Lynne Knight was a nurse from Canada who moved to Torrance, California to work in the neonatal unit at Little Company of Mary Hospital. She met Douglas Bradford, an engineering student at Cal State Long Beach. The dated for a few months but it ended when Bradford wanted to be exclusive and Knight didn’t. After the breakup, he showed up at her apartment and threw a lamp at Knight because she was entertaining another man. He went home and built a garrote. He cut up a broom stick, drilled holes into two wooden pieces and connected them with picture-hanging wire. The next time he went to Knight’s apartment, he strangled her with the wire. That was in 1979.
Knight’s murder has been a mystery for more than 30 years. Although police suspected Bradford, who said he was sailing in the Alamitos Bay that night, there were no fingerprints at the crime scene. It was before DNA testing was available. In 2009, Knight was arrested. (The wire belong to Bradford’s artist mother. He was living with his mother at the time of Knight’s murder.) Bradford was defended by OJ Simpson’s lawyer Robert Shapiro. A jury found Bradford guilty. In 2014, Bradford was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison. Dateline NBC is airing a program about the cold case on May 3 at 7pm.