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Crime and Capital Punishment Forum

Douglas Daniel Clark - California Death Row

Thread: Douglas Daniel Clark - California Death Row

  1. Guest said:

    Douglas Daniel Clark - California Death Row

    Victims John “Jack” Robert Murray, 45, Gina Narano [June 1980], Cynthia Chandler [June 1980], Karen Jones [June 1980], Exxie Wilson [June 1980] and Marnette Comer [1980]

    Facts of the Crime:

    In the summer of 1980, Hollywood was under the siege of a serial killer. Preying on blonde prostitutes and hunting primarily on famed Sunset Strip, which earned him the nickname "The Sunset Strip Slayer", Douglas Clark coerced his girlfriend Carol Bundy to pick up the women and bring them to him. He then would strike a deal for oral sex and during the act shoot them through the head and engage in sexual acts with their dead bodies. The killings began with a pair of teenage step-sisters, Gina Marano and Cynthia Chandler. They were found dead on June 12. On June 24, Exxie Wilson and Karen Jones were found seperately, Wilson with her head cut off and placed in a box in the driveway of a house close by. Clark had taken Wilson's head home with him so he could engage in oral sex with it, Bundy later claimed. Clark soon murdered Marnette Coomer, 17, and a woman who was never identified in what would prove to be his last known kill.

    The bloodshed didn't end completely with the young women. Bundy's former boyfriend, John Robert Murray, confided in her that he suspected Clark could be the Sunset Strip Slayer, apparently never thinking that if he was, Bundy might be involved. Clark's twisted accomplice took matters into her own hands and killed Murray. His headless torso was later found in his own van but his missing skull was never discovered. Bundy soon found she couldn't keep her own mouth in check however, and confided to a friend that she was heavily involved in the string of murders. The friend predictably called the police and the murderous duo were quickly arrested on August 11. Bundy confessed her involvement in the crimes, pleading guilty to the murder of Murray, and became the key witness at Clark's January 1983 trial. Clark was found guilty on six counts of murder and on February 11, 1983 was sentenced to death. Bundy received prison terms of twenty-seven years to life and twenty-five years to life which were to run consecutively.
  2. Moh's Avatar

    Moh said:
    On July 30, 1992, the California Supreme Court affirmed Clark's sentence on direct appeal.


    Carol Bundy died at age 61 on December 9, 2003.

  3. Moh's Avatar

    Moh said:
    On November 3, 1992, Clark filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

  4. Moh's Avatar

    Moh said:

    Bipolar or schizoaffective disorder (contested)


    Clark and state experts say he is competent, but other psychiatrists disagree. Clark argues his death sentence is a conspiracy to cover up murders by a Charles Manson copycat killer, his ex-girlfriend.


    Clark’s 1992 federal appeal remains pending with issues over his competence since 2006. A federal judge in April ruled Clark’s competence irrelevant to the current appeal.

  5. Helen's Avatar

    Helen said:
    October 8, 2020

    Forty Years Ago, the Sunset Strip Killers Terrorized L.A.

    Doug Clark and Carol Bundy aren’t as well known as other serial killers, but their Los Angeles murder spree was no less horrifying

    By Hadley Meares
    LA Magazine

    On June 23, 1980, a man spied a seemingly handmade, small pine box sitting in a Studio City alley. Curious, he lifted the lid of the box, only to discover a horrifying sight. Wrapped in a T-shirt—printed with the words “Daddy’s Girl”—was the head of 20-year-old Exxie Wilson.

    This terrifying find would send the LAPD into overdrive, as they attempted to capture a serial killer stalking the Sunset Strip. Little did they know, they were actually in search of two people during that summer of record high temperatures and crime, where punk fans fought with motorists as they spilled out of clubs on the Strip. Among this chaos, a man with strange eyes and a plump, unassuming woman drove through Hollywood, in search of their next victim.

    Douglas Daniel Clark knew an easy mark when he saw one. Around Christmas 1979, the 31-year-old noticed an awkward, solitary woman drinking at the Little Nashville Bar in North Hollywood. From a well-to-do family, Clark was an Air Force veteran who now got his kicks taking money from lonely, older women. “He was very good at murmuring in women’s ears in country bars and getting them to sleep with him and give him a place to stay,” Louise Farr, author of The Sunset Murders, told the Los Angeles Times. “He was essentially a leach.”

    The woman’s name was Carol Bundy, a 37-year-old nurse at Valley Medical Center in Van Nuys. She was there to watch apartment manager and singer John Robert Murray, her on-again, off-again married boyfriend, who many compared to a low-rent Tom Jones.

    Bundy had a tragic life. Both her parents were violent alcoholics, her father had raped her, and her first husband beat her. “Carol was terribly abused by her father as a child,” Farr told the New York Post. “Because of [that], she became subservient. She would do anything to please her man, and she lost any . . . boundaries.”

    Clark quickly seduced Bundy and moved into her Van Nuys apartment with her two sons. Together, they began to molest an 11-year-old girl in the same complex, photographing the abuse. According to Bundy, Clark began to tell her his fantasies of killing people and sexual sadism. “Carol told me she was a mousy little person and her experiences with Doug were the most amazing adventure she had ever been in,” Farr told the Los Angeles Times.

