CA - 'Onion Field' killer Jimmy Lee Smith dies in prison

Discussion in 'Past Trial Discussion Threads' started by Taximom, Apr 9, 2007.

  1. Taximom

    Taximom Former Member

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    http://www.cnn.com/2007/LAW/04/09/obit.smith.ap/index.html
    LOS ANGELES, California (AP) -- Jimmy Lee Smith, the lifelong criminal whose role in the 1963 kidnapping and killing of a police officer inspired Joseph Wambaugh's crime book "The Onion Field," has died behind bars at age 76, a state prisons official said.

    (Now that I think about it, this book (and movie) along with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood started my "true-crime" addiction.)
     
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  3. Floh

    Floh Former Member

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    I'm glad he never walked the streets again.
     
  4. nanandjim

    nanandjim Former Member

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    It sounds like he did walk the streets again, or, at least, that is how I interpret the article. I think that he was paroled and then got back into trouble his entire life.

    The policeman's partner was able to escape, thank goodness. I wonder if he is still alive today.
     
  5. Malapoo

    Malapoo New Member

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    Yes he served 19 years for the murder and was then paroled. Was in for other thiings over the years and this one sounds like a parole violation. I know they were originally sentenced to death, and it seems to me that a death sentence when commuted should be life without parole.

    Hettinger died in 1994 at 59 after an illness is what I found. (The other officer)
     

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