'Onion Field' killer seeks compassionate release
Gregory Powell, 77, was convicted of killing on-duty LAPD Officer Ian Campbell and sentenced to death, but the sentence was later reduced to life without parole.
Campbell and his partner, Karl Hettinger, had pulled over Powell and accomplice Jimmy Lee Smith. Powell pulled a gun and disarmed Campbell, then forced Hettinger to give up his weapon.
Powell and Smith took the officers to a deserted onion field near Bakersfield, where Powell executed Campbell. Hettinger escaped.
Joseph Wambaugh wrote the book "The Onion Field" about the case. Smith died in prison in 2007.
The board of the Los Angeles Police Protective League said in a statement posted on the union's website earlier this month, "It defeats the purpose of a life sentence if, at the end of life, cold-blooded murderers like Powell are let out so their last days can be spent in comfort.
"Part of the deserved punishment for his brutal crime is that he spend his last waking moments deprived of freedom."
The union noted that Powell has been denied parole 11 times since 1972.
-- Abby Sewell
Photo: Gregory Powell after his arrest in 1963. Credit: Los Angeles Times