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Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., Feminist Hero, Broke Barriers Working with Serial Killers at LA Men’s Central Jail, 1980-83
Vonda Pelto, Ph.D.-- Serial Killer Expert Vonda Pelto, Ph.D.-- Serial Killer Expert
Long Beach, CA
Saturday, January 28, 2023

Vonda Pelto's LA County ID Card

Los Angeles, CA—Within the realm of women's march to gaining equality in the workplace, there are many unsung heroes who held down the grass and cleared a path for those to follow. One of them is Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist who, in August 1980, entered the hall of mirrors world of serial killers at Los Angeles Men's Central Jail. One of largest and most dangerous jails in the world, housing over 5,000 inmates, her position was created after the suicide of Vernon Butts, one of the notorious Freeway Killers. She arrived a naïve girl from a small desert town and left, three years later, a wiser, hardened women whose views of humanity were changed dramatically, and not for the better.

Her job was not to counsel these unrepentant reprobates, but just to chat them up and provide an emotional sounding board to keep them safe until they were convicted and sent to prison. Highly embarrassed when Butts killed himself, the LA County Sheriff's and Mental Department didn't wish to leave anything to chance. With an office adjacent to vicious killers like Hillside Stranglers Kenneth Bianchi and Angela Buono, the main Freeway Killer Bill Bonin or Sunset Strip Slayer Douglas Clark, her daily interactions with such characters proved a tonic which altered Pelto's mind, body and soul in dark and drastic ways.

Vonda should be celebrated as a feminist trailblazer in a realm which few women have entered, even today but especially in the early 1980s. She could have elected to turn down the job but, as a freshly minted Ph.D. with no license to practice, she needed the work to support the family and so Vonda braved the fire. Carrying the burden of hearing horrible stories, from men who enjoyed sharing gory details, resulted in nightmares, alcohol abuse and a certain zest for life which was sometimes risky and destructive.

Without Redemption Kindle on Sale for 99 Cents Till March 31, 2023

She survived and chronicled her story in Without Remorse: The Story of the Women Who Kept Los Angeles' Serial Killers Alive, a book which took twenty years to complete. Every time Pelto began writing, the nightmares returned with a vengeance, forcing her to keep postponing till they stopped.

Radio Show Video of Vonda Pelto on Gary Nolan Radio Show 

Her second book, Without Redemption: Creation & Deeds of Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, His Five Accomplices & How One Who Escaped Justice, was written with Michael B. Butler and is one of the most detailed serial killer historical biographies ever written.

Using official investigative documents, and Bonin's jailhouse diaries and written confessions, the authors were able solve two 40-year-old murder mysteries and identity how one day, during the murder spree, changed everything to follow. Unlocking why March 24, 1980 is so important in the Bill Bonin story was a tedious aspect of the complicated task to create an amazingly detailed serial killer historical biography. The events chronicled in a flow chart can be seen at http://bit.ly/3ZDDKPG, it constitutes a road map of a story with an infinite number of twists and turns, what ifs and "can you believe that really happened?"

One startling and tragic fact they uncovered: During the ten-month murder spree Bonin was arrested and in custody THREE TIMES, then let go on legal technicalities and bureaucratic missteps which cost many lives.

CLICK HERE to purchase Without Redemption in Kindle format for 99 Cents

Without Redemption: Creation & Deeds of Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, His Five Accomplices & How One Escaped Justice, is tailor made for a movie, mini-series or docudrama. Co-author Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., a Clinical Psychologist who had extensive dealings with Bonin before and during his LA trial, brings to light a number of aspects that readers will find startling.

What is Without Redemption:

The book was written on a number of parallel tracks that constantly intersect:

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 in 1979-80.

Second, it is a psychological roadmap which charts the evolution of Bonin's personality from abused child to sexual predator to serial killer. This is accomplished using documents from his childhood, war service, multiple California government mental health and penal institutions, witness testimony and the expertise of Clinical Psychologist Vonda Pelto, Ph.D., who had many sessions with Bonin and two of his accomplices while working in Los Angeles Men's Central Jail.        

Third, it is a narrative which, using 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, cleverly manipulating lawyers, judges, doctors, social workers, friends, family, probation officers, government bureaucrats, detectives, journalists and, most tragically, the innocent victims of his rage.

Fourth, Without Redemption reveals the complex story of what happened 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 ten tumultuous months from June 1980 to March 1981.

Finally, it is a book which solves two 40-year-old 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 Book Trailer

  • The most detailed bio of serial killer Bill Bonin ever written using previously hidden documents.
  • How childhood abuse & Vietnam War service helped create what followed.
  • How Bonin manipulated California judicial, mental health & prison systems for nine years before the killings.
  • Interviews of Bonin, Miley & Munro with Vonda Pelto, Ph.D. before, during & after his Los Angeles trial.
  • Bonin's jailhouse writings offer new perspective on his brutality, methods, thoughts and personality.
  • How & Why Bonin covered for accomplice Eric Wijnaendts, who helped him with two murders.
  • How & Why March 24, 1980 is a key date in the Bill Bonin story.

Without Redemption: Creation & Deeds of Freeway Killer Bill Bonin, His Five Accomplices & How One Escaped Justice, Paperback ISBN: 979-8841931249, Hard Cover ISBN: 979-8844477775. For more info go to www.WithoutRedemption.com and purchase copies at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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

About the Authors: 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, in the barren desert. 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 Los Angeles County Mental Health & Sheriff's Departments needed a new strategy to prevent this from happening with any other high-profile inmates awaiting or standing trial.

Michael B. Butler, author of A World Flight Over Russia, 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.

News Media Interview Contact
Name: Vonda Pelto
Dateline: Long Beach, CA United States
Direct Phone: 213-534-7292
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