
the garage, she injected herself with 1250 units of insulin and
100 milligrams of Librium, then swallowed 100 milligrams of
Librium tablets. She had previously written Doug a note telling
him of her intentions in the hope that he would rescue her.
didn't come. As she was becoming drowsy, she drove two blocks to
the Gristmill restaurant carpark. She awoke temporarily when
paramedics arrived. Doug had called them after he had received a
call from the medical centre where Carol worked. She had called in
to say that she was killing herself and wouldn't be in for work
the next day. Carol had been taken to St. Joseph's Hospital in
Burbank. She called Jack Murray, who came to take her home.
day, 1 August, Carol picked up the eleven-year-old girl and
dropped her at the apartment while she went to see Jack Murray.
While she was out, Doug took the girl out cruising again. They
picked up a young woman in a brief black and lavender outfit. They
stopped in a secluded place where Doug paid her for oral sex,
while the young girl sat in the back seat and watched. Doug then
dropped the eleven-year-old back at the apartment and drove off
with the prostitute still in his car. He was to later tell Carol
that he had shot the prostitute in the back of the head while she
was giving him oral sex. He dumped her body near the water towers
in the Antelope Valley, but first he lay her inert body on the
trunk of the car, which was still running, and had intercourse
had met with Jack to ask him to have sex with her, but he wouldn't
unless there was another woman with her. Not knowing anyone else,
Carol took the eleven-year-old with her the next day to meet with
Jack in the back of his van. She let him fondle the girl, but
wouldn't allow him to have sex with her. That was only for Doug.
Carol was appalled by Jack's lust for the girl. With Doug it had
been sweet and wholesome. The young girl had wanted it. With Jack,
she saw it as sordid and disgusting.
August 3, Carol again met with Jack. He was at the "Little
Nashville" drinking with a young Australian woman. Carol asked him
to come outside with him and showed him the "kill bag" in the back
of the Datsun. She had already told Jack about the killings
before, then realising her mistake, told him she was only joking.
She wasn't joking anymore and she wanted Jack to tell her what to
do. He agreed to meet her again when the club closed. Before he
walked away she slipped him a note asking again for sex. She
promised that he could then have sex with the eleven-year-old.
returned to the bar, Jack was noticeably quiet. His two friends
said that he looked terrified when he told them what Carol had
shown him, but laughed it off when they suggested he tell the
he was with left Jack in the parking lot at about 2:30 a.m. and
saw Carol get into his van as she drove off. Carol had already
half decided that Jack would have to die because he knew too much.
Doug had told Carol that she was too stupid to pull it off by
herself, but she would prove him wrong. Jack climbed into the back
of the van and undressed, leaving his jeans around his ankles and
his boots on. As he pushed Carol's face into his favourite
position, he told her that he wanted to have sex with the young
his words was all Carol needed to make her decision final, Jack
had to die. She told him to lie on his stomach. She pulled her gun
out and fired a shot into the back of his head. Feeling his pulse,
she was surprised that it was still beating. She shot him again,
feeling an overwhelming sense of her own power. Killing really was
fun! With a knife she stabbed him in the back half a dozen times.
Suddenly it occurred to her that it would be possible for police
to identify the bullets in Jack's head, so she cut it off. When
she had finished, she placed his head in a plastic bag and took it
home with her in the car. On the way, she called Doug to tell him
what had happened.
arrived at the Verdugo Avenue apartment, paramedics were there.
Doug claimed that his girlfriend had had an epileptic seizure.
Carol believed that she must have overheard her phone call to
Doug, because the next day she packed her bags and fled to
Illinois. Carol nonchalantly told the paramedics that she was a
nurse and asked whether she could help, not realising that she had
spatters of blood on her glasses, her watch and blouse. As soon as
they put the sedated girlfriend back to bed, Carol and Doug put
Jack's lifeless head into a plastic bag and set off to find a
suitable place to dump it. Just before sunset, Carol threw the
head into one of the trash cans lined up in a back street near
beginning to panic. The prospect of getting caught was now a real
threat. He didn't want to die. He began to blame Carol for the
predicament he was in, telling her that she was stupid for killing
Jack Murray. He pointed out to her that cutting off his head might
have removed the bullets, but the casings would be in the van.
Carol was close to the edge, popping Librium tablets to stay calm.
relationship had not changed. Killing Jack had not brought Doug
any closer to her as she had hoped it would. He still didn't want
to have sex with her. In desperation, she introduced Doug to a
girlfriend of Jack's, in the hope of three-way sex. Instead, Doug
and Jack's girlfriend took her bed and she had to sleep on the
floor in Doug's bedroom. She could not understand how, after all
she had done for him and what they had been through together; he
did not want her as she wanted him.
Saturday night, six days after Jack's murder, Carol and Doug went
to the Little Nashville club as usual at about 10:00 p.m. Jeanette
was there, hoping that Jack would turn up. She had searched
everywhere for him all week to no avail, and already suspected
that he might be dead. Only a block down the road, in Barbara Ann
Street, a crowd had begun to form around an abandoned van.
Neighbours had called police because of the offensive stench
wafting from the vehicle. Detective Roger Pida from the Van Nuys
Police Department surveyed the scene. When he opened the back
doors of the van, Jack's body lay on the floor in the back of the
van just as Carol had left it. It was now covered in blisters,
bloated and blackened from the heat. Where his head had once been
there was a blood-soaked pillow. There were stab wounds on his
back. His buttocks had been sliced and there were cuts around the
anus. Pida quickly concluded that the murderer was probably a
woman. Jack had either just had sex, or was preparing to, when he
shell casings were found, just as Doug said it would be, but there
were no bullet holes in the body. Without the head, Pida could not
be sure whether Jack had been shot or not.
Jack's death soon reached the patrons at the Little Nashville.
From those who wandered down where the van was parked, Pida had
learned a great deal about Jack Murray. Jeanette wanted to go to
the van but no one would let her leave. The police escorted her
down to the station. As she was leaving, she heard Carol's
high-pitched scream. Carol behaved how she thought people would
expect her to, crying and screaming, then lapsing into what she
hoped would appear to be a state of shock. As soon as she was
able, she told Doug to get rid of the guns. He immediately left
the apartment, returning fifteen minutes later.
the Little Nashville, the police questioned the regular customers
and staff who soon told them of Jack's fear when Carol Bundy had
shown him the guns in her car. They also mentioned the girl, who
had been with Jack when he was last seen. No one knew anything
more about her other than that she was an Australian, a film
editor and carried a knife. Jeanette was questioned at the police
station until 4:00 a.m., but as she was considered one of the
prime suspects, was not given any details about how Jack had died.
afternoon, as Carol showered alone and Doug and his new girlfriend
were together in his shower, the doorbell rang. Carol wrapped a
towel around her still-dripping body, when the ringing was
replaced by loud banging on the door. She opened the door to find
two detectives. Unsure of what to do, she asked them to excuse her
while she put some clothes on. Quickly throwing on a housecoat,
she hurried to tell Doug. Carol was taken down to the Van Nuys
police station for questioning. Feeling that he needed to control
this potentially explosive situation, Doug followed her there. He
and Carol had already planned their mutual alibi for the 3rd of
August, the night Jack was killed. They were to tell police that
they had been at home in bed together. Carol changed the story
slightly and admitted that she had seen Jack briefly early in the
day. She told the officers the sad story of how Jack had treated
her and the money he had stolen from her. She also admitted to
having owned two .25-calibre automatics, but had sold them. She
helpfully gave the police a detailed description of the man who
new girlfriend told the detectives about the woman who was with
Jack the night he disappeared. Detective Pida knew there was
something wrong with Carol and Doug's story but had nothing to go
on. He let them go but intended to look into their stories more
thoroughly. Jack's girlfriend was found and arrested the next day.
She told them that she had last seen Jack with Carol Bundy, who
had gone with him in his van.
berated Carol all the way home, blaming her big mouth for all of
their troubles. He told her he was leaving the apartment on the
first of the next month. Carol was very upset. This was not
supposed to happen: killing Jack should have brought them closer
together; he was supposed to be impressed that she had fulfilled
his fantasy. Soon after arriving back at the apartment, Doug and
his girlfriend went out without telling her where they were going.
