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Man Fighting For Reward Money In Conviction Of Freeway Killer

January 14, 1987

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) _ A man who insists his information led to the capture and conviction of the ″Freeway Killer″ who preyed on teen-age boys is facing a court fight over his claim to $30,000 in reward money.

″It leaves me with a really crummy attitude,″ said David McVicker, 26, of Costa Mesa. ″I was the first person to stand up and say ’That’s the guy.‴

He filed suit claiming the reward in 1984. On Feb. 11 in Orange County Superior Court, attorneys for two groups that posted part of the reward will enter a motion for summary judgment in an effort to have McVicker’s claim thrown out of court, insisting his tip played no direct role in the arrest.

In 1975 McVicker, then 14, was hitchhiking home in Huntington Beach when he was lured into a car and sexually assaulted at gunpoint.

When a murder spree involving young boys began in 1979, news reports included details of sexual torture that McVicker felt were familiar. Spurred by a reward offer, he told police he believed the man who attacked him was responsible for the string of ″Freeway Killer″ slayings.

William Bonin was convicted of murdering 14 teen-age boys and was sentenced to death in the gas chamber.

McVicker’s lawsuit claiming the reward, filed in 1984, names Lucky Food Centers, the Retail Clerks Union and the city of Huntington Beach as defendants. Lucky and the union each offered $10,000 in reward money when a store employee became a victim in 1980.

Attorneys for Lucky and Retail Clerks Union Local 324 say they have statements by a lead investigator minimizing the significance of McVicker’s tip.

In sworn testimony early last year, veteran Los Angeles police Detective John St. John said McVicker’s phone call to Orange County sheriff’s deputies in April 1980 played no part in Bonin’s arrest.

Moreover, participants in the dispute said reward money already has been paid to Everett Charles ″Scott″ Fraser, a friend of Bonin who was a key witness against him.

In pressing for whatever funds remain, McVicker’s attorney, Mark Licker, has produced statements by another lead investigator suggesting McVicker helped solve the case.

Before McVicker called police, investigators were faced with searching for the killer from among hundreds of known sex offenders living in Southern California, said Bernard Esposito, who was one of two Orange County sheriff’s investigators assigned to the case.

″McVicker’s information was the first to separate Bonin out from this large group for closer scrutiny and investigation as a sexual offender against young boys,″ Esposito said in a sworn statement.

Then-Huntington Beach City Councilman Ron Pattinson also offered $10,000 reward.

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