James Munro signed photo christmas card and envelope
James Munro signed photo christmas card and envelope
William George Bonin (January 8, 1947 – February 23, 1996) was an American serial killer and twice-paroled sex offender, who committed the rape,torture and murder of a minimum of 21 boys and young men in a series of killings between 1979 and 1980 in southern California. He is sometimes referred to as "The Freeway Killer", a nickname he shares with two other – separate – serial killers, Patrick Kearney and Randy Steven Kraft. Bonin is also suspected of committing a further fifteen murders. He was convicted of 14 of these murders and subsequently executed in 1996.
Bonin became known as the Freeway Killer due to the fact that the majority of his victims' bodies were discovered alongside numerous freeways in southern California.
On February 3, Bonin, assisted by an acquaintance of his named Gregory Matthews Miley, drove from Downey to Hollywood, where they encountered a 15-year-old hitchhiker named Charles Miranda hitchhiking upon Santa Monica Boulevard. Miranda was forced to hand his wallet to Bonin before he was overpowered, raped, assaulted with other objects, before Bonin strangled the youth to death with a tire iron as Miley repeatedly jumped on his chest. His nude corpse was dumped in an alleyway. Bonin then suggested to Miley: "I'm horny, let's go and do another one." A few hours later, in Huntington Beach, Bonin and Miley abducted, raped and killed James Macabe who, at age 12, was Bonin's youngest victim. Macabe was abducted as he waited for a bus to Disneyland at the corner of Beach Boulevard and Slater Avenue. According to Miley, the boy entered the rear of the van voluntarily as he drove, before Bonin parked the van in a grocery store parking lot. Miley then heard Macabe crying as Bonin beat and raped him, before he himself joined Bonin in beating the youngster simply because he "felt like" doing so. Bonin then strangled Macabe to death with his own T-shirt. His fully clothed, beaten body was found three days later alongside a dumpster in the city of Walnut.
Bonin was brought to trial in Los Angeles County, charged with the murder of 12 of his victims whose bodies had been found within this constituency, on November 5, 1981. Deputy District Attorney Stirling Norris, who prosecuted Bonin, sought the death penalty for each count of murder for which Bonin was tried, stating in his opening speech to the jury: "We will prove he is the Freeway Killer, as he has bragged to a number of witnesses. We will show you that he enjoyed the killings. Not only did he enjoy it, and plan to enjoy it, he had an insatiable demand, an insatiable appetite - not only for sodomy, but for killing."
Bonin was physically linked to many of the murders by blood and semen stains, hair and carpet fibers. Medical evidence showed that six of the murders for which Bonin was charged were committed by a unique "windlass" strangulation method, which was referred to by Norris as "a signature, a trademark."
Both Miley and Munro testified against Bonin at this trial, describing in graphic detail the murders in which they had accompanied Bonin. Munro testified that after the murder of Stephen Wells, he, Bonin and Butts drove to a McDonald's restaurant and purchased burgers with money taken from Wells' wallet. As the trio ate, Bonin laughed and mused: "Thanks, Steve, wherever you are." Miley testified to his participation in the murders of Miranda and Macabe; describing in graphic detail how both youths were beaten and tortured with a crowbar before their murders and how he heard a "bunch of bones cracking" as one of the youths was strangled by Bonin.
"He had a total disregard for the sanctity of human life. Sadistic, unbelievably cruel, senseless and deliberately premeditated. Guilty beyond any possible or imaginary doubt."
Los Angeles County Judge William Steele pronouncing sentence upon Bonin.
The trial lasted until January 5, 1982. After six days of deliberation, the jury convicted Bonin of 10 of the murders, but cleared him of the murders of Thomas Lundgren and Sean King. Bonin was sentenced to death for the 10 murders of which he was convicted.
Bonin was cleared of the murder of Sean King because he had led police to the body of the victim in December, 1980, with the agreement that his leading police to King's body could not be used against him in court. He was cleared of Thomas Lundgren's murder because he chose to deny this particular killing at his trial.
In March, 1983, Bonin was tried in neighboring Orange County, charged with the murder of four further victims who had been found murdered between November 1979 and April 1980. On August 26, 1983, Bonin was convicted on all four counts of murder.
Bonin spent a total of 14 years on California's Death Row, awaiting execution in the gas chamber. He filed numerous appeals against his conviction while incarcerated, all unsuccessful. His final submission to the United States Court of Appeals was submitted in October 1994; this appeal was rejected on June 28, 1995.
In 1992, following the execution of Robert Alton Harris, the State of California opted to use lethal injection as an alternate method of execution to the gas chamber, branding the gas chamber a "cruel and unusual" method of execution.
Miley was murdered in Prison on May 26, 2016.
The envelope is handwritten. Munro has written on the back of the photo, and the card is signed, Jimmy.