Carol M. Bundy
Carol M. Bundy
Prison photograph from 1998
|Born||August 26, 1942|
|Died||December 9, 2003 (aged 61)|
|Cause of death||Heart failure|
|Other names||The Hollywood Slasher|
The Sunset Strip Killer
The Sunset Strip Slayer
|Criminal penalty||Life imprisonment|
|Victims||Convicted of 2 suspected of more|
Span of crimes
|June 1, 1980–August 4, 1980|
|August 11, 1980|
Carol M. Bundy (August 26, 1942 – December 9, 2003) was an American serial killer. Bundy and Doug Clark became collectively known as the Sunset Strip Killers after being convicted of a series of murders in Los Angeles during the late spring and early summer of 1980. The victims were young sex workers or runaways.
Carol M. Bundy had a troubled childhood, as both of her parents were abusive alcoholics. Bundy's mother died when she was young and her father sexually abused her starting at the age of 11. After Bundy's father remarried, he put her in various foster homes. When Bundy was 17 years old, she married a 56-year-old man.
By the time Bundy met Doug Clark at the age of 37, she had just escaped a third marriage to an abusive man, by whom she had two young sons. She had begun an affair with her apartment block manager, part-time country singer Jack Murray, and had attempted to bribe Murray's wife into leaving him. After Murray's wife compelled him to evict Bundy from the block, Bundy continued to show up regularly to venues where he was singing. It was at one of these venues, a bar called Little Nashville, where she first met Clark in 1980. Clark soon moved in with Bundy and they found out that they shared dark sexual fantasies.
Clark started bringing prostitutes back to the couple's apartment to have threesomes. Then, when Clark took an interest in an 11-year-old neighbor, Bundy helped lure the girl into posing for pornographic photographs. Clark quickly escalated from pedophilia, talking about how much he would like to kill a girl during sex. He persuaded Bundy to purchase two automatic pistols for him to use, reportedly seeking to fulfill his fantasy of killing a woman during sex and feeling her vaginal contractions during the death spasms.
One night, during June 1980, Clark came home and told Bundy about two teenagers, Gina Narano and Cynthia Chandler, whom he had murdered after picking them up on the Sunset Strip. He had ordered them to perform fellatio on him and then shot them both in the head before taking them to a garage and raping their dead bodies. He had then dumped the bodies near the Ventura Freeway, where they were found the next day. An uneasy Bundy phoned the police, admitting to having some knowledge of the murders, but refused to provide any clues as to Clark's identity. Clark told Bundy that, if either of them were apprehended, he would take the blame in the hope that she would be allowed to go free.
Twelve days after the initial murders, Clark killed two prostitutes, Karen Jones and Exxie Wilson. Like before, Clark lured them into the car, shot them, and dumped their bodies in plain sight, but not before removing Wilson's head. Clark took the head back home and stored it in the refrigerator. Bundy, upon seeing it, put make-up on it before Clark used it again for another "bout of necrophilia." Two days later, the couple put the freshly cleaned head in a box and dumped it in an alleyway. Three days later, another victim was found in the woods in the San Fernando Valley. The victim was a runaway named Marnette Comer, who appeared to have been killed three weeks earlier, making her Clark's first known victim.
Meanwhile, Bundy continued to attend Murray's performances and, afterwards, would make conversation with him. After a few drinks, the conversation turned to things she and Clark were doing. Murray was alarmed and implied that he might tell the police. To prevent this from happening, in August 1980, Bundy lured Murray into his van after a show to have sex. Once they were inside, she shot and decapitated him. However, Bundy left various clues behind, including shell casings in the van. Two days later, Bundy bowed to psychological pressure and confessed to her co-workers that she had killed Murray. They called the police and she gave a full confession to her and Clark's crimes.
Trial and conviction
The murder weapons were found hidden at Clark's workplace after his arrest. Bundy was charged with two murders: Murray and the unknown victim whose killing she confessed to having been present at. Clark was charged with six murders. At his trial, he acted as his own defense counsel and tried to blame Bundy for everything, claiming he had been manipulated. The jury did not believe him and he was sentenced to death in 1983. He remains on California's death row. Bundy made a plea bargain and in return for her testimony was sentenced to fifty-two-years-to-life imprisonment. Bundy died in prison from heart failure on December 9, 2003, at the age of 61.
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