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William Bonin The Freeway Killer Essay

William Bonin, also known as “The Freeway Killer”, is classified as a serial killer. One way to describe him as a serial killer is as a homosexual rapist. Due to Bonin’s parents both being complete alcoholics, he was raised by his grandfather. He was raped by his own father at a very young age. This was a major contribution to why he later did the same to innocent teens. Bonin was a resident of the state of California, and has raped and murdered 14 teenagers. He was sentenced to death and died of lethal injection in 1996. He committed his 1st rape crime in 1979.

On August 5, 1979 sometime between evening to late night time, Bonin approached Marcus Grabs at Newport Beach. Marcus, a 17-year old German student on a backpacking tour of the United States, was sexually abused, and stabbed 77 times to death. His nude body was found the next day beside a freeway in Malibu, with an orange nylon cord loosely wrapped behind his head and a piece of ignition wire around one of his ankles. On August 27, 1979, at 1 a. m. , the Bonin and co-defendant Butts picked up 15-year old Donald Hyden near the Gay Community Services Center in Los Angeles.

The victim had been strangled by a ligature and stabbed. He had been sexually abused and it appeared that Bonin had attempted to cut off his testicles and slash his throat. His nude body was found near Liberty Canyon at 11 a. m. on the off ramp of the Ventura Freeway. On September 9, 1979, in the early morning, David Murillo, 17, was bicycling to the movies in La Mirada when Bonin and Butts abducted him. David’s nude body was found three days later on a Ventura Highway off ramp.

He had been sexually abused and strangled with a ligature while his head was bashed in with a tire ron. On February 3, 1980, in the early morning, Bonin, driving a van with Gregory Miley, picked up hitchhiker Charles Miranda, 15, in West Hollywood. They drove a few blocks away, parked, and Bonin sexually abused Charles. The Miley tried to sexually abuse him, but was unable to keep an erection. After the they robbed Charles of his six dollars, they tied his hands and feet together. Bonin wrapped Charles’ shirt around his own neck. Using a jack handle, Bonin twisted the shirt around until he was dead. The autopsy also revealed a small object had been inserted into Charles’ anus.

The defendants drove to an alley in downtown Los Angeles, dumped Charles’ nude body, and drove to Huntington Beach, continuing on while looking for other victims. A few hours later at Huntington beach, they began talking to James McCabe, 12, who said he was on his way to Disneyland. James was Bonin’s youngest victim. They invited James into the van. Miley drove the van while Bonin had sex with the 12-year old victim. Later, the two men held the victim down, beat him, strangled him with his shirt, and crushed his neck with a jack handle.

After taking money out of James’ wallet, the defendants left his body next to a dumpster in the City of Walnut, where it was found 3 days later on February 6. On March 14, 1980, Ronald Gatlin, 19, was picked up by Bonin at Van Nuys at about 8:30 p. m. He had been sexually abused and strangled with a ligature. There were wounds to the neck and right ear that apparently had been made by an ice pick and the body showed signs of beating. Ronald’s nude body was found the next day at Duarte, near the juncture of the 210 and 605 freeways. On March 20, 1980, Bonin met his new co-defendant William Pugh.

Bonin offered Pugh a ride and asked Pugh if he was interested in engaging in sex. Pugh was very uncomfortable upon hearing this and Bonin opened up to him very quickly and told him what he has been doing the past few days. He even told Pugh, “If you want to kill somebody, you should make a plan and find a place to dump the body before you even pick a victim. “(50, World heritage encyclopedia). On March 24, 1980, the both of them picked up Harry Todd Turner, 14, at Hollywood. They lured him by offering him $20 for sex. After Bonin was done having sex with Turner, he ordered Pugh to beat him up.

