Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Serial Killer Groupies

Trading Up?



Carol Bundy
Carol Bundy
Doug Clark and Carol Bundy were responsible for "the Sunset Strip Slayings" in Hollywood in the early 1980s. Bundy would entice women into the car so that Clark could force them into sexual acts, during which he would shoot them in the head. He would then have sex with the corpses...or just with a severed head. Once Bundy made the head up to look like Barbie, which Doug then took for his pleasure. When arrested, they were charged with six counts of murder — five females and one male (a friend of Carol's whom she had killed and beheaded).

While in jail awaiting trial, Clark devised a plan. He had learned that Veronica Compton was in the same prison as Bundy, and he saw an opportunity. Hoping to gain her trust and affection via his seductive letters (and a Valentine decorated with a headless female corpse), he started up a correspondence. When a Washington jury convicted her for attempted murder, he sent her a rose. He hoped he could win her into helping him to frame Bundy. He wanted her to say that Bundy had confessed that she alone was responsible for the murders. Compton enthusiastically responded to Clark 's descriptions of violence and necrophilia with her own, and they seemed to get along quite well.

His trial began in October 1982. Compton was brought in as a witness, even as the trial of the Hillside Stranglers was happening across the hall. However, Compton surprised Clark by pleading the Fifth Amendment.

On January 28, Clark was found guilty of six counts of murder and one count of attempted murder. Then on March 16, 1988, he received six death sentences.

That was the end of his relationship with Compton (though in 2002, she went on to publish a book about the penal system called Eating the Ashes).

Clark married a woman named Kelly Keniston, who helped him in his crusade to prove his innocence. Criminalist James Fox observed how Clark treated her, describing his manner as controlling and demeaning. She apparently accepted it and stayed married to him for five years.

Jennifer Furio
Jennifer Furio
When prison reform activist Jennifer Furio put together a collection of her correspondences with serial killers, published in 1998, Doug Clark was among her correspondents, and she printed a selection of his letters to her from a two-year period. In one of them, he notes that Furio's project may just be a way for her to get vicarious thrills.

After her book was published, Furio wrote in her next book on team killers about how she went on a talk show, and Clark called in. "Douglas is incredibly tricky," she wrote. She said that he had portrayed himself in his letters as an honestly lustful man, yet when he called in to the talk show, he claimed that he'd given Furio details just to excite her lonely existence. Furio pronounced him manipulative.

A look at her letters to these killers may cause some readers to wonder whether Clark 's assessment might be close to the mark. She may have been using her near-flirtations as a lure to draw these killers out, but Clark was not the only one to suspect that there was more behind her correspondence than she let on.

Furio was not the only one to use literary contact to get close to some of the country's most brutal killers.

 

 

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