Without Redemption Excerpts
—Five days after killing his first two victims, dumped about 80-miles apart in different law enforcement jurisdictions, Bonin was right back at it in Orange County. On Thursday, August 9, he went out cruising in the van and found someone willing to enter into Bonin’s evolving world of horror.
—On the road from deal to court, witnesses need to be protected, sometimes coddled, and that can be difficult in a place like LA Men’s Central Jail. Some of the protective measures employed are rather creative and amusing. I, Vonda Pelto, was brought into LA Men’s Central Jail in August 1981 for this exact purpose; helping to keep defendants and/or witnesses alive till the trial was over.
—Maloney sat down with Olsen and argued that other city papers would be “relentless” in pursuing the truth, not allowing police to “double-talk” them into dropping a line of inquiry. Public knowledge of a “serial killer” on the loose would place additional pressures on law enforcement. Perhaps LAPD was protecting a recently tarnished image from the blown Hillside Strangler case. After spending millions investigating the Hillside Stranglers, Kenneth Bianchi was arrested after killing two more women by a small city police department in Bellingham, Washington.
—After arriving at Vern’s, Bonin told King to wait in the car while he got something inside. He got a blanket, twine and a steak knife from Vern and again urged him to come along, Butts refused. This was yet another steak knife Butts complained about losing during his killing association with Bonin.
—With little to go on, detectives scrambled to match Bonin’s activities to murder dates while collecting evidence. For example, detectives knew Bonin was in custody twice in the previous year for a total of 12-weeks, so any murders during those dates could be ruled out. Charges in the drug arrest were never filed against Fraser.
—Lopez told him about Eric’s hearing and asked him what Billy Pugh was like? Bonin said he was a “real ruffian” and then Lopez told him Sgt. Esposito was out of state searching for a suspect. Bonin found this amusing, “I knew he was out of state and felt it was in connection with my case. Now I know for sure. He’s spinning his wheels.”
—How ironic is this scene: A possible serial killer under surveillance for murdering an untold number of boys trying to capture a petty thief and ready to help the police identity him; comical if not so tragic.
—Quickly all the major media outlets joined the chorus as phone tips flooded law enforcement and newspaper offices. Damage control saw Captain Walt Ownbey, of the LA Sheriff’s Dept., call the Freeway Killer “a total figment in the minds of journalists” and blaming the OC Register for unnecessarily, without evidence, igniting public hysteria.
Bonin’s Diaries & Murder Confession Stories:
Below are three pages from Bonin’s jailhouse diaries/confession murder stories, written in between his final arrest, in June 1980, and the beginning of his trial in November 1981. These photocopies were discovered in 40 boxes of investigative documents given to Without Redemption co-author Vonda Pelto, by a retired public official. It was this treasure trove of material which gave Pelto and Butler the ability to create one of the most detailed serial killer biographies ever written.