Freeway Killers: Two Serial Killers, One County

Serial killers are rare, two serial killers committing murders at the time in the same state is even rarer. 

Now image two serial killers, targeting the same type of victims, in the same city at the same time – what are the chances, well that’s what was happening in the late 1970’s.

During the 1970s there was a serial killer striking Calofirna killing young boys, but towards the end of the decade, a second killer started murdering young boys.

It is suspected this second killer actually confused the police and actually meant they both got away for longer, the second killer was only active for around a year but in that time killed at least 21, but is suspected of a lot more. He is linked to at least 36 murders. Which was roughly 3 a month. 

His name was William Bonin, he started killing in 1979 and was caught in 1980. 

The second Killer, who was active for a lot longer starting around 1971 until his arrest in 1983, well over a decade. While he was only found guilty of killing 16 boys and young men he is suspected of killing 65-67.

He was known as “The Scorecard Killer” because he kept a detailed diary of his killing which was very useful for the police upon his arrest.

Randy Kraft was eventually caught and is still in prison.

William Bonin, on the other hand, was executed for his crimes in February 1996.

One of the other key elements these two serial killers had was the way they disposed of their victims. Both were known as the Freeway Killers.

While William Bonin can’t be described as a copycat killer, he had already been charged and serve time for being a sex offender, it is believed he used the other murders as a way to cover his tracks. 

While these two serial killers might have been born within 2 years of each other, their childhood couldn’t have been much different. Kraft was raised in a loving family home, all be it poor, whereas Bonin was raised by two alcoholic parents, whose father was a gambler and physically abused both his wife and kids. To make matters worse, Bonin was often left in the care of his grandfather who was a convicted child molester. 

Both men served in the US Air force and both were discharged. Bonin served in Vietnam and later said that this war had instilled in him a belief that human life was overvalued. 

While there are some clear links between the two killers, how they were eventually captured couldn’t have been different. 

Bonin was a suspect due to his previous crimes and was being followed by police when he picked up a boy. When he was taken to a secluded spot, the police moved in.

While he initially protested his innocence, after reading a passionate letter by one of the victim he later pleaded guilty and confessed.

Kraft, on the other hand, was stopped by police in the early hours after they spotted his car driving erratically, suspecting a drunk driver they pulled him over. 

Upon failing a roadside sobriety test he was arrested and when the police officer approached the passenger in the car he realised he was dead.

During the search of Kraft’s car, they found an envelope of 50 images of boys either asleep or dead. Also within the trunk, they found a binder with a handwritten coded list – which is why he became known as the Scorecard Killer.

While both men were found guilty and sentenced to death, only Bonin has so far been executed. Kraft, on the other hand, is on death row in San Quentin State Prison. He still claims he is innocent both of the crimes he has been found guilty of and those he is suspected of.

Due to his age, he is more likely to die in prison rather than be executed, one thing for sure is he will not be a free man again. 

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