CBS TV News LA Features Vonda Pelto, Ph.D. Talking Serial Killers and Her Book, Without Remorse

In this segement, on CBS 2 TV News Los Angeles, Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., author of Without Remorse: The Woman Who Kept Los Angeles’ Serial Killers Alive co-author of Without Redemption: Creation & Deeds of Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, His Five Accomplices & How One Who Escaped Justice, tells stories about the three years working at LA Men’s Central Jail, 1981-85, being a kind of confidant/counselor to a number of serial killers and notoriously vioilent criminals.

The suicide of Vernon Butts, one of the Freeway Killers, in January 1981, was the impetus for being hired for this highly unusual position. Pelto was tasked with monitoring those awaiting or standing trial so that a repeat suicide would not take place, an event which was highly embarrasing to the LA Sheriff’s and Mental Health Departments. 

Fresh from getting her Ph.D., but not yet a state licensed Clinical Psychologist, Pelto’s office was a converted cell on the same block with men like Hillside Strangler Kenneth Bianchi, Sunset Strip Slayer Douglas Clark and of course Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, the subject of her new book. It was an oppressive environment with all the attendant smells and noises that come with institutional incarceration in the largest jail in the world.