Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollectionsJimmy Lee Smith
IN THE NEWS

Jimmy Lee Smith

FEATURED ARTICLES
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2007 | Sam Quinones, Times Staff Writer
Jimmy Lee Smith, one of the notorious "Onion Field" killers, whose crime was documented in a best-selling book and a movie and who spent most of his life in and out of prison on repeated parole violations, has died. He was 76. Smith died Friday of a heart attack in the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, where he had been detained for yet another parole violation, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials.
ARTICLES BY DATE
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2012 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Gregory Ulas Powell, one of the notorious "Onion Field" murderers whose 1963 slaying of a Los Angeles police officer shattered the image of the invincible cop and changed police practices, has died. He was 79. Powell, who served 49 years of a life sentence, died Sunday at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, part of the state prison system, according to Lt. Andre Gonzales, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He had prostate cancer. On March 10, 1963, Powell and accomplice Jimmy Lee Smith kidnapped two police officers in Hollywood and drove them to an onion field outside Bakersfield, where they killed Officer Ian James Campbell.
Advertisement
NEWS
May 2, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
Paroled "Onion Field" police killer Jimmy Lee Smith has been arrested for allegedly threatening a man with an 8-inch kitchen knife in mid-April, police said today. Smith, 59, was arrested in the San Fernando Valley on Tuesday and was placed on "parole hold." No bail was set. It was the latest in a series of arrests since Smith was paroled in 1982 after serving 19 years in prison for his role in the 1963 slaying of Los Angeles Police Officer Ian Campbell.
NEWS
August 13, 2012 | By Kimi Yoshino, Los Angeles Times
Gregory U. Powell, who kidnapped two Los Angeles police officers in 1963 and killed one of them, has died, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said. He was 79. He died on Sunday after a battle with prostate cancer at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville. Powell's case was made famous in Joseph Wambaugh's book “The Onion Field.” It was March 9, 1963, when LAPD Officer Ian Campbell and his partner, Karl Hettinger, were driven to a Kern County onion field at gunpoint.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 14, 2012 | By Elaine Woo, Los Angeles Times
Gregory Ulas Powell, one of the notorious "Onion Field" murderers whose 1963 slaying of a Los Angeles police officer shattered the image of the invincible cop and changed police practices, has died. He was 79. Powell, who served 49 years of a life sentence, died Sunday at California Medical Facility in Vacaville, part of the state prison system, according to Lt. Andre Gonzales, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. He had prostate cancer. On March 10, 1963, Powell and accomplice Jimmy Lee Smith kidnapped two police officers in Hollywood and drove them to an onion field outside Bakersfield, where they killed Officer Ian James Campbell.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 8, 1989
"Jimmy's an excellent convict. He's a lousy citizen." --The Rev. Rex Burns, a longtime counselor to Jimmy Lee Smith, who has been in and out of prison since he was paroled for the 1963 "Onion Field" killing and may be incarcerated again after pleading guilty to possession of heroin in West Covina.
NEWS
November 15, 1987
Jimmy Lee Smith, the convicted killer in the "The Onion Field" case, was being held without bail in Burbank on Saturday after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of a narcotic, police said. Lt. Art Moody said Smith, 57, of North Hollywood, was stopped about 10:30 p.m. Friday for a routine traffic violation on North San Fernando Road.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 1987 | Associated Press
Karl Hettinger, a former Los Angeles police officer who survived the 1963 "Onion Field" murder case, was appointed Wednesday by Gov. George Deukmejian to the Kern County Board of Supervisors. Hettinger, 52, who for the last 10 years has been administrative assistant to former Supervisor Trice Harvey, was appointed to serve the remaining 21 months of Harvey's term. Harvey was elected to the state Assembly last Nov. 4.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 1992
A man who was sentenced to death for his role in the "Onion Field" killing of a police officer but was later paroled has been charged with theft and being under the influence of drugs, authorities said Tuesday. Jimmy Lee Smith, 61, was arrested Sunday for allegedly stealing $35 worth of cold medicine from a Thrifty drugstore on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. A second charge that Smith was under the influence of heroin and cocaine was also filed, Deputy City Atty. William Sterling said.
