Monday, March 11, 2013

The Onion Field Kidnapping And Killing - 50 Years Later

Mariecar Mendoza at the Los Angeles Daily News offers a piece on the exhibit on the Onion Field murder and kidnapping case that author and former LAPD detective Joseph Wambaugh chronicled in his book and film The Onion Field. 

"Six Zebra Four" echoed over Los Angeles police scanners, identifying the patrol car found abandoned at the corner of Carlos Avenue and Gower Street in Hollywood.

Soon the city and the nation would find out that Los Angeles police officers and former U.S. Marines Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger had been kidnapped by ex-convicts and taken to an onion field near Bakersfield. Hettinger was the only one to survive, able to escape his captors to run nearly 4 miles to a farmhouse for help.

Author Joseph Wambaugh, who was an LAPD vice detective when the incident occurred, remembers that day well and the series of events that unfolded thereafter. He said Hettinger "never completely escaped from the onion field."

Now 50 years later, Wambaugh, several local leaders and the families of Campbell and Hettinger unveiled two ways to immortalize the officers' memory and sacrifice at the Los Angeles Police Museum in Highland Park. 

You can read the rest of the piece and view some photos of the exhibit via the below link:

You can also watch a news clip via the below link:

Note: The TV newsmen described Joseph Wambaugh's The Onion Field as a novel. The book is in fact a classic true crime book.

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