Springfield PD: Home of the case files for LA's worst cop killing
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- The final gunman convicted in an LA officer's murder died in jail last week, closing the books on the case that changed police protocol forever.
Thanks to former Springfield Police Chief Pierce Brooks, the case files of the "Onion Field Murder" live on at the Springfield Police Department.
Two Los Angeles Police officers were kidnapped by Gregory Powell and accomplice Jimmy Lee Smith.
The kidnappers drove to an onion field outside of Bakersfield, Calif., where Powell shot and murdered officer Ian Campbell. The other officer, Karl Hettinger managed to escape.
The "Onion Field Murder" stands as one of the most brutal cop killings in U.S. history.
Pierce Brooks was the lead LAPD investigator on the case before he became the Chief of Police in Springfield.
Before his death, Brooks donated all of the "Onion Field Murder" casework to Springfield Police Sergeant John Umenhofer and the department.
"He said 'I want you to have something.' He opened up the trunk of his car and gave me the case, all of the case files." Umenhofer said.
The final living gunman in the case, Greg Powell, died in a California prison 50 years into his life sentence; he was 79 years old.
Umenhofer said that Powell's death brings home the importance of the case.
"Because of the training received from this case many officers made the right decision in critical situations involving the retention of a weapon." Umenhofer said.
Umenhofer said that the late Pierce Brooks got his wish. Gunman Gregory Powell was never granted parole on the murder and spent the rest of his life in prison.