NEWS
April 13, 1989
Gregory Powell, the so-called "Onion Field" killer, was denied parole on grounds he has refused to cooperate with psychologists and has learned no job skills during more than two decades in prison. Powell and Jimmy Lee Smith, who has since been paroled, were convicted of the March, 1963, shooting death of Los Angeles Police Officer Ian Campbell, who was abducted with his partner, Karl Hettinger, from a Hollywood street and taken to an onion field near Bakersfield. Campbell was shot five times in the chest at point-blank range.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 13, 2012 | By Susan King
Hollywood tackled the 1963 kidnap and killing of Los Angeles police officer Ian James Campbell in the 1979 film "The Onion Field. " But the film ended up playing a role in ensuring that one of the two convicted killers, Gregory Ulas Powell, stayed behind bars until his death Sunday at age 79 . In "The Onion Field," Powell was portrayed by actor James Woods. In 1982, Powell and accomplice Jimmy Lee Smith were scheduled to be paroled, but only Smith got out. Powell's parole was revoked after a public outcry spurred in part by a television broadcast of the movie.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 11, 2012 | By Corina Knoll, Los Angeles Times
LAPD Officer Ian Campbell's last breaths were in the dirt of a Kern County onion field. It was March 9, 1963, and he and his partner, Karl Hettinger, had been driven to the area at gunpoint. Hettinger managed to escape but Campbell was shot and killed, and his death was chronicled by author Joseph Wambaugh in his classic "The Onion Field" and a later film. Campbell's name will now be memorialized in the neighborhood that he patrolled, said L.A. city officials who on Friday dedicated a Hollywood intersection to the slain officer.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2007 | Sam Quinones, Times Staff Writer
Jimmy Lee Smith, one of the notorious "Onion Field" killers, whose crime was documented in a best-selling book and a movie and who spent most of his life in and out of prison on repeated parole violations, has died. He was 76. Smith died Friday of a heart attack in the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, where he had been detained for yet another parole violation, according to Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 23, 1996
Paroled "Onion Field" killer Jimmy Lee Smith was sentenced in Los Angeles to six years in prison Monday on a drug charge. Smith, 65, pleaded guilty April 1 to one count of obtaining codeine, a controlled substance, by fraud. As part of the plea bargain agreement, Superior Court Commissioner Richard Price sentenced Smith to the six-year term.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 19, 1992
Jimmy Lee Smith, convicted of killing a Los Angeles police officer in the infamous "Onion Field" case, began serving a 1 1/2-year jail sentence Wednesday after pleading guilty to theft and narcotics charges. He was charged with stealing eight packages of cold medicine from a Thrifty store in Hollywood on Feb. 16, and with being under the influence of codeine and morphine. Smith and Gregory Powell were convicted of kidnaping two Los Angeles policemen from a Hollywood street in 1963.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 1992
A man who was sentenced to death for his role in the "Onion Field" killing of a police officer but was later paroled has been charged with theft and being under the influence of drugs, authorities said Tuesday. Jimmy Lee Smith, 61, was arrested Sunday for allegedly stealing $35 worth of cold medicine from a Thrifty drugstore on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. A second charge that Smith was under the influence of heroin and cocaine was also filed, Deputy City Atty. William Sterling said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 3, 1990 | Steve Harvey
Paroled "Onion Field" police killer Jimmy Lee Smith was arrested in Van Nuys after he allegedly threatened a man with a butcher knife, Los Angeles police said Wednesday. Smith, 59, was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, two weeks after a man complained that Smith had threatened him, Lt. Warren Knowles said. Smith, who police said was under the influence of heroin when arrested, was being held without bail because the arrest violates conditions of his parole.
NEWS
May 2, 1990 | From Times Wire Services
Paroled "Onion Field" police killer Jimmy Lee Smith has been arrested for allegedly threatening a man with an 8-inch kitchen knife in mid-April, police said today. Smith, 59, was arrested in the San Fernando Valley on Tuesday and was placed on "parole hold." No bail was set. It was the latest in a series of arrests since Smith was paroled in 1982 after serving 19 years in prison for his role in the 1963 slaying of Los Angeles Police Officer Ian Campbell.
Los Angeles Times Articles
|