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Kenneth L. MOUNT





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Reserve Bakersfield police officer - Reputed "mastermind" of a crime group self-dubbed "The Corporation" - Robberies
Number of victims: 1 - 3
Date of murders: 1985 - 1988
Date of birth: 1947
Victims profile: Robert DePriest, 30 / William "Bill" Destefani, 73 / Harry Bannister, 68
Method of murder: Shooting / Stabbing with knife / Beating
Location: Bakersfield, California, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison without parole in July 1989. Died in prison on June 3, 2006

Kenneth L. Mount, a reserve Bakersfield police officer convicted of masterminding three murders for money. Mount faced the death penalty but was sentenced to life without parole.


'Mastermind' of 1980s crime group dies at 59

By Steve E. Swenson -

June 9, 2006

Kenneth L. Mount, the reputed "mastermind" of a Bakersfield crime group self-dubbed "The Corporation" that was implicated in three killings in the 1980s, has died after spending two months in a heart attack-induced coma, his son confirmed Thursday.

The senior Mount was 59 years old.

Mount died June 3 in Antelope Valley Hospital after being transferred two months earlier from the California State Prison, Los Angeles County in Lancaster, his son Kenneth L. Mount Jr. said.

Mount, a reserve Bakersfield police officer at the time of the killings, was serving a sentence of life without possibility of parole that he received in July 1989 after one of his crime partners, Robert Scroggins, testified under a grant of immunity about the killings and other crimes.

Mount was convicted of first-degree murder and a special circumstance of murder during the course of a burglary in the beating, throat-slashing and drowning death of Harry Bannister, 68, at a canal bank on Dec. 7, 1986.

Bannister provided amusement games and cigarette machines to businesses and he carried large amounts of money with him. Court reports say the four crime partners obtained Bannister's safe and split $52,000 among themselves.

The other two suspects, Thomas David Porter, who was 46 in 1989, and James M. Ludlow, who was 35 in 1989 -- both of whom were convicted of second-degree murder in Bannister's death -- claimed they gave their share to Scroggins, then 45.

A jury acquitted Mount in the Dec. 13, 1983 bludgeon death of Robert DePriest, a 30-year-old cocaine dealer; and the jury hung up 6-6 on the charge that Mount killed pioneer Kern County farmer William "Bill" Destefani, 73, at his Quailwood home on Dec. 11, 1985.

The Destefani murder count against Mount was later dismissed by a judge. Porter and Ludlow were each sentenced to 15 years to life in prison, and both remain in custody -- Porter at Avenal and Ludlow at Folsom, prison authorities reported Thursday.

Each of the defendants said Scroggins was a major player in the crimes and it was unfair that he went free while they went to prison for possibly the rest of their lives.

Then Kern County Superior Court Judge Gerald K. Davis agreed the disparity in sentencing was disquieting, but he added that didn't mean Mount should get off.

The whole case surfaced in 1988 after Scroggins was arrested for robbing a Domino's Pizza at 8200 Stockdale Highway.

He essentially traded information on the killings for his freedom.

Ludlow also testified against Mount and Porter, but Kern County Superior Court Judge Arthur Wallace said even doing the right thing by testifying didn't absolve him from paying the price for the crimes.

Scroggins told police that the ring relied on information gleaned by Mount through his police contacts to target victims.

Mount's son was reluctant to talk about his father, but he did say, "He's more than paid back his debt to society.



DATE(S): 1985/88

VENUE: Bakersfield, Calif.

VICTIMS: Three charged

MO: Shot/stabbed/biudgeoned men age 29-73, in their homes.

DISPOSITION: Life without parole on one count, 1989.

Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans



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