Carol couldn't stand the way he flaunted his sexual relationship
with the new girlfriend, right under her nose. Carol was
p.m., she called her mother-in-law's number. Carmeletta Bundy told
Carol that she was planning to fly the boys home on the 20th of
August. Carol told her not to. She told Carmeletta that her life
was a mess at the moment, but maybe in a couple of months
everything would be all right again. She spoke to both of the boys
briefly, telling them that she loved them. It would be years
before she saw them again.
called Dick Geis at 6:10 p.m. to tell him all of the details of
the murders and her involvement in them. Geis thought she was
making it up as an excuse to call him again. He told her not to
come to Portland to see him. To help her sleep, she took her last
handful of Librium tablets. In the morning, as she dropped Doug at
the Jergen's factory, he verbally abused her relentlessly. By the
time she arrived at the Valley Medical Center, she was late for
her 7:00 a.m. shift.
a.m., Carol rang Dick Geis to ask again whether she could come to
Portland. He told her bluntly that he didn't want her to come and
there was no way that he wanted to be in a relationship with her
again. Carol's response --"I guess it's all over between us" --
revealed again her total lack of realism in her relationships with
the men in her life.
a.m., Carol had lost control completely. She walked into the
nurses lounge where her supervisor, LeAnne Lane and the head
nurse, Howard Wanhoff were taking a break. As Carol started
prattling, LeAnne Lane, well used to Carol's ranting about her
boyfriend problems, tried to ignore her. Slowly, Carol's words
began to sink in and LeAnne was gripped by fear. As Carol
feverishly told of the murders she and Doug had committed, Le Anne
knew it was true. As suddenly as her confession had begun, Carol
left the room. Muttering that she couldn't take it anymore, she
said she was going home to call the police to tell them
nurses ran to the office and called the police. Within minutes,
the upper floors of the building were sealed off and surrounded,
but Carol slipped from the building through the basement, where
she gone to get changed. On the way home, she stopped at the
Jergen's factory to tell Doug that she was turning herself in. She
offered him the rest of her money so that he could get away. Doug
had a better plan than running. He called Detective Pida to
renounce the alibi he had given for Carol. Doug confessed that
Carol had been out on the night that Jack was murdered and had
returned home while the paramedics were still there. He explained
to Pida that Carol was very weird.
the apartment, oblivious of Doug's betrayal, Carol called
information to get the phone numbers of three homicide divisions.
She rang all three of the numbers, all of which were busy. When
she finally got through to Burbank Division, she was given another
number to call. Eventually, she got through to Detective Kilgore
at Northeast. She told him of all of the murders and that she
wanted to turn herself and her boyfriend in. Carol wanted to meet
him somewhere after she called the Van Nuys and Burbank police.
They agreed to meet at two o'clock, the earliest time he could get
a car. They didn't get to meet, as before she had even hung up,
the police arrived on her doorstep.
Detectives Pida and Landgren had rushed to the medical centre when
the call came through of Carol's confession. When they found she
had already left, Landgren went to her apartment while Pida went
to see Doug at work. It was just on 11:30 a.m. when the workers
began filing out of the factory to take their morning break. Pida
stood watching as Doug Clark approached him smiling confidently.
As they shook hands, Pida took out a pair of handcuffs, placed
them on Doug's wrists and took him to the awaiting unmarked squad
they arrived at the Verdugo Avenue apartment, two blocks away, the
street was filled with police cars. Doug was left in the car with
a uniformed officer. He became increasingly agitated as the two
detectives stood talking outside the car. In a vain attempt to
regain control of the situation, Doug yelled to them a warning
that Carol had a twelve-gauge shotgun. Landgren was already inside
and, instead of a shotgun, Carol had come to the door holding
underwear that she claimed belonged to Doug's victims. Once she
had started talking, she could not stop. As Landgren attempted to
read her Miranda rights, she babbled right over the top of him.
Frantically, she collected as many items of evidence of the crimes
as she could. She admitted that she had killed Jack because he was
"an asshole who deserved to die."
and Doug were taken separately to the Van Nuys police station
where they were held until detectives involved in the Sunset Strip
Murders task force had arrived. While Leroy Orozco, Rick Jacques,
Mike Stallcup and Gary Broda were leaving in a helicopter,
Landgren read Carol her Miranda Rights. She told him that she
would remain silent until she had some advice from an attorney.
When the task force detectives arrived, Mike Stallcup took the
bullet Carol had surrendered back at the apartment, back to the
downtown station for testing. As they waited for the results,
Broda and Jacques questioned Carol, while Orozco monitored the
interview from outside. She immediately forgot her own plan to
remain silent and talked openly about Doug, who she stated, did
not force her to do anything against her will.
graphic detail, Carol described the murders, her involvement with
Jack, Doug's sexual fantasies and his "games" with the
eleven-year-old girl. She confessed that she had really enjoyed
the killing. As the interview came to a close, Carol told Broda
that she was sexually aroused by him and wondered if he might be
feeling the same. The three detectives, all well experienced, had
never before met a woman like Carol Bundy. She could give the
appearance of a typical suburban housewife one minute and then,
almost in the same breath, talk of murder as if it were a harmless
been kept in a holding cell until nearly six o'clock that evening,
when they took him downtown in an unmarked police car. Doug talked
incessantly in the back of the car with Mike Stallcup. He was
smiling, cocky and arrogant. Tired of hearing Clark's soothing,
hypnotic voice, Orozco told him to shut up until they got to the
was booked into Sybil Brand Institute for women.
station, they took Doug into an interrogation room. He had agreed
to make a statement "freely and voluntarily." While someone went
to get Doug some cigarettes, they Mirandized him and offered to
get an attorney for him. Doug chose to talk without an attorney
present and the proceedings were recorded. He talked for three and
a half hours. Orozco opened the questioning lightly, asking for
details about Doug's family and history. Questions relating to the
case were always followed quickly by non-consequential details, to
ensure that Doug would maintain his relaxed state, to let him feel
as though her were in control and in a superior position. Orozco
knew the game Doug played and would play along to his own
end of the interview Doug had admitted a great deal. He said he
had known the victim Cindy Chandler well, that he had helped Carol
dispose of Jack's head, that he went with prostitutes and
frequented the Sunset Strip regularly. When questioned about his
sexual abuse of the eleven-year-old, he accused her of seducing
him. She was a little bitch, he told them, who would say anything
to get a guy into trouble. When they told him that they had a
photo album of him and the girl, he paled. It didn't take him long
to work out that it had been Carol who had given it to them. He
had already denied anything but a Platonic relationship with
Carol, who he said, was crazy.
p.m., Doug signed a consent form for the police to search the
Verdugo Avenue apartment in his presence. They took a pair of
handcuffs and twenty-nine live rounds of ammunition from a drawer
next to Carol's bed, stained clothing and carpet fibres, four
pairs of Doug's boots, two shotguns and piles of pornography and
bondage magazines. From Doug's file cabinet in his bedroom, Orozco
took a clipping from the Valley News about Exxie Wilson's murder,
another pair of handcuffs and a text book with a photo of a
severed penis in the mouth of a head which was impaled on a stick.
they returned to the station, Orozco booked Doug into county jail
on felony molestation charges. As he looked through Doug's wallet,
he found further material, which Orozco hoped would link Doug to
some of the crimes. On a card in Doug's handwriting were a list of
phone numbers and the names Cindy and Mindy. Mindy was the name of
a girl who had met Cindy the day before she died. She had reported
to the police that someone had called her saying he was a police
officer investigating Cindy's murder and asked her questions. The
same man had rung again in late August to tell her that he had
killed Cindy, and Mindy would be next.
The Evidence Builds
ensuing months, the Sunset Strip Murders task force worked
overtime to obtain all the evidence they would need to charge Doug
and Carol with murder. Meanwhile, Doug would tell many versions of
his side of the story. He insisted that Carol was setting him up
for the murders that she and Jack Murray had actually committed.
It was a story that had been easy for the police to rule out since
Jeanette was able to find proof of his whereabouts for three of
the murders. However, the evidence against Doug continued to
mount. In his rented garage, they had found a bloodied footprint,
the impression of which had matched perfectly with the soles of
the boots Doug was wearing when he was arrested. In Carol's
Datsun, they found the broken gearshift. There were three holes in
the door panel behind which they retrieved a .25-caliber bullet. A
seat cover and cushion on the passenger side were saturated with
what appeared to be blood, and the "kill bag" was in the trunk.
.25-caliber Raven automatic guns were found hidden in the Jergen's
factory, one was nickel and the other chrome. The latter gun was
linked to all of the known victims, except Jack Murray. When the
Buick was located, there were bullet holes in the driver's seat
and the back seat. There were two .25-caliber bullets and a
.25-caliber casing on the floor and a pair of women's black vinyl
gloves. Traces of blood found on the carpet on the front passenger
side, the right rear seat and the right rear floor mat, were later
matched to Karen Jones and Gina Marano.
story was further verified when the remains of the woman dumped at
the water tower were found on 26 August 1980. She would be known
as Jane Doe #18. The bullet found in her skull was linked to Doug
Clark's nickel Raven gun. Two days later, the mummified remains of
a woman were found. She was known as Jane Doe #99 and had been the
victim whose dumpsite Doug had shown Carol during one of their
drives in July. The bullet that had killed her was .25-caliber
with the same characteristics as that which killed Jane Doe #18.
