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Jimmy Lee Smith
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Birth: 1931
Death: Apr. 6, 2007
Los Angeles County
California, USA

Jimmy Lee Smith, who was once sentenced to death for the murder of Los Angeles police officer Ian Campbell in the famous "Onion Field" case, died in jail after another parole violation sent him behind bars again. Smith, a career criminal and drug addict, died Friday at the Pitchess Detention Center in Castaic, California.

Smith and Gregory Powell were convicted of abducting Campbell and his partner, Karl Hettinger, on March 6, 1963, after the officers stopped them for a routine traffic violation. Jimmy Lee Smith, also known as Jimmy Youngblood, was recruited by psychopath Greg Powell, an ex-con who wanted a partner for a string of robberies. Powell disarmed the officers by pulling a gun on Campbell.

Powell and Smith drove them to an onion field near Bakersfield, where Powell shot Campbell in the face. Hettinger escaped and ran to a farmhouse in the area. Hettinger was criticized for giving up his gun to Powell and his actions were used as a training example of how not to handle hostage situations.

Smith and Powell both were originally sentenced to death, but the sentences were reduced to life after court decisions that temporarily stopped executions in the 1970s.

The public was outraged when Smith was paroled 19 years after the 1963 murder, but Smith bounced in and out of prison for the next 25 years, violating his parole repeatedly with drug charges.

The case was the focus of a best-selling book by Joseph Wambaugh and in 1979 was made into a movie, The Onion Field. 
Created by: Paul Murphy
Record added: Apr 19, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 19016447
Jimmy Lee Smith
Added by: cdylans
Jimmy Lee Smith
Added by: Paul Murphy
Jimmy Lee Smith
Added by: Paul Murphy
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May you find peace in the after life.
- William Neill
 Added: Oct. 21, 2014
I don't know what happened. My dear Dad passed away in 2006. He was born in 1932. He died of liver cancer. He never took a drink of alcohol. He was a good and decent man. I don't understand life. I really don't. Why do we do the things we do? Why...(Read more)
- KJV Guy
 Added: Nov. 7, 2009

- R!
 Added: Apr. 22, 2008
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