This week in 1996

February 22nd, 2015 by admin

“That I feel the death penalty is not an answer to the problems at hand. That I feel it sends the wrong message to the youth of the country. Young people act as they see other people acting instead of as people tell them to act. And I would suggest that when a person has thought of doing anything against the law, that before they did, they should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously.”

— William George Bonin, convicted of murder, lethal injection, California.
Executed February 23, 1996

Bonin, dubbed “the Freeway Killer,” received California’s first lethal injection. He was convicted of killing fourteen young boys and men—ranging in age from twelve to nineteen—from 1979 to 1980. Bonin and his accomplice may have claimed as many as thirty-six victims. Their tortured and sexually abused bodies were found along southern California highways, and the wave of killings created a panic in the region. Earle Robitaille, a police chief in the area during the string of murders, later told the New York Times: “It was no longer ‘Is it going to happen again?’ but ‘Who’s going to be the next victim, and where will he be abducted and where will he be picked up?’ ”

Comments are closed.