The remains of Cathy's body were not found until 3 March 1981,
nearly seven months after Carol and Doug were arrested. Carol was
now charged with two murders. Due to lack of identification, Cathy
was called Jane Doe #28. She had been shot in the head.
and Doug awaited their hearings, they both began to write an
avalanche of letters. Carol wrote to everyone she knew, justifying
her position as a poor housewife who had been driven to the edge.
She wrote to Doug, avowing her undying love for him and even wrote
a love letter to Detective Broda, who she was sure was attracted
to her. Doug would write letters to his many girlfriends declaring
his innocence and Carol and Jack Murray's guilt. He was able to
continue a degree of influence over Carol through his letter
writing, sweet talking her one minute and then promising to bring
her down in the next. He even had a cellmate begin writing to
Carol so that, through him, he could direct Carol's actions. It
never occurred to Carol that her new friendship was at Doug's
Psychological examinations of Carol were performed by Drs Pollack
and Cangemi. It would take five months before they finally made
their submission to Carol's defence attorney, Sam Mayerson. They
described Carol as "a condescending and controlling personality
who projected the blame of her own circumstances onto others." She
had an average-to-high IQ, but they believed that her true
potential was probably in the superior range. They found that
there was no sign of organic brain dysfunction or any indication
of gross psychopathology. Her murder of Jack Murray was most
likely an explosion of anger, frustration, and resentment over
Jack's abuse, betrayal and rejection. In their opinion, Carol
Bundy did not qualify for an insanity or diminished capacity
arrogance was so deeply ingrained that he openly despised any
figure of authority involved in his case. To his own detriment, he
insisted on having the right to defend himself. He successfully
delayed the legal process for months with his complaints about his
defence counsel, Karl Henry. He claimed that Henry was not
representing his interests properly. Even before the time of his
arraignment, he had proven such an impossible client that the
court released Henry from his obligation to Doug and replaced him
with Paul Geragos. Even with a new attorney, Doug continued to
refuse to submit himself to his counsel's advice and requested
that he be allowed to assist Geragos with his defense. Judge Keene
would not give his permission. By the time the trial commenced,
Doug had rejected Geragos who was then replaced by Maxwell Keith.
Judge Ringer finally had enough of Doug and his antics and asked
that the case be transferred.
Throughout the preliminary proceedings, Doug would also make
complaints about the legal system and accused the police of fixing
evidence. He claimed that tapes police made of his voice were
fabricated in order to gain positive voice identification from
Mindy and Laurie Briggs, another contact of Cindy's whom Doug had
called. Orozco was accused of planting the shell casing found in
the seat of the Buick.
more than two years for Doug's case to come to trial in October
1982. Robert Jorgensen prosecuted the case with Leroy Orozco
assisting him. Judge Torres was the presiding judge. Doug had
succeeded in his request to represent himself, with the assistance
of Maxwell Keith, and was to prove true the adage that 'a man who
represents himself has a fool for a client.'
he had learned a great deal about the legal process during his two
years of imprisonment, he was no match for an experienced
prosecutor such as Jorgensen. Time and time again Doug damaged his
own cause with temper tantrums, outbursts, and arguments with the
judge. He had destroyed any credibility he may have had in the
jury's eyes. Having no real understanding of the intricacies of
the legal processes, he left himself and his witnesses open to
severe cross-examination and missed many opportunities to weaken
the prosecution's case during his own cross-examination.
Bundy had appeared as a witness for the defence, but Doug was
unable to exert the same level of control over her as he had in
the past. Her story of the events up until Jack's murder remained
in essence the same as it had in the beginning. Her testimony,
combined with the corroborating evidence presented by the
prosecution, were enough to destroy Doug's weak defence.
began its deliberations on the morning of Friday 21 February 1983
and passed its verdict of guilty the morning of 28 February 1983.
At the end of the first day, only two jurors were in favour of
acquittal, the majority believing it was an easy guilty verdict.
For the remaining five days, they would review all of the evidence
presented during the trial. They agreed that Carol Bundy was a
credible, if somewhat pathetic witness, who was just one of many
women over whom Doug Clark had exerted control. Doug's apparent
charm and obvious intelligence had at first taken in some of the
jurors, but his behaviour during the trial and his abusive
treatment of Maxwell Keith had enabled them to see through the
facade. All of these issues, along with the evidence concerning
the guns and Doug's lies in the courtroom, made it clear to them
that Doug was guilty. Their verdict was announced to the courtroom
that day. Doug looked at his mother and ex-wife, who were together
in the courtroom, said "Hi, Mom," and winked.
penalty phase of Doug's trial was the opportunity for both the
prosecution and defence to present evidence not normally allowed
during the trial. It was an important period for Doug, as it would
be determined whether or not he would go to the gas chamber. Both
of Doug's parents were questioned and denied any knowledge of
behavioural problems in Doug's early life. Gloria E. Keyes M.D.,
who had spent over 100 hours evaluating Doug, gave psychiatric
testimony. Doug was opposed to her testimony and would object over
minor details throughout the one and a half days she was on the
stand. Keyes described Doug as narcissistic, manifesting itself in
grandiosity, putting other people down, and having a shallow
capacity to relate to others. He also had what she termed,
"antisocial personality traits," which included impulsivity,
social-norm deviation and job-performance problems. Doug had very
low self-esteem, but a strong denial that there was anything wrong
with him. She diagnosed him as having a personality disorder, a
number of psychosexual disorders and shared paranoia.
Confirming Keyes diagnosis, Doug insisted that he come to the
stand to counter Keyes testimony, against his counsel's advice.
During his testimony, Doug expressed his belief in his own
superiority over anyone who had been in a position of authority
during his life, including the lawyers in the courtroom. Jorgensen
knew that with the right questions, he could let Doug talk himself
right into the death penalty. He was right. On Tuesday 16 February
1983, the death penalty was handed down for six counts of murder.
While still on Death Row, Doug married a heavy-set woman by the
name of Kelly Keniston. She would publicly protest her husband's
innocence. Doug would continue to use every legal avenue available
to avoid execution.
On 2 May
1983, the day that Carol Bundy was to go to trial, she withdrew
her "not guilty by reason of insanity" plea and, pleaded guilty to
two charges of first-degree murder. By doing so, she escaped the
gas chamber and was instead sentenced, on 31 May 1990, to two
consecutive twenty-five-years to life terms in state prison, plus
an additional two years for the illegal use of a gun. It was the
maximum possible sentence and her first eligible parole date will
be in 2012 with the prison system having the option to keep her in
transferred to the California Institution for Women at Frontera.
She would continue to support Doug Clark in his fight to prove his
innocence even though he would continue to discredit her. In 1990,
she handed over all of her legal and psychiatric files to Doug's
lawyers to help him to do so. When asked why she still wanted to
help Doug, she would say that she still liked him although she
could not say why.
people wishing to read further details of the Sunset Strip
Murders, should consult the following sources:
Sunset Murders, by Louise Farr (Pocket Books, 1992) and the
Los Angeles Times
Novato, California, Advance
Love and Death: The Sunset
By Katherine Ramsland
At about 1 p.m. on Thursday,
June 12, 1980, a Caltrans worker picking up trash along the
Ventura Freeway embankments came across the nearly nude body of a
teenaged girl. The young brunette lay facedown on a bush-covered
embankment on the Forest Lawn Drive ramp that spilled onto the
freeway. According to the Los Angeles Times , she had been shot in
the head with a small caliber weapon.
Not far away, another girl
around the same age lay dead. She was blond and she had been shot
as well--in the head and chest--but her pink jumpsuit had not been
removed. Nevertheless, it was slit up the leg as if whoever had
killed her had been interested in some post-mortem activity.
Louise Farr wrote in The Sunset Murders (the definitive account of
these crimes) that there was fresh blood on this girl's face.
Apparently the girls had
been killed elsewhere and then dumped down the sloping embankment.
Possibly they had been hitch-hiking. They had no ID on them and
their bodies were bloated from spending several hours that day in
the sun. Even for Los Angeles , it had been an unusually hot
summer. The police realized that unless someone reported them
missing, it would not be easy to make an identification.
The investigators did note
that this discovery was near the spot where murder victim Laura
Collins had been dumped in 1977?a killing that had not yet been
solved. Also, Yolanda Washington, victim of the Hillside
Stranglers, had been killed and dumped on the opposite side of the
road, closer to the famous Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery .
