Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Love and Death: The Sunset Strip Killers

Investigation

While the .25-caliber pistol with which the five known victims were shot was found in Clark's possession, it turned out to be registered to Carol Bundy.  That complicated matters.  The police needed Carol's testimony against Clark, but he might be able to throw reasonable doubt into the process by pointing to Carol as the instigator—even the sole killer.  She could have murdered the women out of jealousy and then framed Clark.  She had, after all, killed Murray, and had even beheaded him herself.  She was capable of murder.

In fact, she apparently had bought two guns, which she said had been for Clark.

Yet Clark's fingerprints were on the murder weapon and on nude photographs of a child, so he was certainly implicated in something.  In fact, the police had an entire photo album that showed him to be a pedophile and to have engaged in illegal behavior.  (He claimed that the child was responsible for seducing him .)  

In many ways, it looked as if it was going to come down to which of these two the jury would believe.   Carol had come forward, and that was in her favor, although it's also true that when psychopaths feel the heat, they often turn on their cohorts as a way to get the best deal for themselves.  Coming forward first is no measure of honesty.

Clark had already manufactured his own story for everything.  He was saying that Carol, whose last name was Bundy, imagined herself to be the wife of Ted Bundy, the infamous nomadic serial killer who had been arrested in Florida in 1979 and had committed countless murders across the country.  She had engaged Jack Murray in this delusion and they had killed the victims together before Carol had finally turned her wrath on Jack.

But the police soon collected more physical evidence that pointed to Clark.  They went to Clark's rented garage and found a bloody boot print that matched one of his boots (not Jack Murray's), which they had confiscated.  They also found blood in a car that he had sold that was matched to some of the victims, and they located the "kill bag" that Carol had described, and the gloves she had worn to handle the box with Wilson's head.  They also had a clipping about Exxie Wilson's murder in Doug's bedroom at Carol's apartment, along with some disturbing pornography.  Inside Doug's wallet, they found a list of names—Cindy and Mindy—and some phone numbers.  Mindy, they had learned had been an acquaintance of Cynthia Chandler.  She had reported to police that after Cynthia's murder someone had called her.  First he'd imitated a police officer, and then he had called back and said he'd killed Cynthia and would do the same to her. 

The detectives had a tape of Doug's voice from his "confession."   They went to find Mindy.  She identified it as the voice of the man who had called her.

In the meantime, another team had found alibis for Jack Murray for three of the murders, so Clark's attempt to throw it all onto a dead man were proving futile.

Then on August 26, the remains of the woman that Doug Clark had allegedly dumped near the water tower at the amusement park were found.   The bullet in her skull was linked to the same Raven that had killed five others.  Then another set of remains were found of a blond woman near Malibu, which were never identified.  Carol claimed that Doug had told her about killing and dumping this prostitute.  She had been shot, but the bullet was too fragmented to be definitely linked to the others.

Yet despite Carol's description, searchers did not locate "Cathy," the prostitute that Carol said she had seen Doug shoot right in front of her.   (This woman would eventually be located, but not until March 1981, at which time Carol was charged with two murders.)

Carol did tell detectives that she had heard through the prison grapevine about a prostitute who was nearly killed by a john, and this sounded like the attack that Doug had once recovered from and admitted to her.   Her name was Charlene Andermann, and she picked Clark out of a photo spread as the man who had nearly killed her with a knife.  On top of everything else, Doug was charged with attempted murder.

Both Bundy and Clark were subjected to several batteries of psychological examinations.  Carol was described by one professional as condescending and controlling, ready to blame others.  She was not brain-damaged and showed no overt psychopathology.  Doug, too, was not organically damaged or considered in any way psychotic enough to be judged insane.  He had numerous personality and psychosexual disorders, to be sure, but nothing that would provide an excuse for what he had allegedly done.

So his trial procedure moved forward, and he sat in the same jail as Angelo Buono, Roy Norris, William Bonin (arrested for the Freeway killings), and an assortment of other serial killers.  Through them, he saw exactly what kind of person he was.  Not that it mattered.  He thought he was better than everyone else, an attitude that would not help him at his trial.

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