    How the fantasies turned into reality remains muddled, since both Bundy and Clark were prodigious liars. It seems that Clark began trolling the Hollywood/Sunset Strip area on his own, killing Marnette Comer, a teenage sex worker. He next murdered teenage stepsisters Cynthia Chandler and Gina Marano who were known to run away from their Huntington Beach home and hang out on the Sunset Strip. After this double murder, he told Bundy what he had done, and Bundy decided to join him on his deadly ride.

    According to writer Max Haines:

    Together the vile pair trolled for a vulnerable prostitute. They found one on Highland Avenue in Hollywood. She jumped into the front seat. Carol sat in the back seat of the Buick, fingering her trusty pistol. But Carol couldn’t quite bring herself to pull the trigger.

    She claimed she gave the weapon to Doug, who shot the girl in the head. Carol undressed the body, while Doug drove along the Hollywood Freeway until he came to a gravel road. The prostitute’s body was dumped under bushes.

    On June 12, the bodies of Chandler and Marano were discovered by a Caltrans worker picking up trash near the Forest Lawn Drive on-ramp by the Ventura Freeway. A few days later, the torso of Exxie Wilson, who had recently come to L.A. from Arkansas to work as a sex worker on the Sunset Strip, was found near a dumpster in the Valley. The body of her friend and coworker Karen Jones was found behind a steakhouse in Burbank. And then they found Wilson’s head.

    Police were sure they had a serial murderer on their hands. They held multiple press conferences seeking information, and numerous officers were put on the case, including California’s first female detective team, Helen Kidder and Peggy York. On June 30, the mummified body of Marnette Comer was found by hunters off the Golden State Freeway near Sylmar. Sex workers, long a target for violent crime, were on high alert as were the teenagers and hitchhikers who roamed the Strip.

    Bundy was unraveling. She had already called police in an attempt to tip them off about the murders. She also confessed to her ex-boyfriend Murray, and then became fearful he was going to tell the police. To silence Murray, she lured him to his van for sex and then shot and stabbed him multiple times. Worried that traceable bullets would be found in his head, she decapitated him. According to the New York Daily News, when she called Clark to tell him she was bringing Murray home he grew angry. Bundy clarified that it was only his head she was bringing home.

    The couple threw the head away in a trash can (it was never found). Murray’s body was discovered on August 9 on a residential street in Van Nuys, after neighbors complained of the smell coming from his van. Bundy soon admitted to colleagues that she had “taken lives.”

    “I can’t take it anymore,” she said. “I’m supposed to save lives, not take them.”

    Bundy’s coworkers quickly called the police and Bundy talked. Clark was arrested, at his job as a boiler-tending engineer at the Jergens Corporation in Burbank, for molestation of a child (Carol had showed officers the pictures of the abuse of the 11-year-old girl). Clark denied killing anyone, claiming that it was Bundy and Murray who had committed the murders. But it was Bundy whose interviews chilled detectives to the bone.

    Bundy claimed they had kept Exxie Wilson’s head in a freezer and that Clark had used it sexually. “Where I had my fun was with the makeup. I was making her over like a big Barbie doll,” she said. She also told officers matter-of-factly, “I don’t know if you guys have ever in your life shot anybody, but it’s really fun to do…It sounds terrible, but it is.”

    On August 26, 1981, a still unidentified body was found in Newhall, California. Clark was charged with six murders and was convicted in 1983; he’s still on California’s death row. On May 2, 1983, Bundy pleaded guilty to killing Murray and handing the gun to Clark to kill the unknown sex worker. In her plea, she called herself a “reluctant partner,” who had been in the hands of a maniac who had overwhelmed her. According to Bundy, “It was a fantasy that just got badly out of control.”

    However, to journalist Mark McNamara—who interviewed her in jail—Bundy was far from an innocent victim. “Carol Bundy seemed motivated by a true sociopathology, as well as a desire to manipulate people. She wouldn’t talk to me unless I bought her a typewriter,” he told the Daily Mirror. “She wanted respect. Carol was colder, darker, less sympathetic, more cowardly, yet more refined and perhaps more clever.”

    Louise Farr found Clark equally disturbing. “He wanted attention,” Farr told the New York Post.“When he was in county jail, there were a lot of serial killers inside—the Hillside Strangler—and Doug was miffed because he wasn’t getting as much attention as the others.”

    For author Farr, her interaction with both killers was chilling. “I had a terrible time sleeping afterward,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “I made the mistake of spending too long a time with Doug and Carol. I would spend several hours. They’re manipulators.

    They’re manipulating all the time. After you leave you have the feeling something’s been done to you.”

    Bundy died of heart failure in jail in 2003. Clark continues to claim he is innocent of murder, and some experts, including criminologist Christopher Berry-Dee, have come out in his support. But Clark still sits in prison on death row. “I don’t think I’ll ever live long enough to get out of here,” he told KSBW in 2015. “But you get by. I’ve always been a very Zen person.”

    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Bobsicles's Avatar

    Bobsicles said:
    On September 22, 2021, Clark filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

    Thank you for the adventure - Axol

    Tried so hard and got so far, but in the end it doesnt even matter - Linkin Park

    Hear me, my chiefs! I am tired. My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever. - Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt

    Im going to the ghost McDonalds - Garcello