Her killers, Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, had been caught the
year before and were in prison awaiting trial, but such murders
often inspire copycats. It was clear that the two bodies had been
placed there only a short time before and were in plain view, as
if the killer did not care if they were found?a behavior similar
to the Hillside Stranglers.
The next day, as the Dow hit
876 on the New York Stock Exchange?on Friday the 13th--Angelo
Marano of Huntington Beach entered the city morgue to look at the
bodies. He was distraught to discover that his worst fears had
happened: the dead girls were his missing daughter, Gina, and
stepdaughter, Cynthia Chandler. Gina was 15, Cynthia 16. He and
his wife had been looking for them for more than a day, and when
he'd seen the news report, he'd gone straight to the police.
Despite the family's request
to be left alone, there were people who would talk about the girls
to reporters, and it turned out that they were drug abusers,
truants and frequent runaways. It was not even clear when they'd
last been seen, although they often hung out on the Sunset Strip
where prostitutes could be picked up. In other words, the papers
made it sound as if they had indulged in risky behavior.
The autopsies indicated that
when she was found, Cynthia had been dead for more than twelve
hours, placing time of death around midnight . She clearly had
been dragged across a rough place after she was killed. Gina had
been shot twice in the head, and there was no obvious sign on
either girl of sexual assault, although semen was located inside
the vagina of one of them. There was some discussion among the
police of possible necrophilic activity.
Soon a call came into the
station from a woman who implicated her boyfriend in the killings
but who refused to offer details that could help to locate him.
She could have been just a crank caller?always an accompaniment to
such crimes?but she was correct about how the murders had been
done. She knew details that had not been released to the media.
Her report that she and her boyfriend had recently washed the car,
inside and out, was consistent with the way a killer would act who
wished to remove evidence. But the switchboard cut her off and she
did not call back. If she had, some lives could have been saved
and she might not have taken the path she did.
It was no crank call.
A Long, Hot Summer
Eleven days passed and two
more females were found shot in a similar fashion. First,
according to some accounts, just before dawn on June 23, someone
discovered the body of prostitute Karen Jones, 24, on Franklin
Avenue. She had been shot in the head with a small caliber pistol,
according to Michael Newton, and dumped behind a Burbank
steakhouse (other accounts say the Burbank studios).
Not long after, around 7:15
A.M., the headless body of a woman believed to be in her twenties
was discovered nude beside a steel trash bin, as reported in the
Los Angeles Times on June 23, 1980 (the story also indicated that
Karen Jones was found after this woman, not before). The bin was
at the rear of a Studio City Sizzler restaurant in Los Angeles ,
California . Sergeant Al Gastaldo made a brief comment for the
paper and the incident took up one paragraph just below notices of
a bomb threat that had evacuated a British plane and of an
earthquake in the Riverside area of California . The victim was
soon identified as twenty-year-old Exxie Wilson, also a
prostitute?and a friend of Karen Jones. A thorough search of the
area failed to turn up her missing head. They had no leads as to
who the killer was.
Then on the morning of June
27, Jonathan Caravello went down the alley near his apartment
around 1:00 A.M. He tried to park his car, encountered resistance,
and spotted an ornate wooden box that looked like some kind of
treasure chest. It had an oversized lid. Hopeful that he had found
something valuable, he went over to it. Part of the wood was
shattered on the outside, as if someone had hit it or thrown it.
Leaning over, he unlatched the metal clasp and lifted the lid.
Inside was some coarse material, but it smelled of something odd.
Rummaging past the material, he got the surprise of his life.
Cradled in some discarded blue jeans and a T-shirt was a human
head. He could see that this person was female and brunette, and
that her mouth was slightly open, but he didn't pause for a closer
look. It wasn't hard to see that this was no Hollywood prop.
Caravello ran from the open box into his apartment to call the
The head, which was
considerably colder than the outside air, apparently had been
frozen and then washed. It was soon connected via the cut marks
with Exxie Wilson.
"We have examined the body
and the neck," assistant chief of investigation James Kono told
the Associated Press, "and the wounds all match up."
The head and body had been
placed approximately eight blocks apart. Inside the skull was a
.25 caliber copper-jacketed bullet. Ballistics analysis determined
that it was likely from an automatic known as a Raven, and the
bullet that had killed Exxie was from the same gun that had killed
the stepsisters. So was the bullet that had killed Karen Jones.
They had a serial killer, one who apparently did two murders at a
The police held a news
conference in the Parker Center Los Angeles Police Department,
where Lt. Ron Lewis was quoted in the Los Angeles Times as saying
that Wilson and Jones had come to the city only two weeks earlier
with their pimp, and both were from Little Rock , Arkansas . Jones
had been found about three miles from where Wilson was dumped, and
two miles from where the stepsisters were found. The pimp, who
went by the name "Albright," was questioned but was not considered
In fact, they had no
suspects for these four murders and would not even make a public
statement that they were linked. Jones said that he did not wish
to compromise the investigation with speculations. He did say that
it was likely that Wilson 's head had been placed in the alley
only a few hours before it had been found, which the press took to
mean that her killer had kept the head with him for a few days.
Jones insisted that the purpose of the conference was not to
discuss evidence but to solicit help from the public. In
particular, he wanted to urge some anonymous callers who had
contacted police early in the investigation to call again. He
asked reporters to print that their names and information would be
The murder rate in the City
of Angels that year reached an all-time high, as had the number of
serial killers at large over the past several years, and people
were calling the city the World's Murder Capital. The intense heat
wave only exacerbated the violence. The Hillside Stranglers,
killing cousins, had been arrested for a string of murders from
1977-78; team killers Lawrence Bittaker and Ray Norris had
tortured and murdered at least five young women in 1979; an
unknown killer was targeting hapless men on Skid Row; and since
1972, someone had killed and dumped over forty young men along the
freeways south of the city. The primary suspect was William Bonin.
There were several other killers who remained unidentified and at
large, and now the police apparently had someone new to consider.
The area homicide resources were stretched to the limit.
It wasn't long before snake
hunters roaming around a ravine in the San Fernando Valley on June
30, north of the Golden State Freeway, found the mummified remains
of a fifth victim. She was hidden under an old mattress and was
quickly linked to the series, which had acquired a name in the
news, the "Sunset Strip Murders." Only her reddish-blond hair was
visible to those who found her. The medical examiner believed her
to be between the ages of 17 and 25, adding that she was about
five-foot-seven. Her stomach appeared to have been slit open,
according to Jennifer Furio in Team Killers , and she'd been shot
three times with a small caliber pistol. She had been dead at
least three weeks, placing her first in line in the series of
five. There was now fear that there could be more victims in
wilderness areas that had not yet been found.
In another press conference,
homicide detectives displayed the box in which Exxie Wilson's head
had been found, offering reporters a chance to photograph it in
the hope that someone might recognize its distinctive style. It
was described in one article as a stained pine box, crudely made,
ten inches wide, twelve inches high, and eight inches deep , with
a brass clasp in front, brass ring decorations, and a metal
border. Again, the police would not reveal their evidence, but
they did admit that they had physical evidence linking all of the
murders. That was interpreted to mean ballistics evidence.
"We believe the killer is
someone from this area," said Detective Sergeant John Helvin. "But
we don't know for sure."
Many people called in to the
police to say that boxes like the one displayed could be purchased
at K-Mart and Newberry stores throughout the area. Detectives
checked on this but found no other boxes like the one in their
possession. The clothing inside?jeans with the crotch cut out and
a pink T-shirt that said "Daddy's Girl"?had drawn no additional
Then the first victim was
identified. She turned out to be seventeen-year-old Marnette Comer
(a.k.a. Annette Ann Davis) from Sacramento , who had a history of
running away from home, was a suspected prostitute, and apparently
had met the wrong person. She had last been seen on June 1. The
bullet that had killed her was linked to the four other murders.
In the meantime, the box
that had held Wilson 's head was traced to a Texas manufacturer,
Chicago Arts, which imported and distributed the Mexican-made
boxes to Newberry stores in the L.A. area. They had narrowed down
the possibilities to a few stores and were working on customer
Then the pattern changed.
Another corpse was found, but this one was male. The police would
not have thought to link it to the series of female murders if not
for a fortuitous incident.
Turning the Tide
The male victim was found on
August 9, five days after he had been killed, according to the Los
Angeles Times. He'd been left in a van that turned out to belong
to him. But he was in bad shape from being locked inside during
the heat wave. He was blistered, blackened, and decomposing, and
his head had been severed from his body and was missing. He had
been viciously stabbed nine separate times and also slashed across
the buttocks, from which pieces had been removed.
Despite not locating his
head, police soon identified him as country singer John "Jack"
Robert Murray, 45, of Van Nuys. The man sang part-time at Little
Nashville, a bar located two blocks from where he was found. While
the killer had removed this man's head, that same person had
overlooked something crucial: spent shell casings which suggested
that the victim had been shot.
