Death trip


Nov. 5, 1957

Los Angeles

"I just shot a man, but it was self-defense."

Bobby Gene Gray was stopped at a light in South Gate when Harris
(Harrison) C. Foster, 26, and his ex-wife Carolyn (Caroline) Foster
Alcala, 20, forced their way into his car with a gun.

"I just shot a man," Foster said again. "But it was self-defense."

Earlier that night, in a cafe at 9716 S. Broadway, Foster killed a man identified in The Times as Ronald Dermony, 26, who was most likely Paul Joseph Dermody, 20.* 

Alcala got in the front seat while Foster sat in back and told Gray to
start driving to Needles, Calif. They stopped for food in Daggett then
kept driving. About 2 a.m., Foster forced Gray to get into the trunk,
then drove into Needles and parked the car.

While Gray struggled to free himself from the locked trunk, Foster and
Alcala bought bus tickets to the tiny town of Ash Fork, Ariz. (2000
population was 550).

The couple got off the bus in Kingman and ambushed Jack Warren, an oil
company agent, as he was coming out of a store. They forced him to
drive toward Flagstaff, but about 18 miles east of town, taped his arms
and legs and pushed him out of the car.

As the couple continued driving, a motorist picked up Warren and took
him to Winona, where he reported the kidnapping to police.

Coconino County sheriff’s deputies stopped the car at a roadblock on Route 66 outside Flagstaff and arrested the couple.

After injuring a bailiff during an escape attempt, Foster was sentenced
to life in prison with a consecutive term of five years to life in
prison. Alcala was sentenced to life in prison.

No further information can be located on either of them.

Email me

*California death records do not list anyone named Dermony, but show
that Paul Joseph, Dermody, 20, died on Nov. 3, 1957. The Times failed to
report the original slaying.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in #courts, Homicide, LAPD, Transportation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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