Convicted "Onion Field" killer dies

August 13, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A man convicted of killing a Los Angeles police officer during a kidnapping that inspired a true crime book and the movie The Onion Field has died in prison.

79-year-old Gregory Powell died late Sunday in a hospice at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville after battling prostate cancer.

Powell and Jimmy Lee Smith were convicted of abducting officers Ian Campbell and Karl Hettinger in Hollywood in 1963. They drove the officers to an onion field near Bakersfield where Powell shot and killed Campbell. Hettinger later escaped.

The crimes were documented in a 1979 film. Powell tried 11 times for parole but was denied each time.