Aside from the beheading, it
did not appear to anyone that his murder bore any association with
the string of killings that the police were investigating. But it
wasn't long before they discovered that Murray had not been
murdered by the Sunset Slayer. His demise had come at the hands of
a woman who claimed on the phone to be the Slayer's girlfriend.
She had broken down on
August 11 where she worked at the Valley Medical Center in Van
Nuys, telling some coworkers that she had taken lives, and those
who heard her say this had called the police. This woman's name
was Carol Bundy, and she was an overweight, 37-year-old vocational
nurse who was apparently involved with a man named Douglas Clark.
The police went to Bundy's
home, arrested her, and confiscated what she handed them. It
turned out to be three pairs of panties that she said had been
taken from the victims, as well as a photo album of Clark in
compromising positions with an 11-year-old neighbor girl. She also
admitted that she had killed Jack Murray herself.
Another team had already
arrested Clark in Burbank where he worked as a boiler engineer for
the Jergens Corporation. He went to jail charged with "lewd and
lascivious conduct" with a minor and with aiding and abetting a
murder suspect (Bundy apparently needed his assistance with Jack's
head). While awaiting Clark 's hearing, police had time to search
for evidence of the more serious crimes of which Bundy was
accusing him. His bail was set at $500,000 and he was assigned a
public defender. It was an unusually high figure for bail, but the
police feared that if Clark were freed, he would destroy evidence
needed for a murder investigation.
At Clark 's workplace, a
coworker stumbled across the place in the boiler room where Clark
had stashed the two .25-calibre Raven automatics. The worker
turned them in and the police lab linked one of them via
ballistics tests to the five known victims. Clark was charged with
those five murders.
A pathologist got to work to
determine if the same person had beheaded both Murray and Exxie
Wilson, but he determined that two different people had used two
different knives. Just as Bundy was telling them.
Commander William Booth
would not speculate for the press on the motives for the murders
or how the two suspects were related, but he was quoted in the Los
Angeles Times as saying, "It is believed in several of the
killings that sexual activity was involved." He also indicated
that media coverage had brought forward leads that were credited
with helping to make the arrests.
Carol Bundy was arraigned on
August 13, 1980 in the murder of John Murray, and ordered held
without bail until her preliminary hearing in two weeks. The
complaint noted that Murray had been killed because he was a
witness to a crime and Bundy wanted to prevent him from offering
Reporters asked police if
Murray had been the anonymous caller who had offered important
information, but they declined to say. In fact, the media would
eventually learn that it was Carol Bundy herself who had called
after the murders of the stepsisters.
The Twisted Tale of Doug Clark Unfolds
As often happens, these two
killers turned on each other, attempting to place blame for the
murders on anyone but themselves. Eventually, their sordid story
unfolded, at least according to Carol, who willingly confessed in
detail to police, authors, and journalists, and also in court.
Clark had his own story, but it wasn't supported by the facts.
As with all self-serving
self-reports, Carol Bundy's must be received with some skepticism.
By 1980, killers had learned that child abuse was a good excuse,
and Carol was no different. She claimed that after her mother
died, her father had committed repeated incest on her and her
sister, as reported by Corey Mitchell. Farr says that her sister
agreed with this and added that before her death their mother had
often been out of control as well. After her father remarried,
Carol was sent through a series of foster homes. She quickly
became promiscuous to get attention from boys. Marrying young, she
went through three marriages by the time she was 35, including one
to a 56-year-old man when she was only 17. She went between men
and women, seemingly unable to decide which gender she preferred,
and was often unfaithful to whomever she was with.
At age 36 in 1979, Carol
moved into a Los Angeles-area apartment complex. Divorced from an
abusive husband (she did have records that indicated she'd been in
a domestic abuse safe-house), she had two young sons, 5 and 9, in
tow. She had health problems, wore thick glasses, and struggled
with her weight, so whenever a man paid attention, she was eager
John "Jack" Murray, her
landlord, often helped her out with money and even helped her to
get disability payments and found her a job as a nurse.
Apparently, her openness and appreciation eventually led to them
becoming lovers, although Murray was married and had children.
Carol proved to be sexually voracious and was so certain about his
love for her that she tried to bribe and then threaten Murray 's
wife to leave him. This move backfired, however, when Jack left
Carol. She was just a bit too much for him. But that failed to
terminate her obsession. She became like a stalker, certain that
Jack loved her no matter what he said, and promising to wait for
him to eventually admit his love to her.
Carol always knew how to
find him, because he worked part-time as a singer at Little
Nashville, a country music bar on Sherman Way in North Hollywood .
He liked to drink there as well. She hung out at the club, waiting
for Jack to pay attention, but he continued to ignore her.
However, her persistence
paid off in another way. Just after Christmas in 1979, Carol did
manage to attract the eye of another man at the bar, Douglas
Clark, 31. He was blond and handsome, and seemed to take a liking
to her. What she did not realize was that in her he spotted a free
ride. He knew that lonely, obese women in bars often responded to
sexual attention with money, housing, and other benefits. Clark
had learned this during his nomadic lifestyle as a mechanic, and
Carol was his new target. While he had grown up in a privileged
home and had been given a good education, he remained unmotivated
and dependent on others. Yet he had a polished, charming manner,
with a slightly European tint to his speech. He liked to utilize
French phrases and to quote from literature. Former girlfriends
from prep school, it turned out later at his trial, were still
very much in love with him.
Another trait he developed
and honed was an exhibitionistic response to sex. He liked to
record women with whom he was having sex, or take their
photograph, and then pass these around among his friends, whether
they wanted to see them or not. He married once, but that did not
Soon after meeting, Clark
and Bundy became lovers and he eventually moved in. To Carol, he
was an amazing adventure, unlike any man she had ever known. Yet
this new relationship did not dim her ardor for Jack, and
eventually she became so oppressive to Murray and his wife that
they forced her to move. Jack wanted her away from him, but she
claimed that he still came to her every week for regular sex. In
fact, they still shared a bank account into which she put money
and from which he took money.
But in many ways, Doug was
more interesting. His love-making was sensitive, but eventually he
blended in his fantasies of torture, captivity, necrophilia, and
murder, and Carol soon became fascinated with these ideas. She
said that Doug had once announced that a woman who loved him
should be willing to kill for him. He persuaded Carol to purchase
two .25-caliber Raven automatics from a pawnshop and to register
them in her name.
He wanted Carol to bring
other women into their relationship for a threesome, and he also
got her to entice young girls into the apartment, specifically an
eleven-year-old neighbor. The girl was photographed nude and
persuaded to get into the shower with the adults. Bundy did not
seem to think this was wrong. Instead, she later admitted, she did
not feel that this kid was competition for her; and letting Clark
have this experience with the girl was just a way to please him.
It was a "gift." They even made a photo album of pictures of the
girl with him?that same album that Carol would soon turn over to
While Carol claimed that she
was hesitant but afraid that if she did not go along with him,
Doug might reject her, it's fairly clear from what she did not say
that she had little sense of right and wrong. At times, she seemed
to be less the frightened female who does what she must to please
her man than a female psychopath easily goaded in immoral acts
through her own lack of conscience and remorse. She claimed she
had no idea that Clark was capable of actual murder, but her
version of the story tends to be self-serving, especially in light
of subsequent events.
When Doug became Carol's
roommate, things began to pick up speed.
Carol found Doug to be
suddenly quite controlling. He demanded that she do what he wanted
and threatened to abandon her (she said) if she did not comply. He
wanted a sex slave, someone who would see to all of his needs,
mundane and bizarre. She gave in, expecting that in return he
would be true to her. But he soon told her that he was tired of
having sex with her and needed something new and more exciting. He
brought prostitutes home, according to Mitchell, and to please him
Carol went along with it.
In the meantime, Jack Murray
faded away, apparently relieved to be free of Carol's delusional
By the spring of 1980, Carol
said later to police, Doug Clark had turned to murder. One day in
April, he came in covered in blood. He lied about its source but
then on another occasion Carol discovered a bag of bloody women's
clothing in the car. Doug then told her about Gina and Cynthia,
the two girls found murdered in June and dumped off the freeway.
(Furio suggests that Carol was in on this, but other sources
indicate that she did not know until he told her.)
Apparently Doug confessed in
detail what he had done with the two girls. He said he had picked
them up on the Sunset Strip where they sat at a bus stop. Then he
made Cynthia perform fellatio on him and ordered Gina to look
away. When she refused, he shot her in the head. Then he shot
Cynthia. When it appeared that they were not dead, he shot them
both again and took the bleeding corpses to a rented garage. There
he played with them, posing them for his entertainment, and then
he raped the bodies. In the early morning hours, he dumped them by
Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Cemetery .
