Look Who You Could Have Had:
- Barbara March, 65, Canadian actress (Star Trek), cancer.
- Robyn Léwis, 89, Welsh author, politician and arch-druid, Vice President of Plaid Cymru (1970–1976).
- V. B. Chandrasekhar, 57, Indian cricketer (Tamil Nadu, Goa, national team), heart attack.
- Princess Christina of the Netherlands, 72, Dutch royal, bone cancer.
- Peter Fonda, 79, American actor and screenwriter (Easy Rider, Ulee’s Gold, 3:10 to Yuma), lung cancer.
- Richard Williams, 86, Canadian-British animator and director (The Thief and the Cobbler, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, The Return of the Pink Panther), three-time Oscar winner, cancer.
In Other News
Police are investigating after Labour activist Owen Jones was “kicked in the head” by a group of men outside a pub. The Guardian columnist said he had been celebrating his birthday with friends when the men made a “direct beeline” for him in the early hours of Saturday. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said an attack on a journalist was “an attack on free speech and our fundamental values”. The Met said it was working to establish the “full circumstances”. Mr Jones told the BBC he had spent Friday night with his partner and some friends at the Lexington pub on Pentonville Road, Islington. The six of them left the pub at about 02:00 BST on Saturday. As they were saying goodbye to each other, a group of “three or four” men made a “direct beeline” for Mr Jones. Mr Jones claimed it was a “premeditated” move by “far right” activists. “They marched over, kicked me in the back, threw me on the floor… and then kicked me in the head,” he said. Mr Jones said his friends were also punched in the head as they tried to stop the “frenzied” attack on him – and that there was “no question” the men were “specifically” targeting him. Mr Jones said the attack was the latest in a series of assaults since he was verbally abused by protesters on College Green in Westminster earlier this year. “I’m obviously very concerned and worried – not simply about my own personal safety, but of others, and the fact that the far right feels increasingly emboldened and far right-types are feeling increasingly prepared to resort to thuggery and violence.”
Peter Murphy, former frontman of goth rock group Bauhaus, has suffered a heart attack. In a statement posted to Murphy’s Instagram, his management confirmed that the 62-year-old star was admitted to a New York hospital after experiencing “shortness of breath” and was later determined to have had a heart attack. As a result, several dates in Murphy’s New York residency at music venue Le Poisson Rouge have been postponed. “Sadly, Peter is physically unable to perform the remaining shows in the Residency series” the statement read. “These shows will be postponed to later dates to be determined.” Ticket holders have been offered transfers to a new date, or a refund on their tickets. Murphy’s family additionally said in a statement: “We would like to thank the fans for their undying support and hope that Peter will be back on stage with a refreshed heart, stronger than before!” Last year Murphy joined Bauhaus for a world tour celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary, and is currently in the midst of his second residency following a successful stint in San Francisco. His last solo record Lion was released in 2014.
Olivia Newton-John has been seen for the first time since she opened up about her battle with breast cancer. The Grease actress, 70, recently revealed she doesn’t know how much longer she has to live as the chance of a cure for her condition – which is at stage four – is very slim. On Wednesday night she hit the red carpet at the Industry Dance Awards and Cancer Benefit Show in Hollywood, where she picked up an award. She looked glam in a white trouser suit and shimmery silver top which she matched with her trainers. Olivia was all smiles as she posed for photos and wanted people to know that she was feeling good. “I just want everyone to know, I’m here, I’m doing great, it was a challenging year because I broke my sacrum and I had to learn to walk again and everything. But I am strong and I am back and I’m feeling good and loving every minute.” Olivia shared the devastating news that she’s battling breast cancer for the third time back in November. She decided it was better for her mental health if her doctors didn’t tell her how long she had left.
On This Day
- 1612 – The trial of the Pendle witches, one of England’s most famous witch trials, begins at Lancaster Assizes.
- 1634 – Urbain Grandier, accused and convicted of sorcery, is burned alive in Loudun, France.
- 1958 – Vladimir Nabokov‘s controversial novel Lolita is published in the United States.
- 1227 – Genghis Khan, Mongolian emperor (b. 1162)
- 1998 – Persis Khambatta, Indian model and actress, Femina Miss India 1965 (b. 1948)
- 2017 – Bruce Forsyth, English television presenter and entertainer (b. 1928)
Last Week’s Birthdays
Robert De Niro (75), Sean Penn (58), Belinda Carlisle (60), Steve Carell (56), James Cameron (64), Julie Newmar (85), Madonna (60), Jennifer Lawrence (29), Ben Affleck (47), Natasha Henstridge (45), Joe Jonas (30), Jim Dale (84), Tony Robinson (73), Mila Kunis (36), Halle Berry (53), Steve Martin (74), Joseph Marcell (71), Cara Delevingne (27), Chris Hemsworth (36), Ian McDiarmid (75), and Hulk Hogan (66).
