The now-convicted serial killer Larry Bright, dubbed The Bonecrusher, went on a 15-month killing spree from July 2003 until late 2004, murdering at least eight women. Reports state that he only targeted black women whose bodies, or what remained of their bodies, were later found in Peoria and Tazewell Counties. The bodies were either dumped along rural roads or burned in a pit in the backyard of Bright's mother's house.
Bright pleaded guilty to seven counts of first-degree murder and one count of drug-induced homicide in May 2006. He also admitted to strangling seven of his victims and revealing that the eighth one's death was drug-induced. Bright was handed seven consecutive life sentences with an additional 30 years to be served concurrently. The serial killer will serve his natural life in prison without parole.
This week's episode of Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death will revisit the murders committed by Larry Bright. The episode, titled In Mother's Garden, airs on ID this Tuesday, April 18, at 9 pm ET.
The synopsis for the upcoming episode reads:
"In 2004, the cat-and-mouse hunt for a serial killer targeting Black females antagonizes investigators in Peoria, Ill."
How many women did serial killer Larry Bright aka The Bonecrusher murder and what were their names?
Larry Bright was dubbed the Bonecrusher because of his alleged knack for burning his victims' bodies before crushing their bones with a hammer. His violent actions culminated in the deaths of at least eight women, all aged between 30 and 41 years.
The killings reportedly took place between July 2003 and October 2004, in Peoria and Tazewell County, Illinois, starting off with the murder of Sabrina Payne.
The body of Payne, a Tazewell County resident, was found in a cornfield south of Augustin Road at Mud Creek Bridge, Tremont Township, on July 27, 2003. She was last seen at her house in the late afternoon hours, two days before the discovery was made. A subsequent autopsy couldn't determine the cause of death, which was later revealed to be strangulation.
Larry Bright confessed to picking up Payne on the south side of Peoria and drove her to his McClure Street home. He said he lost control and murdered her because he thought she was ripping him off. He then took her body to the cornfield, dumped it there, and disposed of her clothes in a nearby creek.
Laura Lollar was reported missing by a friend on August 22, 2004, after the latter failed to get in touch with Laura for around three weeks. Laura's ex-husband claimed that she stopped by his place once a week to check up on their three children.
She was officially reported missing on August 26. Later, Bright admitted to murdering Lollar after picking her up at Madison and Spring Streets in north Peoria. In addition, Larry stated that the 36-year-old mother was his second-last victim.
Barbara Williams' body was found dumped on the side of the road in North Valley View Road in Edwards on February 5, 2004. Her partially clothed body was found lying face down in the snow. Reports stated that she was last seen alive between 9 and 10 pm the night before her body was discovered.
An autopsy found multiple contusions and abrasions on her body and determined that she was fatally induced with drugs, particularly cocaine, which caused her death. Larry Bright later confessed to picking her up and taking her back to his house, where they did cocaine together. He alleged that the victim tried to steal money from him when he lost control and punched her in the throat, which caused her to choke and die.
Tamara Walls was reported missing on September 22, 2004, after she hadn't been seen around for approximately three weeks. While confessing to the murders, Larry Bright admitted to picking up the 29-year-old around the Harrison Homes area. He claimed that he drove her to his Starr Court residence where the two smoked crack, drank whiskey, and had consensual s*x.
Bright claimed that he strangled Walls during s*x while she struggled to break free and even scratched his face trying to do so. He managed to choke her until she died, after which he carried her body into the backyard and set it on fire in a burn pile. Human remains, including a portion of a human jawbone, found at the crime scene were later determined to be Walls'.
Shirley Ann Trapp
Shirley Ann Trapp was reported missing on August 28, 2004, three days after she was last seen alive. She was also murdered at Bright's Starr Court residence. He reportedly struck her in the head, strangled her, and burned her body.
Shaconda Thomas was reported missing on October 7, 2004. She was last seen alive by her family in the last week of August.
Larry Bright originally denied killing her while admitting to his crimes. However, once the police showed him a picture of Shaconda, he confessed to killing the 32-year-old and setting her body ablaze. He claimed to have strangled her, dumped her body into a hole in his garden, and then set it and three other bodies on fire.
Linda Neal's body was found on King Road off Wildlife Road in Tazewell County on September 25, 2004. Her unclothed body was found on the side of a dirt road. Larry Bright confessed to luring the 40-year-old with drugs before strangling her during s*x. After a failed attempt to burn the victim's body, he dumped it on the roadside.
On October 15, 2004, Brenda Erving's body was found on a farm entrance road in Elmwood Township, in Peoria County. Erving's body was found lying face down in the mud and her body was unclothed except for her socks.
An autopsy confirmed that she was also strangled and suffered blunt force trauma to the head. Her body also showed a fatal amount of cocaine levels.
ID's Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death will further delve into the crimes of Larry Bright on Tuesday, April 19, 2023, at 9 pm ET.