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Jul 2012
Council to Consider Naming Intersection for 'Onion Field' LAPD Officer
Ian Campbell

Ian Campbell

On Tuesday the Los Angeles City Council will consider naming a Hollywood intersection after LAPD Officer Ian Campbell, who was kidnapped and murdered in the notorious 1963 Onion Field case.

Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge propose renaming the intersection of Carlos Avenue and Gower Street as "Ian Campbell Square," which would be marked with a sign.

Campbell and his partner, Karl Hettinger, were kidnapped at gunpoint from the intersection on March 9, 1963, after questioning two robbery suspects during a traffic stop. The suspects disarmed and abducted the two officers at gunpoint, driving them to a remote onion field near Bakersfield.

Campbell was executed, but Hettinger managed to escape.

One of the killers, Gregory Powell, was denied a final bid for parole in October 2011, after pleading for compassionate release on account of terminal prostate cancer. The other accomplice, Jimmy Lee Smith, died in 2007.

In his motion, Garcetti called the murder "one of the most tragic losses ever endured by the members of the police department."

The case had a profound effect on the LAPD and law enforcement throughout the nation, he said.

Campbell was an avid bagpiper. After his death, the instrument became a standard part of funerals for LAPD officers killed in the line of duty.

The naming of the intersection is backed by the Los Angeles Police Historical Society and Emerald Society Pipes and Drums.



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