William “Billy” Bonin would be described by prosecutors as, “the most arch evil person who has ever existed.”
A decorated Vietnam War hero, he was also a sexually sadistic serial killer who murdered over 21 young men and boys in a death van with an accomplice dressed as Darth Vader who performed magic tricks to subdue their victims. He would become the first person put to death by lethal injection in the state of California.
Join us for part two of our Freeway Killer series, where we compare and contrast the history, methodologies and psychology of the three men who became known as The Freeway Killer: Patrick Kearney, William Bonin and Randy Kraft.
All three of these brutal murderers were targeting the same victim type, at the same place and the same time, yet each were very distinct killers. By studying them and their differences we hope to uncover some of what it is that creates a human monster.
In this riveting series we also explore the culture of Southern California in the late 1970s, a freewheeling and accepting time of hitchhiking and sexual liberation that unfortunately made it possible for the three men to kill for so long with such a prolific number of victims.
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Creepy Amusement Park theme by Brandon Fiechter and Derek Fiechter, used by permission and with many thanks.
William Bonin: The True Story of the Freeway Killer by Jack Rosewood
The Freeway Killer: The Shocking True Story of Serial Killer William Bonin by Rodger Harrington