'The Bonecrusher': Larry Bright Murdered 8 Women In Illinois

Larry Bright
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News & Politics
Jessica Powers

Larry Bright was a popular kid who enjoyed playing football, fishing in the summer time and spending time with friends.

But sometime in early 2003, something changed and Bright went from being a normal guy to becoming of the worst serial killers in Illinois.

July 2003 and October 2004, Bright strangled seven women and gave another enough cocaine to kill her. He dumped some of the bodies along roads in rural Peoria and Tazewell counties. Others, he burned their bodies and crushed their bone fragments with a hammer, earning the nickname the Bonecrusher.

Larry Bright's Eight Victims

Larry Bright's 8 victims
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Larry Bright targeted African American women during his killing spread. His victims included:

Sabrina Payne, 36, found July 27, 2003; Barbara Williams, 36, Feb. 5, 2004; Linda K. Neal, 40, found Sept. 25, 2004; Brenda Erving, 41, found Oct. 15, 2004; Shaconda Thomas, 32, reported missing in August 2004; Shirley Ann Trapp, 45; Tamara Walls, 29l, reported missing in August 2004; and Laura Lollar, 33, reported missing in October 2004.

Several of the women were prostitutes and drug addicts, which made them more vulnerable targets for Larry Bright.


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A Fairly Normal Upbringing

Larry Bright
youtube | Youtube

While Bright had a normal upbringing, he got involved in crime early on. At the age of 19, he served a two-year stint in prison for vehicle and residential burglary.

He had smoked marijuana as a teen, but after prison, he began using other drugs, such as cocaine. Bright then injured his back while working as a concrete worker and he became addicted to painkillers.

All of this sent Bright into a deep depression and authorities said he started picking up black women for sex and drugs. Something then clicked in his head, sending him on a murderous rampage.

Survivor Identifies Larry Bright As Suspect

Larry Bright became a suspect
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In October 2004, the Peoria City Police Department created a task force to investigate the cases. Bright came under suspicion as a suspect about two months later, when sex worker

Vickie Bomar was arrested and offered to help investigators in exchange for a plea bargain.

Bomar claimed that a client named Larry Bright lured her into the outbuilding of his mother's home, where he lived. The two used drugs and drank alcohol. Bright then attacked her and attempted to rape her at knifepoint, but Bomar managed to escape after a struggle.

While investigating Bright, investigators learned of at least six similar cases where Bright had acted aggressively towards African American sex workers.

Bone Fragments Found At Larry Bright's Home

Larry Bright was a suspect
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Bright was taken in for questioning in December of 2004, but he refused to cooperate with officers and denied the charges. He was then released due to a lack of evidence.

The district attorney got a search warrant on January 20, 2005, to search Bright's property for potential evidence. During this search, police found several plots of excavated land. With further investigation, officers found ashes and many small bone fragments. He was taken back into custody.

A forensic examination later proved the bones were human and he was charged with murder. Not long after, Bright confessed to the murder of eight women.

Larry Bright Sentenced To Eight Life Terms For Murders

Larry Bright was sentenced to eight life terms
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Bright was spared the death penalty due to his full confession to authorities. On May 30, 2006, he was sentenced to eight terms of life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

Bright also confessed to additional murders in Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Washington, and Arizona, but later retracted his statements.

Bright claimed that he was sexually abused on multiple occasions by African-American prisoners while serving jail, and developed an urge to punish Black people for the harm done to him. This theory has never been proven with evidence from his time in prison.