Bonnie Gamboa (1955 - 1980)

A photo of Bonnie Gamboa
Bonnie Gamboa
1955 - 1980
November 7, 1955
c. September 25, 1980
Modesto, Stanislaus County, California United States
Bonnie Gamboa was born on November 7, 1955. She died c. September 25, 1980 in Modesto, California United States at 24 years old.
Updated: August 10, 2021
Bonnie was the youngest of 11 children. She was born in Arkansas but the family moved to Modesto CA in 1961. She married and began working in a nursing home but according to her father-in-law, Bonnie became disappointed in how the elderly were treated there and went to (seasonal) work at a local nut packing plant before the birth of her baby. The Gamboas were a close family: Bonnie visited her husband for lunch at work (he was a cabinet maker) whenever she could and they both visited his father, Richard Sr., almost every day. Desperately wanting to expand their family circle, they tried for a baby for almost 3 years. Finally, on September 22, they had the child of their dreams - a baby boy. After the birth, the local paper (the Modesto Bee) announced the happy event. Shortly after, the Gamboas received a call offering them a free photography session of the infant. A kind and trusting person, Bonnie accepted the offer. The supposed photographer's name was Mary Alice Wry. It turns out that the perpetrator "Mary Alice Wry" had targeted & solicited multiple families with this offer but Bonnie was the only one to accept. On the day of the photo session, Richard Gamboa called his wife to remind her of an errand. She answered the phone and told him that the photographer was there. However, when he called about 30 minutes later, the phone wasn't answered. He became concerned and went home. Finding no one there, he went to the hospital fearing that the baby had become ill. They weren't at the hospital and he immediately called the police, and an extensive search ensued. Four days after their disappearance, on September 29th, the police received a tip. Mary Alice Wry (5 foot 1 inch and 125 lbs and a mother of 3), who claimed to have been pregnant but who never looked pregnant, now had a small infant. When the police investigated, they found the baby (who they identified by some family traits) but not Bonnie. Two days later, the decomposed body of Bonnie Gamboa was found in a local peach orchard. The autopsy showed that she had 57 stab wounds. Mary Wry plead "not guilty." According to contemporaneous reports, Mary had a tubal ligation after her 3rd child and was unable to conceive with her new boyfriend. She therefore decided to kidnap an infant. She was convicted of kidnapping and murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. She died in prison sometime around 2016 -2017 According to records, Bonnie's husband Richard killed himself 8 years later.
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Bonnie Gamboa
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Bonnie Gamboa
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Bonnie Gamboa died in Modesto, Stanislaus County, California United States
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California native, Bonnie lived in Modesto California.


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Bonnie worked in a nursing home, but felt as though the residents of the home were mistreated so worked seasonally at a local nut packing plant in Modesto California.

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Bonnie Gamboa passed away c. September 25, 1980 in Modesto, California United States at age 24. She was born on November 7, 1955. There is no information about Bonnie's family or relationships.

1955 - 1980 World Events

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In 1955, in the year that Bonnie Gamboa was born, in January, President Eisenhower sent direct aid to South Vietnam. In February, U.S. advisors were sent to train troops.

In 1960, when she was just 5 years old, on May 1st, an American CIA U-2 spy plane, piloted by Francis Gary Powers, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile over the Soviet Union. Powers ejected and survived but was captured. The U.S. claimed that the U-2 was a "weather plane" but Powers was convicted in the Soviet Union of espionage. He was released in 1962 after 1 year, 9 months and 10 days in prison.

In 1963, when she was only 8 years old, the British Secretary of War, 46 year old John Profumo ,was forced to resign when he lied about an affair with 19 year old Christine Keeler. Keeler was also involved with the Soviet naval attaché and charges of espionage were feared. No proof of spying was ever found.

In 1978, she was 23 years old when on July 25th, Louise Brown, the first "test-tube baby", was born at Oldham Hospital in London. Louise was conceived through IVF (in vitro fertilization), a controversial and experimental procedure at the time.

In 1980, in the year of Bonnie Gamboa's passing, on December 8th, ex-Beatle John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in front of his home - the Dakota - in New York City. Chapman was found guilty of murder and still remains in jail.

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