Bonin then strangled him to death and dumped his body in an alley behind a Los Angeles business, which was found on the morning of March 25. On April 10, 1980, 16-year old Steven Wood was picked up by Bonin and Pugh at Los Angeles. On the same day, they picked up 18-year old Lawrence Sharp. Bonin had sex with both of them, then beat them and strangled them to death while being accompanied by Hugh. Steven’s nude body was found the next morning in an alley by the Pacific Coast Highway. Sharp was found a month later behind a gas station at Westminster.

On April 29, 1980, at 9:15 p. m. , the defendant and Butts approached Darin Kendrick, 19, in the parking lot of a supermarket in Stanton at which he worked at. Darin had been collecting shopping carts and was lured into the van thinking he was being sold some drugs. After Bonin sexually abused Kendrick in his van, he forced Kendrick to swallow hydrochloric acid, leaving him with chemical burns on his mouth, chin, chest and stomach. Bonin also tortured him by stabbing his right ear with an icepick, which caused a fatal wound to the upper cervical spinal cord.

He was then strangled to death and his nude body was found the next morning in an industrial park in Carson near the Artesia Freeway. A couple days after the murder, Bonin met 19-year old James Munro, who was a homeless man. Bonin offered to let Munro to move in with him and Munro accepted his offer as he first thought of Bonin as a very nice and normal man. He then alongside with Bonin, started working at the same delivery firm. On May 29, 1980, Pugh was arrested for auto theft. He heard about the “Freeway Killer” through the news and later told his counselor his suspicions.

He later informed the LAPD homicide sergeant, John St. John. St. John interviewed Hugh and new that Bonin might be the freeway killer and assembled a surveillance team to monitor Bonin’s movements. On June 2, 1980, the same day Bonin was assigned a surveillance team at about 5:40 p. m. , he along with James Munro were driving a van in Downey when they picked up a hitchhiker, Steven Wells, 18. Initially, Wells agreed to have sex with the Bonin. He allowed Bonin to tie him up expecting to be paid for having sex. Instead, they tied Steven up, took his money, beat him, then strangled him with his Tshirt.

They placed Steven’s body in a cardboard box and carried it out to the van. They drove to Butt’s apartment and he told them to take the body and “drop it off somewhere. ” They then drove to Huntington Beach where they left Steven’s nude body at the rear of a closed gas station, where it was found the next day. On June 11, 1980, Bonin’s van was followed to Hollywood. He was observed talking to five different young men standing on street corners before 15-year-old Harold T. entered his van. The defendant parked in a vacant lot on Santa Monica Boulevard. Despite Harold’s resistance, the defendant managed to have oral sex with him.

Shortly thereafter, Bonin was arrested in the act of raping and sexually assaulting Harold. Defendant Bonin was convicted of 4 Orange County murders and 10 murders committed at Los Angeles County. However, Bonin confessed to killing 21 teenagers and men. When a reporter asked Bonin what he would do if he was still at large, he replied saying “I’d still be killing, I couldn’t stop killing. It got easier each time. “(74, World Heritage Encyclopedia). On November 5, 1981, Bonin was brought to trial at LA county being convicted of the 12 murders committed by Bonin that were found.

Stirling Norris, the deputy that prosecuted Bonin, stated in his opening statement, “We will prove he is the Freeway Killer, as he has bragged to a number of witnesses. We will show you that he enjoyed the killings. Not only did he enjoy it, and plan to enjoy it, he had an insatiable demand, an insatiable appetite – not only for sodomy, but for killing. “(76, World Heritage Encyclopedia). Bonin was linked to the murders through individual characteristics by blood, semen, and fibers. Six of the murders showed that Bonin used the strangulation method, which is his signature method.

The trial lasted until January 5, 1982. In the end, Bonin was convicted for 10 of the 14 murders he had committed. Bonin then spent 14 years in jail, as he filed many appeals against his conviction in court, which all failed. He was on the death row for 14 years awaiting the gas chamber execution. 16 years after his arrest, he was finally executed by lethal execution instead of the gas chamber, as the gas chamber was a “cruel and unusual” punishment. Being executed on February 23, 1996, he was the 1st one in the history of California to be executed by lethal injection.

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