LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man who committed suicide in 2008 has been linked to as many as four murders in Southern California.
Larry D. Hubbard, who was found living in Pomona after escaping Florida following a conviction for a 1974 robbery, has been linked to two unsolved Los Angeles murders in 1980 and two more in 2000 in Pomona and Riverside County, LAPD detectives said.
Hubbard, who also went by the name Larry Barnes, was arrested on May 22, 2007 by Ontario Police for an outstanding Florida warrant. Hubbard escaped from a Florida prison in 1977 after being convicted of robbery.
LAPD detectives had been investigating the murder of 25-year-old Sonia Smith, who was killed on Aug. 19, 1980. Smith’s murder was possibly linked to the slaying of 25-year-old Phyllis McClinton, who was murdered on Nov. 4, 1980. Both women were found in abandoned fields with their wrists and ankles tied.
Officials say a person of interest was developed on the McClinton murder case – a woman was assaulted and bound in a similar manner as Smith and McClinton in November 1980.
That woman, who survived her attack, identified Hubbard as the assailant. Hubbard, who at the time was living in Los Angeles, was eventually arrested and charged with false imprisonment. Hubbard was sentenced to six months in prison and four years’ probation in that case, according to the Daily Beast.
In August of 2000 Pomona police detectives investigated the murder of a woman named Vanessa Williams, who had been found strangled to death in a vacant field. In October of that year, Riverside County Sheriff’s detectives investigated the murder of a woman named Christine Fields, who was also found strangled to death in a field.
Detectives from both agencies worked together on the murders, discovered that both women were from the city of Pomona and had similar backgrounds.
In July of 2007, the LAPD was notified the Smith murder was linked to the Pomona and Riverside County cases based on DNA evidence.
Detectives were notified June 22, 2012 that Hubbard’s DNA profile matched the DNA in the Smith case.
Hubbard was extradited from Ontario to Florida in 2007, where he tried to hang himself. He died of complications on Jan. 13, 2008.
Police believe Hubbard could be responsible for more murders.
Anyone with information can call Detectives Luis Rivera and Elizabeth Estupinian, Robbery-Homicide Division, Cold Case Special Section at (213) 486-6810.