WHO EARNS THE DEATH PENALTY?
CASE STUDY #8 – Lawrence Bittaker
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 11, 2012 - As California voters consider whether to side with the ACLU and other liberal special interests to get rid of the death penalty, the No on Proposition 34 campaign will continue to profile the “worst of the worst” convicted murderers on Death Row. These are just some of the killers who will be spared under Proposition 34:
Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris devised a plan to kidnap rape and kill local girls. Bittaker bought a van, which they came to call ‘Murder Mack’, because it had no side windows in the back and a large passenger side sliding door.
From February to June 1979, they drove along the Pacific Coast Highway, stopped at beaches, talked to girls and took their pictures. When they were later arrested, police found nearly 500 pictures among Bittaker’s belongings.
On June 24, 1979 they picked up 16-year-old Cindy Schaeffer near Redondo Beach. Norris forced into the van, duct taped her mouth and bound her
arms and legs. Bittaker drove her to the San Gabriel Mountains where they both raped her. Bittaker then wrapped a straightened wire coat hanger around her neck, tightened with vice-grip pliers and strangled her to death. They then wrapped her body in shower curtain and dumped it in canyon.
They later picked up 18-year-old Andrea Hall, where she was attacked in the van. Norris jumped her, bound her arms and legs, and taped her mouth. She was taken to a remote area and raped repeatedly. Bittaker then dragged her from the van. She was stabbed with an ice pick in both ears. When she wouldn’t die fast enough, she was strangled her. Her body was then thrown off a cliff.
In September 1979, Bittaker and Norris offered Jackie Gilliam, 15, and Leah Lamp, 13, a ride while they sat at a bus stop. After getting in the van, the girls became suspicious and tried to escape. Bittaker and Norris beat the girls with a baseball bat. They were then bound.
They kept the girls alive for two days, raping and torturing them the whole time with a wire hanger and pliers. Bittaker and Norris went so far as to make an audio recording of the events. Eventually, they beat them with sledgehammer and an icepick. Their bodies were dumped over a cliff. Jackie’s head still had the icepick in it when she was found.
Later that month, the pair kidnapped Shirley Sanders, macing her and forcing her into the van. Both raped her, but she managed to escape.
In October 1979, they went on to kidnap 16-year-old Lynette Ledford, raping her and torturing her with a pair of pliers, while driving around Los Angeles. Like before, they tape recorded the whole thing. Eventually, they strangled Lynette with a wire hanger and pliers. They dumped her body on the front lawn of a home in Hermosa Beach.
The pair was apprehended after a prison friend of Norris reported the crimes to the Los Angeles Police.
In 1981, Bittaker was convicted by jury of rape, torture, kidnapping, and murder and sentenced to death. He continues to sit on death row.
Paid for by Californians for Justice & Public Safety, No on Proposition 34
Major funding by Peace Officers Research Association of California Issues Committee
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