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[Peoria] The one who got away from Larry Bright

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Anne Warfield

Feb 4, 2005, 11:36:41 AM2/4/05
From the Peoria [IL] Journal Star--

Prostitute flees deadly grip

A Peoria woman recounts her night with slaying suspect Larry Bright,
saying he promised drugs and read her Miranda rights

Friday, February 4, 2005


PEORIA - A "handful" of women - maybe more - felt the killer grip of
Larry Bright's hands around their throats but got away, police say.
Those women tell vividly of being sexually victimized and beaten after
his friendly promises of free drugs or sex for cash turned vicious.

Their stories helped form the framework that led to Bright's arrest.
He later told police he killed eight Peoria women, at least some by

One of those who got away was Vicki Bomar.

The 35-year-old prostitute tells of her harrowing night spent with
Bright in July - before it was common knowledge a serial killer was on
the loose.

Speaking from behind security glass through a closed-circuit phone at
the Peoria County Jail, where she is being held on theft charges,
Bomar often broke into her account with beliefs that otherworldly
powers and the "grace of God" helped save her.

She recalls walking near Harrison Homes toward Laramie when the man
she has identified as Bright pulled up to her in a blue pickup, the
driver's side window already down.

"I'd never seen him before," she recalled, but he said he had $200 and
crack cocaine. "Well I said, 'I'm getting in.' "

Bomar admits she was soliciting sex. The Iowa woman, who moved to
Peoria about five years ago, said Bright made small talk in the truck,
asking mostly personal questions like her name and where she's from.

Bomar asked if Bright needed her to purchase crack cocaine for him.

he said, "It's all back at my place," she recalled.

It's a short ride from Harrison Homes to Bright's one-room residence,
his mother's "guest house."

"He took me in the back way," going through the field in the back
yard, through a privacy fence, past a pond and in the door. Inside,
Bomar poured an alcoholic drink and Bright lit a cigarette.

Then, she said, Bright started reading her the Miranda warning, "like
he's some kind of cop." But he told her he was too tired to arrest her
and take her to jail.

Suddenly, he pulled a knife, "holding it up here like this," Bomar
said raising her hand up by her face and twisting back and forth as if

"He was looking right at me, but he wasn't, you know, like his mind
was in a thousand other places," she said. "I'm like, oh God."

He ordered her to get naked.

"He's kissing me all over my body," she recalled with disgust. "I kept
saying, 'My boyfriend saw me leave with you, my boyfriend saw me,' I
just kept saying it over and over."

He responded: " 'You don't need to worry about your boyfriend, you
need to worry about pleasing me right now.' " Bomar said.

"He was smacking me across my face. His hands were around my neck,"
she continued. "He did whatever he wanted to do to me. He raped me."

Bomar insisted she had to go to the bathroom, and he finally let her

The bathroom, no bigger than a small closet, looked as though it was
being renovated, she said. At first, she tried blocking the door with
her body and put a board over her head in case he tried to come in.
But after several minutes, Bright insisted she come out.

"He said, 'Get dressed, just get dressed, I'm taking you back, c'mon,'
" she said, mimicking Bright's short, repetitive phrases.

She gathered her clothes, and Bright opened the door for her. He said
to get in the truck as they neared the vehicle.

"Something just told me to run," Bomar said.

"He got in the truck and (started) backing up after me. He was coming
after me," she said, wide-eyed as she recounted the night.

Bomar ran across the small field behind the house. Across the way, an
old woman pulled her car into the driveway, so Bomar told her she
needed help and that she'd just been raped.

The woman gave Bomar a ride home.

But Bomar didn't tell police her story immediately. Not until months
later, in October, after going to the South Side Mission did
detectives hear of her tale and come talk to her.

Peoria County Sheriff Mike McCoy credited Bomar with helping break the

"I think she was an integral part of the investigation; she was very
descriptive," McCoy said. "But she was not the only one we got
information from. The task force went to known prostitutes for
information. ... But it's no secret we were talking with them, trying
to obtain information ever since March of 2001, from the first
killing" of Wanda Jackson, who Bright has denied killing.

Bomar's encounter with Bright is strikingly similar to the story told
by a woman known only as "Eleanor" who was profiled in the Journal
Star in November.

Task force members say the accounts of both women, along with others,
helped identify Bright and directly led to his arrest and alleged

Anne Warfield
indigoace at goodsol period com

Anne Warfield

Feb 4, 2005, 11:40:26 AM2/4/05
From the Peoria [IL] Journal Star--

Divers search for clues
Sheriff's captain says Bright dumped something in Mackinaw River

Friday, February 4, 2005

of the Journal Star

TREMONT - Investigators searched the Mackinaw River on Thursday,
seeking more evidence against alleged serial killer Larry Bright.
An official at the scene said members of Peoria County's Underwater
Rescue Squad were looking for a gun.

But Tazewell County Sheriff's Capt. Bobby Henderson would only confirm
authorities were searching for something Bright is believed to have
thrown into the water.

"He dropped it over the bridge," said Henderson, a member of the task
force assembled last year to investigate the killings of eight
African-American women. "The difficulty for us is the cold weather and
strong current (of the river)."

Divers braved 38-degree water to search the muddy river at Benson
Road, a spot just blocks from where Bright lived as a teenager.

The divers were not looking for human remains, Henderson said.

The rural Tremont location is just one of several spots in Peoria and
Tazewell counties where Bright allegedly dumped evidence of his

But the Tremont location is significant for its proximity to Bright's
former home on Robinhood Lane, about four miles east of Tremont, about
four miles southwest of Mackinaw.

One man who has lived along Robinhood Lane for 33 years said he knew
Bright as a teen-ager attending Tremont High School in the 1980s.
Larry and his brother, Bruce, lived with their mother inside a mobile
home that formerly sat on the quiet, rural road.

The man, who declined to give his name, said Bright was a "loner" who
would not socialize with children or other youths in the neighborhood.

"He'd stay inside his house all the time," the man said, describing
Bright as "odd" but generally "friendly."

"You just can't really tell about people nowadays," the man said.

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