Over 6 years have passed since Bodhisittva Sherzer-Potter, known as Bodhi and boyfriend Christopher Cody Thompson, known as Cody were murdered execution style in a tragic way that will forever be remembered as “The Bunker Murders.” Today Collin McGlaughlin was given the sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole in the murder that forever changed the lives of many.
Bodhi and Cody were murdered by three teen males who came to the Victor Valley in hopes to commit the “perfect crime.”
Collin McGlaughlin ,18, David Smith,19 and Cameron Thomson, 16, were arrested after deputies were tipped off by a friend of Smith. All three teens were from the Covina area.
January 4, 2008, it is alleged that David Smith phoned a friend who resided in Victorville and asked for directions to the bunkers and stated that him and two friends (McGlaughlin and Cameron) would be heading to the desert for a camping trip. Smith and McGlaughlin were both sons of LAPD officers.
The bunkers were a place where the local teens from the desert gravitated towards for exploration and fun. The graffiti littered concrete walls carried a history of its own. The location lured in teenagers to a spot big enough to entertain a large gathering of friends.
Smith invited the Victorville friend he phoned but the offer was rejected when the friend heard McGlaughlin would be tagging along.
It was clear that McGlaughlin was a person who transmitted vibes of uneasiness and instilled fear in the people he encountered in his everyday life. He wasn’t a stranger to guns either. His father being an LAPD officer carried weapons in their home and also allowed easy access to the array of guns. McGlaughlin’s MySpace profile promoted words of evil and obvious thoughts of violence.
“I feel that if a person really needs it they should be able to walk down the street with a .357 killing people at random,” wrote McGlaughlin in a social media post prior to the murders.
According to court records McGlaughlin had vocalized to his friends his desires and urges to kill people at random.
McGlaughlin was portrayed on his MySpace brandishing weapons.
The same day that Smith made the call to a Victorville friend for directions to the bunker, McGlaughin arranged with his father to borrow two guns; a rifle and a Mini-14. The father obliged with the request and McGlaughin packed up the two guns and the trio headed to the desert for the “camping” trip.
They followed the directions provided by the friend and arrived at the bunkers located near Highway 58, 16-miles west of Hinkley. That is when the trio stumbled upon the crowd already at the bunkers. Over thirty teens were partying and enjoying a night out with friends. Bodhi and Cody were part of the large crowd that night. No one at the party had ever encountered the trio before and vice versa.
McGlauglin, Smith, and Cameron asked the large crowd of teens if they can join the party. The teens approved and the crowd hung-out for several hours.
At some point throughout the night it was stated that McGlaughlin blurted out to his friends (Smith and Cameron) his plan to kill. His target was simple, he would kill the last person to leave the bunker party. In preparation for the attack McGlaughlin ordered 16 year old Cameron to shelter in the van they arrived in, and act as a look out, then handed Smith the Mini-14.
It was around 4 a.m. when everyone dispersed from the party leaving only Bodhi and Cody. The couple were in Cody’s gold jeep that was parked near the bunkers.
According to court records McGlaughlin made his way to the jeep where Bodhi and Cody were, banged on the window and ordered the teen couple out of the jeep barefoot. Bodhi and Cody were forced to follow McGlauglin and Smith back into the dark bunkers. Smith says McGlaughlin demanded light and Smith then says he laid down the Mini-14 to hold a flashlight.
Although Smith states that he placed his gun down to hold the flashlight, autopsy records indicate that Smiths story doesn’t align and he may have been responsible for firing at least one round into one of the victims.
The trio then fled the scene and Smith contacted the same Victorville friend that provided directions to the bunker. The friend was informed by Smith that something bad had happened and not to tell anyone the trio had visited the high desert.
Leah Sherzer, Bodhi’s mother, grew concerned when she didn’t receive her morning check in call from Bodhi. Later in the afternoon Sherzer was informed by an unknown caller that Bodhi was last seen at the bunkers and had not shown up the next day.
Police were dispatched to the bunkers where they located the bodies of the two teens. Cody’s jeep was still parked at the location near the bunkers and the trio was long gone.
Smith and McGlaughlin were arrested about two weeks after the murder and Cameron was arrested a couple months later.
The trio was charged with kidnap and murder for their involvement with the crime. Cameron took a plea bargain for a reduced sentenced in exchange to testify against his two friends Smith and McGlaughlin.
Smith gave a plea of not guilty.
McGlaughlin gave a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. His plea was overturned when it was discovered that he was allegedly heard in his jail cell discussing ways to pass as “crazy.” The District Attorney is now seeking the death penalty for McGlaughlin.
The parents of both victims have now attended over 76 preliminary trials that almost always result in delays and rescheduling, however today provided a glimmer of hope that justice is prevailing.
In previous dialogue Leah Sherzer stated:
“My fight for a timely trial is not for justice for Bodhi (though very important) that will eventually happen (though pathetically slow!) I am fighting for my son. It is for Zen, that we, he and I, and the rest of the family can start the celebration of the 16 years we had shared with Bodhi. When we talk it is a series of updates on the case. Years of this stagnation strangles the emotional growth of even the best of families.”
Her words stand true today as she still awaits sentencing for the two other suspects involved, which according to court records is scheduled to occur the first half of 2014.
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