He told Carol about this
incident and Louise Farr claims that she found herself intrigued
and excited by the idea of this kind of kinky sexual escapade. She
felt that an intimacy had grown between them that Doug did not
have with another woman he was seeing, and she wanted to go along
on one of his murder adventures. She apparently thought that this
would finally seal their relationship.
Yet she must have had second
thoughts, because she did call the Van Nuys police to report what
she knew. That was on June 14. When the switchboard cut her off,
she did not bother to call back. It's not clear how far she would
have taken this had they given her more serious consideration. She
might have stopped Clark or she might have pulled away from the
police. She was unpredictable.
That evening, she said, Doug
urged her to watch the news. She turned it on and saw that another
murder was being reported, but this one was a man. His name was
Vic Weiss and he had been found in the trunk of a Rolls Royce at
the Sheraton Universal Hotel. Doug took credit for this murder.
The following morning, he
took Carol out to a ravine and pointed out an area where he had
dumped a prostitute after shooting her. (This was the mummified
victim, the fifth one to be found.) But he had kept her panties,
he bragged, as a souvenir. He described the entire incident for
Carol in explicit detail, getting her as excited as he was about
sexual murder. She had once been a partner in his violent fantasy
life and she had seen that as a sign of real intimacy. She wanted
to get in on this.
On June 20, Bundy
accompanied Clark on his Hollywood area cruising and in a parking
lot Clark made Bundy lure a young prostitute who used the name
"Cathy" to the car. Bundy climbed into the back seat, ostensibly
to "watch" Cathy perform oral sex on Clark . She had one of the
guns she had purchased in her purse and Doug had the other one
with him in the front. Carol was supposed to signal whether or not
she wanted to go ahead and shoot the girl herself. But Doug
apparently got angry at something the hooker was doing (or not
doing), so he reached for the gun.
Carol grew excited at what
she had witnessed. It did not disturb her at all to see a young
girl die in front of her. In Murder Most Rare , the Kellehers say
that she may have even photographed it. She then covered the body
so they could drive without attracting attention to a place where
they could get rid of the body. They ended up near the Magic
Mountain amusement park and left the dead girl in that general
area, next to some bushes.
Clark soon returned on his
own to the Sunset Strip. There he encountered Exxie Wilson. He
drove her to the Sizzler restaurant on Ventura Boulevard at Studio
City . She began to perform oral sex when he raised the pistol and
shot her in the head. In an involuntary reaction, she bit Clark 's
genitals, which angered him.
He got a bag from the trunk
in which he had sharp knives, liquid cleaners, trash bags, and
paper towels. He cut off Exxie's head and placed it inside a trash
bag. He left the body in the parking lot.
Then he saw a lone blond who
had been with Exxie . Her name was Karen Jones. She agreed to get
into the car with him, unaware that her friend's head was in the
back seat. Doug shot her and pushed her out of the car near the
Burbank studios. She was quickly found, and Exxie's body was
discovered on the same day a few hours later (although reports are
mixed on the order of discovery).
But Doug had driven away to
Carol's and placed the head in the freezer to preserve it for
their use as a sex toy. Carol admitted to a journalist that they
had fun with it. "Where I had my fun was with the make-up," she is
quoted as saying. "I was making her over like a big Barbie doll."
Once she had the make-up right to Clark 's satisfaction, he would
penetrate the mouth for a form of necrophilic oral sex, and even
take it into the shower with him. They continued to use it in this
way for three days before placing it, freshly scrubbed, in the box
in which it was found and discarding it in an alley. Carol wore
gloves so she would not leave prints.
On August 1, Doug had taken
his eleven-year-old companion with him on a prostitute run. He let
the girl watch him have oral sex with the prostitute, dropped her
off, and then shot the prostitute in the head. He told Carol he
had used her corpse for sex and then dumped her near some water
towers in Antelope Valley .
Then on August 5, Carol
sought out Jack Murray for some companionship. She dropped hints
about what she had been doing with Doug, and according to her, he
apparently talked about turning Clark in to the police. That was
not what Carol had intended, so she knew she had to get rid of
him. (Mitchell claims she made this decision to prove her love for
Clark .) She lured Murray into his van, had him lie on his
stomach, and shot him in the head. But he was not dead, so she
proceeded to stab him until he died. After she murdered him, she
cut off his head and called Doug, who helped her to get rid of it
in a trash can.
The stench in the van
eventually led police to the discovery of Jack Murray's body.
Carol and Doug were actually at Little Nashville when a commotion
occurred just down the street. Carol overheard that the police had
found shell casings and realized that they now had evidence linked
to her gun. Not only that, Jack's current girlfriend had seen
Carol go to his van with him and had told this to the police.
Carol couldn't hold it
together for long, and when she admitted to coworkers that she had
killed people, the series of murders came to an end. Feeling
betrayed by Doug's aloofness, she blamed everything on him,
claiming that he was insane and that he had overpowered her. In
his turn, when the police arrived, he said that Carol Bundy was a
lunatic and that he had nothing to do with any of the crimes. She
was framing him for her perverse activities. He talked without an
attorney for more than three hours, admitting he knew one of the
victims, that he frequented the Strip, and that he had helped
Carol to dispose of the head of Jack Murray.
Their nasty demise was as
predictable as their relationship had been in terms of the
dynamics of dominance and submission. They had performed a deadly
dance together and now it would proceed to a new phase.
Power and Need
Robert R. Hazelwood, a
former FBI Special Agent with the Behavioral Sciences Unit,
undertook an extensive study with Dr. Park Dietz and Dr. Janet
Warren of twenty wives and girlfriends of sex offenders. While he
does not name them, one case he describes is similar to that of
Carol Bundy. Of this study, Hazelwood said, "It was more revealing
than talking to the offenders. With offenders, you get lies,
projection, denial, minimization, or exaggeration. The wives and
girlfriends are just like a sponge. They ask, 'How can I help?
What do you need to know?' You'll get insights into the offender
that you'll never get from the offender himself. For example, what
type of fantasy would he act out? They would tell this in detail.
It was fascinating."
He was surprised to learn
that these women all appeared to be normal and came from mostly
middle-class backgrounds. Like the women themselves, Hazelwood
pinpointed the males as the instigators. "These men have the
ability to recognize vulnerable women and manipulate them. The
behavior gets reinforced with attention and affection, gifts, and
excitement. Eventually they [the men] are doing things that
isolate them and further lower their self-esteem. All they have is
this guy, so they cooperate."
Hazelwood identified a
five-step process that turned these women into accomplices:
a vulnerable, easily-controlled person
Seduction: Getting the woman
to fall in love.
Reshaping the woman's sexual
norms: Introducing her to sexual images and acts that may offend
or frighten her but which she must do to please the man and keep
Social isolation: Cutting
her off from family and friends.
verbal, and sexual, which further erodes the woman's self-esteem
and ability to act on her own.
In short, it's a
relationship of dominance and submission, which means that one
person is assertive and the other submissive as a means of
achieving intimacy or greater sexual satisfaction. Conflict like
this reportedly magnifies physical sensation.
Yet there's a popular
misunderstanding about relationships that involve dominant and
submissive partners that the dominant one runs the show and makes
all decisions, and the submissive one has no choice but to obey.
In fact, as Gini Graham Scott points out in Erotic Power , both
partners have strengths and weaknesses, both manipulate, and both
complement the other. To make the dance work, they each need the
other. They play with the illusion of forced captivity and make it
seem more frightening than it actually is.
That means there's a
continual exchange of power. The dominant person finds pleasure in
mastery while the submissive one enjoys the feeling of surrender.
They help each other to explore their fantasies by each of them
playing the role that the other needs to complete his or her idea
about the desired feeling. The experience pushes them both closer
to their most primal needs, which reportedly creates a flow of
energy that neither can experience alone. Oddly enough, a
paradoxical equality is achieved between the one who shoulders
power and the one who is willingly stripped of it.
The most extreme form of
this dynamic is sadomasochism, as Thomas Moore writes about in
Dark Eros , which involves consensual violence. The "Master"
inflicts pain and humiliation to help the "slave" reach emotional
catharsis. Both enjoy their parts in the scenario. Sadomasochism,
according to practitioners, eroticizes mental and physical pain by
synthesizing the body with mind and spirit. Psychologist Roy
Baumeister says that reducing one's identity to the body via pain
is a carefully choreographed activity that can provide immediate
intense pleasure, because when the self is deconstructed, people
are more willing to do things they might not ordinarily do.
