Monday, August 13, 2012
'Onion Field' cop killer Gregory U. Powell dead at 79
Gregory U. Powell, who kidnapped two Los Angeles police officers in 1963 and killed one of them, has died, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. He was 79.
He died on Sunday after a battle with prostate cancer at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Powell’s case was made famous in Joseph Wambaugh’s book “The Onion Field.”
It was March 9, 1963, when LAPD Officer Ian Campbell and his partner, Karl Hettinger, were driven to a Kern County onion field at gunpoint. Hettinger managed to escape but Campbell was shot and killed.
Powell was arrested the night of the murder. His partner, Jimmy Lee Smith, was arrested the following day.
Both were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Their death sentences were commuted to life imprisonment after California's death penalty was ruled unconstitutional in 1972.
Policeman Ian J. Campbell
Los Angeles Police Department, California
End of Watch: Saturday, March 9, 1963
Policeman Ian Campbell was shot execution style and killed after he and his partner were abducted by two suspects during a traffic stop. The officers were on patrol when they began to question the men. One of the suspects pulled out a gun and was able to disarm the officers. The two men drove the officers to a field where they shot Policeman Campbell. The second officer was able to flee the scene and was not injured.
The shooter suspect was sentenced to death but later had the sentenced commuted to life. The accomplice was also sentenced to life in prison.
In December 2006 the accomplice violated his parole and remained at large for several months. He was located on February 25, 2007, and taken into custody. He died of natural causes while in prison on April 6, 2007. The other subject remains in custody and was denied parole for the 12th time in October 2011. The subject has a terminal illness and is expected to die in prison.
Policeman Campbell was survived by his mother and two daughters. He is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, California.
Read more: http://www.odmp.org/officer/2723-policeman-ian-j-campbell#ixzz23RlpwDJ6