Gregory Powell | 'Onion Field' killer, 79

Gregory Powell
Gregory Powell
Posted: August 17, 2012

Gregory Powell, 79, who was convicted of killing a Los Angeles police officer during an infamous kidnapping that inspired The Onion Field, has died in prison in Vacaville, Calif., authorities said.

He spent nearly 50 years behind bars and was denied release several times, including last year when he told a parole board he was dying and wanted to spend his last days outside prison.

Powell and Jimmy Lee Smith were convicted of abducting Officers Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger in Hollywood in March 1963 after being pulled over for an illegal U-turn.

The crimes were documented in 1973's The Onion Field and the 1979 film of the same name, both written by Joseph Wambaugh. - AP

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