The rituals make the
fantasies they both enjoy concrete. For the masochist, the violent
loss of control, coupled with fear, translates into a powerful
psychic orgasm and a feeling that the self has been momentarily
obliterated. It feels like a radical transformation into a sense
of openness and full existence. Obliteration of self means the
loss of limitation, and this helps the participants to come to
terms with the inner paradoxes of pain and desire.
The development of this
dynamic is clear in the way Clark and Bundy related to each other.
She liked that this self-named "King of One Night Stands"
(Kelleher) was decisive and dominant, so that once he became
really controlling, she was already used to submitting to whatever
No matter what it was.
Investigation of Doug Clark
While the .25-caliber pistol
with which the five known victims were shot was found in Clark 's
possession, it turned out to be registered to Carol Bundy. That
complicated matters. The police needed Carol's testimony against
Clark , but he might be able to throw reasonable doubt into the
process by pointing to Carol as the instigator?even the sole
killer. She could have murdered the women out of jealousy and then
framed Clark . She had, after all, killed Murray , and had even
beheaded him herself. She was capable of murder.
In fact, she apparently had
bought two guns, which she said had been for Clark .
Yet Clark 's fingerprints
were on the murder weapon and on nude photographs of a child, so
he was certainly implicated in something. In fact, the police had
an entire photo album that showed him to be a pedophile and to
have engaged in illegal behavior. (He claimed that the child was
responsible for seducing him .)
In many ways, it looked as
if it was going to come down to which of these two the jury would
believe. Carol had come forward, and that was in her favor,
although it's also true that when psychopaths feel the heat, they
often turn on their cohorts as a way to get the best deal for
themselves. Coming forward first is no measure of honesty.
Clark had already
manufactured his own story for everything. He was saying that
Carol, whose last name was Bundy, imagined herself to be the wife
of Ted Bundy, the infamous nomadic serial killer who had been
arrested in Florida in 1979 and had committed countless murders
across the country. She had engaged Jack Murray in this delusion
and they had killed the victims together before Carol had finally
turned her wrath on Jack.
But the police soon
collected more physical evidence that pointed to Clark . They went
to Clark 's rented garage and found a bloody boot print that
matched one of his boots (not Jack Murray's), which they had
confiscated. They also found blood in a car that he had sold that
was matched to some of the victims, and they located the "kill
bag" that Carol had described, and the gloves she had worn to
handle the box with Wilson 's head. They also had a clipping about
Exxie Wilson's murder in Doug's bedroom at Carol's apartment,
along with some disturbing pornography. Inside Doug's wallet, they
found a list of names?Cindy and Mindy?and some phone numbers.
Mindy, they had learned had been an acquaintance of Cynthia
Chandler. She had reported to police that after Cynthia's murder
someone had called her. First he'd imitated a police officer, and
then he had called back and said he'd killed Cynthia and would do
the same to her.
The detectives had a tape of
Doug's voice from his "confession." They went to find Mindy. She
identified it as the voice of the man who had called her.
In the meantime, another
team had found alibis for Jack Murray for three of the murders, so
Clark 's attempt to throw it all onto a dead man were proving
Then on August 26, the
remains of the woman that Doug Clark had allegedly dumped near the
water tower at the amusement park were found. The bullet in her
skull was linked to the same Raven that had killed five others.
Then another set of remains were found of a blond woman near
Malibu , which were never identified. Carol claimed that Doug had
told her about killing and dumping this prostitute. She had been
shot, but the bullet was too fragmented to be definitely linked to
Yet despite Carol's
description, searchers did not locate "Cathy," the prostitute that
Carol said she had seen Doug shoot right in front of her. (This
woman would eventually be located, but not until March 1981, at
which time Carol was charged with two murders.)
Carol did tell detectives
that she had heard through the prison grapevine about a prostitute
who was nearly killed by a john, and this sounded like the attack
that Doug had once recovered from and admitted to her. Her name
was Charlene Andermann, and she picked Clark out of a photo spread
as the man who had nearly killed her with a knife. On top of
everything else, Doug was charged with attempted murder.
Both Bundy and Clark were
subjected to several batteries of psychological examinations.
Carol was described by one professional as condescending and
controlling, ready to blame others. She was not brain-damaged and
showed no overt psychopathology. Doug, too, was not organically
damaged or considered in any way psychotic enough to be judged
insane. He had numerous personality and psychosexual disorders, to
be sure, but nothing that would provide an excuse for what he had
So his trial procedure moved
forward, and he sat in the same jail as Angelo Buono, Roy Norris,
William Bonin (arrested for the Freeway killings), and an
assortment of other serial killers. Through them, he saw exactly
what kind of person he was. Not that it mattered. He thought he
was better than everyone else, an attitude that would not help him
at his trial.
Doug Clark on Trial
Clark wrote a press
statement based on Carol's arrest report, but switching names and
incidents around to make her and Jack Murray look like the guilty
parties. He insisted that all of the evidence pointed to her.
Yet at his preliminary
hearing on November 14, 1980, Mindy Cohen testified that Clark had
told her over the phone in July that he had killed two of the
victims?the step-sisters?and had then had sex with their corpses.
It was not an admission, she said, so much as a threat. She
testified that he had told her he wanted to do the same thing to
her. He also told her that he had shot the girls in both the head
and the heart. He did not identify himself, she said, but she
later recognized his voice from a tape that police played for her.
The taped voice was indeed
Douglas Clark's and he had said during his three-plus hours of
confession that Carol Bundy was his roommate and that she had
killed her boyfriend, Jack Murray, because he knew too much about
the other murders. He admitted that he had helped her to dispose
of Murray 's decapitated head. Mindy's testimony was supported
with phone records that indicated that someone had called her
twice from Clark's apartment, and police had found her phone
number in his wallet. The first time he had posed as a detective,
the second time as the killer.
Clark admitted that he made
the calls, but insisted that he had identified himself with his
real name. He believed that this indicated that he was innocent.
Clark was held for pre-trail
motions, set for December. Because of special circumstances in the
murders, he faced the death penalty. He began at once to accuse
the police of planting evidence and faking the tape of his voice,
and he proceeded to show fault with a succession of lawyers that
the court imposed. He accused everyone involved of being
dishonest, and he attempted to find ways of discrediting Carol. He
even suggested that the blood of a victim found on one of his
paintings from the rented garage had been refrigerated for the
purpose of framing him.
One of his plans for
undermining was rather ludicrous. He had learned that Veronica
Compton was in the same prison as Carol. Veronica had tried to win
Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi's love by following his plan
for her to strangle a woman in Washington State and plant his
semen on her. That way, he could prove that he had not been the
murderer of two women there earlier that year. But Compton had
failed in her mission and been arrested and imprisoned for the
attempted murder. Bianchi had turned his back on her, but Clark
saw an opportunity. He wooed her himself and hoped to use her via
his flowery letters (and a valentine decorated with a headless
female corpse) to get at Carol. He also assured her that he would
be out of prison by August the following year. When a Washington
jury convicted her, he sent her a rose. He hoped he could win her
into helping him to frame Carol.
The trial began in October
1982 before a jury of eight women and four men. Farr gives a
detailed account in her book, and reporters for the Los Angeles
Times summarized the highlights in daily reports for their paper
and the Associated Press. The event drew large crowds of
journalists, television reporters, and onlookers, including Peter
Falk, the actor who played TV detective Columbo. It took four
months to complete all the testimony, which Deputy District
Attorney Robert Jorgensen described as "an intimate tour of a
sewer." Doug Clark was charged in the murders of six women, ages
15 to 24. All had been shot in the head with the same gun. (For
another potential victim, the bullet was too disintegrated to make
a definite match.)
Jorgensen called Clark a
"cowardly butcher of little girls" and a necrophiliac, but the
defense portrayed him as an articulate, intelligent man against
whom the evidence was only circumstantial. Clark himself
undermined this by acting arrogant, calling the court officers
names, and disrupting the proceedings with temper tantrums.
Expert witnesses testified
that three of the victims had been sexually assaulted, but could
not tell whether this had happened pre- or post-mortem. The
prosecution had letters from Clark in which he described his
interest in necrophilia to back up their assertions about that
aspect of his behavior. While they hoped with this association to
show his depraved nature, they also had good physical evidence of
the murders themselves.
During part of the trial,
Clark served as his own attorney, with court-appointed lawyers
Maxwell Keith and Penelope Watson as his legal consultants. (He
despised Keith but liked Watson.) During his stay in prison over
the past two years, Clark had studied law books and wanted to
handle things himself. The judge was not so sure, but allowed it
for a period of time.
Attorney Keith pointed out
that Clark had voluntarily given blood samples and cooperated with
authorities with interviews and information. "It's not something a
responsible person would do if his life was in danger," he said.
