Department Statement Regarding Bakley Murder Investigation

May 14, 2001

Los Angeles – Normally, the Los Angeles Police Department does not comment on an on-going criminal investigation. However, the rumors circulating in the media community, make us feel it is appropriate to release the following statement.
The Los Angeles Police Department is thoroughly investigating the murder of Bonny Lee Bakley. To that end, we are looking at all possible evidence and interviewing any and all witnesses that can shed light on the investigation. Such a complex investigation takes time. At this point we have not identified a single person as the suspect responsible for the murder. We are continuing to follow all the leads and examine all the evidence in a thorough, thoughtful and methodical manner. It is inappropriate to comment on items that have or have not been taken into evidence or witnesses who have or have not been interviewed. To do so takes away from our responsibility to fully and completely conduct the investigation and may, in fact, be harmful to the case.
In society, we all have defined roles. The point of view one takes is often related to that role. For the police, it is to conduct the investigation of criminal activity, while remaining sensitive to the victims, witnesses and rights of the suspect(s). For a prosecutor, that role is to present evidence to a criminal jury so that those finders of fact can come to a conclusion on the guilt or innocence of a criminal defendant. The role of a defense attorney is to defend his or her client. In doing so, they use all the tools necessary to ensure the legal defense of an accused person. The role of the media is to report the news and to raise public awareness of issues of concern to society. Each has a role; each role is essential in our system of justice. In seeking information for news stories, the media may be unknowingly tainting witnesses or damaging the ability of the police to gather first hand information that is critical to the investigation. There, we ask both the media and the public to assist us by referring any witnesses or information to Robbery Homicide Division. They can be reached at 213-485-2531 during the day or at 213-485-2505 during evenings and weekends.
Contrary to some rumors, there is no pending arrest of a suspect in the case. Should a major break occur that is worthy of release, we will coordinate the release of that information through the Los Angeles Police Department’s Media Relations Section.
There is no more serious crime than the murder of a human being. We all must remember that Bonny Lee Bakley is not the one under investigation – she is the victim. We owe it to Bonny Lee Bakley and her family to be sensitive to that fact and to help bring her killer to justice.
This press release was prepared by Commander Garrett Zimmon, Detective Services Group, 213-485-3586.