LOS ANGELES, CA — In 1980, “Tinseltown” looked to be transforming into “Murder City, USA,” as more than 1,200 homicides were committed within the city limits of Los Angeles.
Many of those L.A. crimes also proved to be particularly bizarre and gruesome. Case in point: the horrific doings of psychopathic sweethearts Douglas Clark and Carol M. Bundy, who came to be known as “The Sunset Strip Killers.”
Between June and September 1980, Doug Clark, 31, and Carol Bundy, 37, raped, murdered, and otherwise defiled six female victims, most of whom were young runaways or streetwalking prostitutes. Bundy also killed her ex-boyfriend.
Earlier in 1980, Clark, a boiler operator, met Bundy, a registered nurse, at a San Fernando Valley tavern called Little Nashville. Jack Murray, Bundy’s apartment-block manager with whom she’d been having an affair, often performed country music at the bar. But once Bundy discovered that she and Clark shared twisted and sadistic sexual fantasies, she shifted her affections away from Murray and toward her new beau.
At first, the couple practiced pedophilia. They coerced an 11-year-old neighbor girl into coming over to play sexual games and pose for pornographic photos.
Watch the all-new series premiere of Kiss of Death on Thursday, August 24 at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery!Shortly thereafter, Clark said he wanted to actually experience murdering a woman while he was having sex with her, specifically to feel her vaginal contractions at the moment she died. Bundy went out and acquired a pair of handguns.
The first victims Clark told Bundy about were Cynthia Chandler and Gina Narano, a pair of 15-year-old best friends who had run away from the suburbs for an adventure in Los Angeles.
Clark brought Chandler and Narano home and forced each girl to perform oral sex on him. During the act, he shot them to death. Afterward, Clark had intercourse with the teens’ dead bodies, and dumped their remains on the side of the Ventura Highway.
At first upset, Bundy telephoned the police to say she knew something about the two dead runaways, but she hung up before providing any substantial information.
The next murders occurred 12 days later. Clark baited prostitutes Karen Jones and Exxie Wilson into his car, where he opened fire on them. He then decapitated Wilson and put her head in his refrigerator. Upon finding the head, Bundy applied cosmetics to it, after which Clark used the body part in necrophiliac acts.
Three days following that incident, the body of runaway Marnette Comer turned up in a wooded area of the Valley. As Comer had been shot in the head and dead about three weeks, she is believed to have been Clark’s original victim.In addition, Clark is believed to have murdered another young female whose body was discovered on August 26, 1980. The victim remains unidentified, although the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has issued a forensic facial reconstruction in hope that someone will recognize her.
As summer 1980 came to a close, both Clark and Bundy took to bragging about their crimes. Bundy even told John Murray, her country singer ex. In shock, he immediately mentioned calling the police. Fearing exposure, Bundy lured Murray into a van for sex. Once there, she shot him and cut off his head.
In an odd fit of guilt two days later, Bundy blurted out to her coworkers that she had murdered Murray.
After the police picked her up, Bundy confessed to every crime she and Clark had committed. Authorities immediately apprehended Clark and found his hidden murder weapons.
During his resulting trial, Doug Clark acted as his own defense attorney and tried to blame everything on Bundy. The court found him guilty and sentenced him to be executed for committing six murders. He currently resides on California’s Death Row.
For the murder of John Murray and the unidentified girl, Bundy took a plea deal in exchange for life in prison. She suffered a fatal heart attack behind bars in 2003.
In 2015, ABC launched Wicked City, a fictionalized crime series based on the “Sunset Strip Killers.” It lasted three episodes on air before being cancelled, with the remainder of the ill-fated season available only On Demand or online.
To learn more about this case, watch the “Murder on the Sunset Strip” episode of Investigation Discovery’s Vanity Fair Confidential on ID GO now!
Main photos: Carol Bundy and Doug Clark, 1980 [LAPD mugshots]