Monday, August 10, 2015

Carol Bundy Confessed Role in Sunset Slayer Case (August 11, 1980)

This week (August 10-16) in crime history – The severed head of Adam Walsh, son of TV personality John Walsh was discovered (August 10, 1981); Carol Bundy confessed her role in the Sunset Slayer case (August 11, 1980); Alcatraz Federal Prison opened (August 11, 1934); Jonesboro School massacre shooter plead guilty (August 11, 1998); Yosemite Killer, Cary Stayner was born (August 13, 1961); Terrorist Carlos the Jackal was captured (August 14, 1994); Mary Winkle, who fatally shot her pastor husband was released from prison (August 15, 2006); Auto Executive John DeLorean was cleared of drug charges (August 16, 1984)

Highlighted Crime Story of the Week -

On August 11, 1980, Carol Bundy confessed her role in the Sunset Slayer case. The killer had been murdering and mutilating young women in Hollywood, California, all summer, to co-workers. Bundy, a nurse, told friends “I can’t take it anymore. I’m supposed to save lives, not take them.” Her confession was relayed to police, who immediately arrested Douglas Clark, Bundy’s boyfriend.

Bundy and Clark met in a North Hollywood bar in January, 1980. Clark was a self-described “king of the one-night stands.” But when he met Bundy, he soon discovered that she was willing to assist and indulge in his sick fantasies. Bundy began listening to his desire to kill. In June, Clark abducted two teenagers, sexually assaulted them, and then shot them in the head. He dumped their bodies off the freeway and then went home to brag about it to Bundy. Two weeks later, Clark struck again, killing two young women in separate incidents. In the second attack, Clark cut the head off the woman and took it home, insisting that Bundy apply cosmetics to it. Because most of his victims had been abducted from the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles, the press dubbed the killer, the Sunset Slayer.

Clark proved to be more of an influence than Bundy expected. When she blabbed about Clark’s activities to a former boyfriend, she felt compelled to kill the man to make sure that she wasn’t implicated. On August 5, Bundy stabbed John Murray to death and then cut off his head. Within a week, she was tearfully confessing to her fellow nurses. During the trial in 1981, Clark tried to pin all of the murders on Bundy, but the jurors found his story hard to believe and sentenced him to death. Bundy attempted an insanity defense, but she eventually pleaded guilty and received a sentence of 52 years-to-life.

Check back every Monday for a new installment of “This Week in Crime History.”

Michael Thomas Barry is a columnist for and is the author of six nonfiction books that includes the award winning Murder and Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. Visit Michael’s website for more information. His book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link:

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