“The first time most people in Los Angeles heard of gay porn actor Billy London — a.k.a. Bill Newton — was when his head and feet showed up in a dumpster.” With a lede like that, a story promises to be riveting. Writer Kevin Rector delivers, telling the tale of a horrific cold case and the amateur sleuths who finally solved it:
The suspect was first identified as a person of interest in Newton’s murder not by detectives but by Clark Williams, a stay-at-home dad turned empty-nester. Williams became obsessed with the case after seeing so many similarities between the dead man and himself: He and Newton were born just a week apart in 1965 in the same part of northern Wisconsin, where homophobia was rampant, and each had fled to a bigger city to find a better life.
How Williams figured it all out, said lead Det. John Lamberti, was amazing.
“I like to think I’m a pretty good detective — been doing homicide for a while — and I never would have made this connection,” Lamberti said. “Not in a million years would I have come up with what Clark came up with.”
“The hair on the back of my neck stood up,” Williams said of the moment it all clicked. “I’m like, ‘What the f—? How is this possible?’”