But most of his efforts were thwarted by Clark 's assertions and
behaviors. Like many narcissists, he failed to see how he was
Charlene Andermann was first
on the stand in terms of the line-up of victims, because according
to Carol's report, she had been the first one attacked. However,
her testimony was not very strong, due to mistaken identifications
and conflicts in her story. She also had been hypnotized to
refresh her memory of the incident, and this became a point of
contention, since such evidence had been ruled inadmissible in
Then the victim stories were
recounted, with the aid of witnesses and relatives. The evidence
to implicate Clark was presented.
Clark tripped himself up
after a waitress, Donielle Patton, broke down in tears as she
described how her fear of him had forced her to move. In what
could be construed as a veiled threat, he told her he knew her new
home address. He obviously could not resist showing off his sense
of power over her, but it did not help his case.
Calling Judge Ricardo Torres
a "gutless worm," among many other vulgar names, got Clark 's
attorney privileges suspended. Keith and Watson were told to take
The chief witness against
Clark , but ironically called by the defense at his behest, was
Carol Bundy, who had been promised "use immunity" in those murders
(but not her own)?i.e., what she said could not be used at her
trial. She had dressed like a prim and proper housewife and she
spoke articulately about being under Clark 's spell. She talked
about how Doug had brought home the head of one victim and said
that he had bragged about committing murders since he was 17?to
the tune of about 47.
She admitted to having
played with the head and applied cosmetics to make it more
appealing as a sex toy. Although she claimed to be a compulsive
truth-teller, she undermined herself with a letter she had written
explicitly stating that she could not be trusted to tell the
truth. Other letters also showed her to be aware of just how to
leave an impression on the jury. She, in fact, began to sound like
the mastermind herself rather than someone under the master's
In January, Veronica Compton
was brought in as a witness, even as the trial of the Hillside
Stranglers, Bianchi and Buono, was happening across the hall.
Clark had hoped to get her to say that Carol had confessed to
everything. That was the point of his concerted wooing efforts,
according to Farr, but she pleaded the Fifth and would not talk.
That disappointed the media.
In the end, Clark had no
real case and he had failed to destroy the prosecution as he had
promised. As inept as he claimed they were, they managed to lay
out a compelling argument that he was a vile sexual predator and
On January 28, according to
the newspapers, after the jury deliberated for five days, Clark
was found guilty of six counts of murder and one count of
attempted murder (in his attack on Andermann). Farr writes that
when the verdict was announced, Clark looked at his mother and
mouthed, "Hi Mom."
He kept insisting he was
innocent, but nevertheless when he took the stand to once again
display his arrogant attitude, he urged the court to sentence him
to die in the gas chamber. They were willing to oblige.
On March 16, 1988 , Douglas
Clark received six death sentences and he currently serves his
time at San Quentin, trying to get an attorney to listen to his
case and get him a new trial. He also married a woman named Kelly
Keniston, who helped him in his crusade to prove his innocence.
Bundy's Surprise Deal
During Carol's initial
confession to the police, she took the opportunity to make a
sexual invitation to the detective who was questioning her. This
disturbing behavior did not help her to gain any sympathy. She
seemed altogether pathetic, needy, and unaware of the reality of
her situation. Yet she had been needed in the case against Doug,
so the detectives had tried to overlook her ploys. (She even sent
the judge from Clark 's trial a suggestive Christmas card.)
Carol Bundy had long
considered pleading not guilty by reason of insanity in the murder
of John Murray and in assisting in the murder of an unidentified
prostitute (the "Cathy" murder). Then she backed away from that
approach and moments before her trial was to begin on May 2, 1983,
she admitted that she had killed Murray because he suspected Clark
of the Sunset Slayings and she was afraid he would turn Clark in.
She had lured him to his van at midnight one night with the
promise of sex and had killed him there by shooting him in the
head. With a boning knife, she had removed his head to prevent
anyone from finding the bullet and linking it to the other
During her original
confession, Bundy had told police officers, "It was really fun to
do." She had likened it to an amusement park ride and said she
would probably do it again. Now she was backing away from that
sentiment, aware of how it made her look. She accepted a plea deal
that spared her from the death penalty.
On May 31, she received
consecutive prison terms of twenty-five years-to-life on the count
of participating in the murder of one of Clark 's victims and
twenty-seven years-to-life on the murder of Murray and the illegal
use of a gun. She was sent to the California Institution for Women
at Frontera. In 2012, she will be eligible for parole, but the
legal system is not obliged to let her go free. She may well be in
for the rest of her life.
Despite her testimony
against Doug Clark, she continued to write to him and urge him to
use her to free himself. She even handed over her psychiatric
files to his lawyer. She seemed to flip-flop over her feelings
about him, but apparently, she would do anything to please him,
even hang herself.
The Aftermath of the Doug Clark Murders
Doug Clark continued to
insist on his innocence. He wrote a court petition for a new
trial, but it was dismissed. He continues to seek a lawyer who
will defend him more ably than he claims his string of fired
lawyers have done. In June 1992, the California Supreme Court
affirmed his death penalty.
When prison reform activist
Jennifer Furio put together a collection of her correspondences
with serial killers, published in 1998, Doug Clark was among her
correspondents, and she printed a selection of his letters to her
from a two-year period. In her preface, she indicates that Clark
claims to be innocent. Indeed his first letter reiterates how he
was framed by Carol Bundy and her boyfriend, Jack Murray. He
insists that a DNA analysis of the biological evidence will
exonerate him. He denies having been Carol Bundy's lover. At best,
they were casual acquaintances. He calls Carol a "sadistic lesbian
serial killer." He also notes that Furio's project may just be a
way for her to get vicarious thrills.
In these letters, his
sentences are erratic and he never fails to add some sexual
content to try to draw Furio into giving him a thrill. There's no
doubt that he likes lesbians and he hints that she might want to
try that. He also never fails to mention that it's impossible to
prove that he is guilty of the murders and that he expects a
retrial to happen very soon.
After her book was
published, Furio wrote in her next book on team killers about how
she went on a talk show and Clark called in. " Douglas is
incredibly tricky," she wrote. She went on to say that he had
portrayed himself in his letters as an honestly lustful man, not
an unstable, repressed person like Carol Bundy. Because she kept
secrets about her deviant sex life, she's logically the killer,
not him. Being out of touch with her needs led to the kind of
anger it takes to murder people so brutally. Yet when he called in
to the talk show, he claimed that he'd given Furio details to
excite her lonely existence. She was just like Carol.
But Furio had the last word,
as she reframed his ideas as manipulations and his ruse as one of
his many masks. She then tried to enlist Carol Bundy in her
attempt to understand team killers, but Carol did not cooperate.
Furio dismissed her as emotionally dissipated. In the end, she
decided that Clark was guilty and had manipulated Carol through
her instability and desperation to be loved?exactly what Carol may
well have manipulated many people to believe.
Larry King devoted a show to
the murders in 1992, in which he interviewed witness Mindy Cohen,
author Louise Farr, and author Mark MacNamara, who argued in an
article for Vanity Fair that Clark may be innocent of the charges.
He claimed that there were only three pieces of actual evidence
against Clark ?the fact that the gun was found in his workplace,
Bundy's testimony, and the testimony of a woman who claimed that
Clark had once attacked her. He believed each piece, when closely
examined, fell apart. It was his contention that the trial did not
establish Clark as a killer. (Farr accused him of being a mere
mouthpiece and alter ego for Clark .)
Nothing was resolved on this
Freed serial killer Nico
Claux wrote to both Clark and Bundy, and received a postcard from
Carol in 1995 to the effect that she was going blind. She also
could not afford stamps to France , where he lived, so she
declined to engage in an ongoing correspondence with him. She
thanked him and wished him a happy new year. He posted the letter
online with several photos of the crime scenes from the Sunset
Michael and C.L. Kelleher
indicate that there is some belief that Bundy and Clark were
responsible for many more murders than those with which they were
charged?possibly as many as fifty (probably based on Bundy's
testimony about 47). They maintain, probably correctly, that the
true relationship between these two may never be known. Those who
have spent time with them claim they are both manipulative.
Louise Farr, a magazine
writer, is the only person to have gone through the 52 volumes of
courtroom transcripts and to have tracked down many people
involved, including Clark and Bundy. She commented that
researching these crimes had an emotional impact on how she now
views violence. For an interview with the Los Angeles Times , she
said, "Crimes like these reverberate outward and the circle keeps
getting bigger and bigger."
All text that appears in
this section was provided by www.crimelibrary.com (the very best
source for serial killer information on the internet).
Serialkillercalendar.com thanks the crime library for their
tireless efforts in recording our dark past commends them on the
amazing job they have done thus far).