William George Bonin also known as the Freeway Killer, 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 in 1979 and 1980 in southern California. Bonin is also suspected of committing a further 15 murders. Described by the prosecutor at his first trial as “the most arch-evil person who ever existed”, Bonin was convicted of 14 of the murders linked to the “Freeway Killer” in two separate trials in 1982 and 1983. He spent 14 years on death row before he was executed by lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison on February 23, 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. He shares this epithet with two separate and unrelated serial killers: Patrick Kearney and Randy Kraft.
Bonin’s quest started early, on November 17, 1968, at age 21, Bonin committed a sexual assault on a youth. He was to commit three further sexual assaults upon boys and youths over the following four months. The victims of these four assaults were aged between 12 and 18 and in each instance, he bound or otherwise restrained his victim before forcibly engaging in sodomy, oral copulation, and methods of torture which included bludgeoning and the squeezing of his victims’ testicles. In early 1969, Bonin was arrested as he attempted to restrain a 16-year-old youth whom he had lured into his vehicle; he was indicted on five counts of kidnapping, four counts of sodomy, one count of oral copulation, and one count of child molestation against the five youths he had abducted. Bonin pleaded guilty to molestation and forced oral copulation and was sentenced to the Atascadero State Hospital as a mentally disordered sexual offender. While detained at this hospital, Bonin was subjected to a battery of psychiatric examinations, which revealed that he possessed a higher than average IQ of 121, and displayed traits of manic depression in addition to damage to the prefrontal cortex of his brain—which would likely reduce his ability to restrain any violent impulses. Two years after his arrival at the Atascadero State Hospital, Bonin was sent to prison, declared unsuitable for further treatment—largely due to his repeatedly engaging in forceful sexual activity with male inmates. On June 11, 1974, he was released from prison after doctors concluded he was “no longer a danger to the health and safety of others. He then went on to murder dozens of young boys and men.
On June 11, police observed Bonin driving in a seemingly random manner throughout Hollywood, unsuccessfully attempting to lure five separate teenage boys into his van, before succeeding in luring a youth into his vehicle. The police followed Bonin until his van parked in a desolate parking lot close to the Hollywood Freeway, then discreetly approached the vehicle. Upon hearing muffled screams and banging sounds emanating from inside the van, these plainclothes officers forced their way into the vehicle; discovering Bonin in the act of raping a 17-year-old Orange County runaway named Harold Tate, whom he had handcuffed and bound. Although initially protesting his innocence in any of the murders, Bonin confessed to abducting, raping, and killing 21 boys and young men. He expressed no remorse for his actions, but he did demonstrate extreme embarrassment and regret over having been caught. 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. Bonin was sentenced to death for the murders. Describing the murders as “a gross, revolting affront to human dignity”, the judge further ordered at this hearing that if Bonin’s death sentence were commuted to one of life imprisonment, the sentences should run consecutively.
Bonin was to remain incarcerated on death row for 14 years at San Quentin State Prison, awaiting execution in the gas chamber. In his years on death row, he undertook both painting and writing as hobbies, and received several minor awards for his artwork, short stories and poems. He also corresponded with numerous individuals, including the mothers of some of his victims, he never expressed any regret or remorse over having murdered their sons. On one occasion, Bonin informed one mother that her son had been his favourite victim as “he was such a screamer”. Bonin was executed by lethal injection inside the gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison on February 23, 1996. He was the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the history of California. At 6 p.m. on the day he was executed, Bonin was moved from his cell to a death watch cell, where he ordered his last meal: two large pepperoni and sausage pizzas, three pints of chocolate ice cream and three six-packs of Pepsi. Bonin was escorted from his holding cell into the execution chamber. In his final statement, given to the prison warden one hour prior to his scheduled execution at midnight, Bonin again expressed no remorse for his crimes and left a note that stated:
I feel the death penalty is not an answer to the problems at hand. I feel it sends the wrong message to the people of this country. Young people act as they see other people acting instead of as people tell them to act. I would advise that when a person has a thought of doing anything serious against the law, that before they did, they should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously.
Bonin was pronounced dead at 12:13 a.m. He was 49 at the time of his execution.