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Bonin Serial Killer Bio Helps Family Learn Fate of Son 40 Years Later, Killer’s Diaries Reveal Fate of James Moore
Vonda Pelto, Ph.D.-- Serial Killer Expert, Author 'Without Redemption' Vonda Pelto, Ph.D.-- Serial Killer Expert, Author 'Without Redemption'
Long Beach, CA
Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Bonin's Self-Described 'Death Van'

One of the most detailed and comprehensive serial killer biographies ever written, Without Redemption: Creation & Deeds of Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, His Five Accomplices & How One Who Escaped Justice, helped a family learn the fate of a son who disappeared over 40 years ago.

During the murder spree and trial of notorious Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, 1979-81, the name of James Moore never appeared in any court transcripts or news stories. He vanished in early February 1980 and his fate remained a mystery until the publication of Without Redemption, which used Bonin's hand written jailhouse diaries and murder confession stories to construct the book. The authors were not even sure if that was his correct name since no second hand corroboration existed.

Moore's name appeared in three paragraphs among Bonin's detailed murder stories, which were given to co-author Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., who worked with Bonin as a Clinical Psychologist at LA Men's Central Jail when he was on trial. Copies of these were unknown to the public until published in this book.

Co-author Michael B. Butler received an email from Australia from a woman who was working on Bonin's victims, then weeks later she got back in touch with information that his name was indeed James Moore, he was from the Inland Empire of Southern California and his family was pleased at finally learning of his tragic fate, whatever that might be worth.

Without Redemption Book Trailer

What is Without Redemption

This book was written on a number of parallel tracks which are constantly intersecting: First, it is the most detailed historical biography ever written about Bill Bonin, the notorious Freeway Killer responsible for murdering 22 teenage boys over ten-months from August 4, 1979 to June 2, 1980.

Second, it is a comprehensive psychological roadmap which charts the evolution of Bonin's personality from abused child to sexual predator to unfeeling and uncaring sexual predator/serial killer. This is accomplished using documents from his childhood, war service, multiple California government mental health and penal institutions, witness and accomplice testimony and the expertise of Clinical Psychologist Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., who had multiple sessions with Bonin and two of his co-murderers while working at Los Angeles Men's Central Jail before, during and after Bonin's sensational trial.

Third, it is a narrative which, using a trove of long hidden documents, reveals the inner workings of Bonin's mind, showing how he thought, felt, planned and viewed the world. The narrative displays Bonin, an abused high school dropout, manipulating lawyers, judges, psychiatrists, social workers, friends, family, probation officers, detectives, co-workers, govt. bureaucrats, journalists and, most tragically, the innocent victims of his misplaced rage.

Fourth, Without Redemption reveals the complex and interconnected stories of what took place after Bonin's final arrest, when so much was in flux and so many moving parts were swirling about. Archived investigative documents, collected from a variety of sources, brings to light a number of surprising, shocking, sad and even funny events from those tumultuous ten-months from June 1980 to March 1981.

Finally, it is a book which solves two murder mysteries and unlocks how one day of crossroads and coincidences, in the midst of the murder spree, profoundly impacted many lives and future events.

Without Redemption: Paperback ISBN: 979-8841931249, Hard Cover ISBN: 979-8844477775. For more info go to www.WithoutRedemption.com and purchase copies at Amazon.

Vonda Pelto, Ph.D, author of Without Remorse and co-author of Without Redemption, was born and raised in the small town of Needles, California. Brought up in a strict Southern Baptist household, her sheltered childhood and family life meant Vonda was in for a rude awakening when she was hired for a unique job. After the unexpected January 1981 jailhouse suicide of Freeway Killer Vernon Butts, the LA County Mental Health & Sheriff's Departments needed a strategy to prevent this from happening with high-profile inmates awaiting or standing trial.

Michael B. Butler, co-author of Without Redemption and author of Round the World & Across Russia in 21 Days, 30 Years Later, is a professional photographer who has worked extensively in book, travel and corporate PR. His assignments documenting the 50th Anniversaries of Pearl Harbor and D-Day, flying around the world across Russia on the World Flight in July 1992, documenting a Pilgrimage to the Holy Land with 700 Christians in 2013 and multiple PR junkets to Ireland and Tahiti added ample materials to his media library.

Excerpts from Without Redemption

—Five days after killing his first two victims, dumped about 80-miles apart in different law enforcement jurisdictions, Bonin was right back at it in Orange County. On Thursday, August 9, he went out cruising in the van and found someone willing to enter into Bonin's evolving world of horror.

—On the road from deal to court, witnesses need to be protected, sometimes coddled, and that can be difficult in a place like LA Men's Central Jail. Some of the protective measures employed are rather creative and amusing. I, Vonda Pelto, was brought into LA Men's Central Jail in August 1981 for this exact purpose; helping to keep defendants and/or witnesses alive till the trial was over.

—Maloney sat down with Olsen and argued that other city papers would be "relentless" in pursuing the truth, not allowing police to "double-talk" them into dropping a line of inquiry. Public knowledge of a "serial killer" on the loose would place additional pressures on law enforcement. Perhaps LAPD was protecting a recently tarnished image from the blown Hillside Strangler case. After spending millions investigating the Hillside Stranglers, Kenneth Bianchi was arrested after killing two more women by a small city police department in Bellingham, Washington.

—After arriving at Vern's, Bonin told King to wait in the car while he got something inside. He got a blanket, twine and a steak knife from Vern and again urged him to come along, Butts refused. This was yet another steak knife Butts complained about losing during his killing association with Bonin.

—With little to go on, detectives scrambled to match Bonin's activities to murder dates while collecting evidence. For example, detectives knew Bonin was in custody twice in the previous year for a total of 12-weeks, so any murders during those dates could be ruled out. Charges in the drug arrest were never filed against Fraser.  

—Lopez told him about Eric's hearing and asked him what Billy Pugh was like? Bonin said he was a "real ruffian" and then Lopez told him Sgt. Esposito was out of state searching for a suspect. Bonin found this amusing, "I knew he was out of state and felt it was in connection with my case. Now I know for sure. He's spinning his wheels."

—How ironic is this scene: A possible serial killer under surveillance for murdering an untold number of boys trying to capture a petty thief and ready to help the police identity him; comical if not so tragic.

—Quickly all the major media outlets joined the chorus as phone tips flooded law enforcement and newspaper offices. Damage control saw Captain Walt Ownbey, of the LA Sheriff's Dept., call the Freeway Killer "a total figment in the minds of journalists" and blaming the OC Register for unnecessarily, without evidence, igniting public hysteria.

Media Contact: For interviews or to request review copies contact Flotsam PR at 213-534-7292 or flotsampr@pm.me.

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Name: Vonda Pelto
Dateline: Long Beach, CA United States
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