Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Love and Death: The Sunset Strip Killers

Bundy's Surprise Deal

During Carol's initial confession to the police, she took the opportunity to make a sexual invitation to the detective who was questioning her.   This disturbing behavior did not help her to gain any sympathy.  She seemed altogether pathetic, needy, and unaware of the reality of her situation.  Yet she had been needed in the case against Doug, so the detectives had tried to overlook her ploys.  (She even sent the judge from Clark's trial a suggestive Christmas card.)

Carol Bundy, headshot
Carol Bundy, headshot

Carol Bundy had long considered pleading not guilty by reason of insanity in the murder of John Murray and in assisting in the murder of an unidentified prostitute (the "Cathy" murder).   Then she backed away from that approach and moments before her trial was to begin on May 2, 1983, she admitted that she had killed Murray because he suspected Clark of the Sunset Slayings and she was afraid he would turn Clark in.  She had lured him to his van at midnight one night with the promise of sex and had killed him there by shooting him in the head.  With a boning knife, she had removed his head to prevent anyone from finding the bullet and linking it to the other murders. 

During her original confession, Bundy had told police officers, "It was really fun to do."   She had likened it to an amusement park ride and said she would probably do it again.  Now she was backing away from that sentiment, aware of how it made her look.   She accepted a plea deal that spared her from the death penalty.

On May 31, she received consecutive prison terms of twenty-five years-to-life on the count of participating in the murder of one of Clark's victims and twenty-seven years-to-life on the murder of Murray and the illegal use of a gun.  She was sent to the California Institution for Women at Frontera.  In 2012, she will be eligible for parole, but the legal system is not obliged to let her go free.  She may well be in for the rest of her     life.

Despite her testimony against Doug Clark, she continued to write to him and urge him to use her to free himself.  She even handed over her psychiatric files to his lawyer.  She seemed to flip-flop over her feelings about him, but apparently, she would do anything to please him, even hang herself.

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