‘Without Redemption’ Displays Serial Killer Bill Bonin’s Swirling Vortex of Despair—Jailhouse Diary Sample Reveals His Complexity
June 20, 2023 Vonda3310 0 Comments
Los Angeles, CA—One of the most difficult tasks in writing a serial killer biography is genuinely capturing the swirling vortex of despair created by said person. The authors of latest, and most detailed, biography of Freeway Killer Bill Bonin possessed a distinctive advantage in this sphere for various reasons: 1) Co-Author Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist, had many sessions with Bonin and two accomplices at LA Men’s Central Jail, 2) They had Bonin’s long hidden, hand written personal jailhouse diaries and confession murder stories, penned during the months leading up to his November 1981 trial, 3) Access to over 40 boxes of official investigative documents gifted to Pelto by a former detective, which included Bonin’s jailhouse diaries and impossible to obtain mental hospital and prison records covering nine-years prior to the killings.
All of this resulted in a book that, in so many ways, captures the deep, dark places where his compulsion to kill arose from. Without Redemption: Creation & Deeds of Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, His Five Accomplices & How One Who Escaped Justice is not only one of most detailed serial killer biographies ever written, but it takes the readers into the blind alleys and byways of Bonin’s complex and twisted personality.
Over 400 newspaper articles, from all the U.S., filled in the blanks and revealed what the public was being told while various government agencies lied to them and each other.
Here is an excerpt from the book which reflects Bonin’s mindset a few months after his final arrest:
Holidays at LA Men’s Central Jail
December 19 to 31, 1980
Three of the five Bonin Freeway Killer suspects then in custody have gone through their prelims as the Christmas season began. Munro will have his hearing on December 22. Bonin was going to spend yet another Christmas behind bars, but this time with no hope of ever gaining release. Three weeks of intense activity gave way to a short period of relative calm characterized by updates from concerned parties and enlightening snapshots of life in LA County Men’s Central Jail.
On Friday, December 19 Bonin was filled with guilt and recriminations about “how I got mixed up in all this.” He wrote that, once he started killing, it “became like a compulsion that I just couldn’t stop. When I got up-tight I would go out and kill. Sometimes after I killed I looked for another on my way home. I got so I was always looking for a victim. I’d even use my money for gas before eating. The gas was necessary so I could search out more victims.” He laid awake at night thinking it was the “end of a hellatious nightmare. I’m glad it’s over.”
Neglect, childhood abuse, war and institutional shortfalls all created the man which the world was learning about, however, as previously mentioned, a possible childhood frontal lobe brain injury may have also contributed to the disaster. Contemplating his mother seeing him get the Gas Chamber saddened him. Alice believed he was innocent and, like most everyone else, didn’t know Bonin spilled the whole story to detectives in a bid to help Eric, and hopefully himself. Two months earlier, Bonin’s father passed away from an extended illness due to a series of strokes.
During a visit with his mother, on Friday, December 19, he wrote about the struggle dealing with her, “The hardest thing to do was to sit and tell Mom that I was innocent. I knew I was guilty and I just had to keep saying that I was innocent. She read in the papers that Greg Miley confessed and wanted to know how he could say that? I told her he said that the day he was arrested. I pointed out that he still pled innocent at both the Municipal arraignment and the one in Superior Court. She told me that the truth had to come out. She didn’t care what happened to her. The truth had to come out.”