Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Buono and Bianchi, the Hillside Stranglers

Veronica Crompton

As bizarre as Kenny's state of mind was, it did not compare with that of his creative girlfriend, Veronica Compton. She was supposedly writing a play called The Mutilated Cutter about a woman serial killer. She wanted desperately to talk to him to understand better the mind of a murderer.

Veronica fell in love with Kenny immediately.

Kenny saw opportunity in this relationship. He made a startling proposal -- one that could, if successful, grant him the freedom to spend his life with her. If she could just go to Bellingham and strangle a girl to make it look like the same man who killed Karen Mandic and Diane Wilder. Maybe even plant semen on the murdered girl.

It was one hell of a favor to ask, but Veronica agreed immediately.

Kenny was a nonsecretor, which meant in the days before DNA testing, that his blood type could not be determined from his semen. Kenny packed Veronica off to Washington with a fresh load of his semen in a plastic glove.

Once Veronica got into this project, it was a bit more intimidating than it seemed in the planning. When she arrived in Bellingham, she had to build up her courage with large amounts of alcohol and cocaine.

Finally fortified, Veronica lured a woman into driving her to a motel and coming into the room for a drink. Veronica lunged at her with a cord and tried to strangle her, but the woman was too strong and threw Veronica over. In a rare lapse into rationality, Veronica decided it was time to go back to California.

But rationality did not overstay its welcome and Veronica, when she arrived at the San Francisco airport, distinguished herself by creating a kind of hysterical disturbance. To make matters irreparably worse, Veronica sent a letter and tape to the Bellingham authorities telling them that they had arrested an innocent man and pointed to the recent strangling attempt to prove that the real culprit was still at large. It did not take terribly sophisticated police work to link the police report of the woman Veronica tried to strangle with the photo of the lady who created the disturbance in the airport that same afternoon.

Douglas Clark
Douglas Clark

With Veronica's future assistance compromised, Kenny love for her cooled overnight. Veronica got the message and quickly found herself a new beau -- imprisoned serial killer Douglas Clark, who made Kenny seem like a Boy Scout. Douglas, who usually beheaded his female victims after he tortured them, sent Veronica a valentine with a photo of a headless female corpse.

This spontaneous gesture of affection from Clark inspired in Veronica a great passion. She wrote to Clark, "I take out my straight razor and with one quick stroke I slit the veins in the crook of your arm. Your blood spurts out and spits atop my swelled breasts. Then later that night we cuddle in each other's arms before the fireplace and dress each others wound with kisses and loving caresses." Kenny's loss was Clark's gain.

Now both Kenny and Veronica were in jail.

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