By Edwin Folven, 8/02/2012
The intersection of Gower Street and Carlos Avenue in Hollywood will be renamed after the late Los Angeles Police Department officer Ian Campbell, who was killed during “The Onion Field” murders.
The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a motion calling for the intersection to be renamed “Ian Campbell Square” that was authored by City Councilman Eric Garcetti, 13th District. Campbell was shot execution style after he and his partner, Karl Hettinger, were abducted at gunpoint by two suspects on March 9, 1963 after a traffic stop near Gower Street and Carlos Avenue. The suspects drove the officers to a field near Bakersfield where they shot Campbell. Hettinger was able to flee the scene and was not injured. Both officers were stationed at the LAPD’s Hollywood Division.
The suspects, Gregory Powell and Jimmy Smith, were eventually arrested, tried and convicted. Powell, the suspect who shot Campbell, initially received a death sentence, but it was later commuted to life in prison. He remains incarcerated. Smith was also sentenced to life in prison, and died of natural causes in 2007. The incident was later chronicled in a book and film titled “The Onion Field”.
“Dedicating this square is about recognizing L.A.’s history,” Garcetti added. “Not only an important chapter in L.A. noir past, but also the first time in history that the bagpipes were played at the funeral of an LAPD officer. It recognizes that tradition, and recognizes the history of them serving with the finest honor.”
No date has yet been set for an official dedication for the intersection.